Elderly Woman Writes Desperate Note to Neighbor, Asks to Be Her Friend

A lonely older woman was so afraid of being alone that she wrote a desperate note to her neighbor seeking friendship. Find out what happened afterward. 

In April 2017, Marleen Brooks of Park Hills, Missouri, came home one afternoon and opened her mailbox, only to find an unexpected letter from her neighbor, who lived two houses across the street. 

The neighbor was Wanda Mills, a 90-year-old woman Brooks had never met. The content of Wanda’s note surprised Brooks, and she took action. 

Mills’ letter to Brooks [left] Mills and Brook. | youtube.com/CBS Sunday Morning

In the letter, Mills, not knowing Brooks’ name, addressed her as “Mrs?” She asked the neighbor if she would consider becoming her friend and added that she lived alone and all her friends had passed. Mills also wrote

“I am so lonesome and scared. Please I pray for someone.” 

Mills signed off the letter and included her house address too. Brooks shared the heartfelt letter with television news anchor Frank Somerville, who also posted it on his Facebook page. 

Mills’ letter to Brooks | Photo: YouTube/CBS Sunday Morning

A day after receiving Mills’ letter, Brooks went to her house. The elderly woman’s house was so quiet that Brooks did not think anyone lived there. She told CBS: 

“The next day I went over there and she [Mills] was pretty much shocked that I came over.” 

Brooks visited Mills with a friend, and the older woman was delighted that she finally had the visitors she had desired. Mills thanked them for coming and said she hoped they did not think she was stupid for writing them.

She also revealed she had lived in the house for 50 years and did not know any neighbors. Mills further said she was a mother of three sons and that one of them died of cancer in 2016 while the others lived far away. 


Brooks’ first visit to Mills marked the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Then, unfortunately, Mills had to be admitted to a nursing home, but Brooks continued visiting her at least four times weekly. 

She would also take her husband and kids along with her on some of her visits. When asked how her friendship with Brooks had changed her life, Mills said: “Well, it helps.”

Brooks and her family paid Mills a visit | Photo: YouTube/CBS Sunday Morning

Brooks also said the friendship helped her too. She revealed she always regretted not spending time with her grandma and sees the bond with Mills as redemption. 

Brooks was so inspired by her lovely encounter with Mills that she started a group called Pen Pals For Seniors. The group aims to help in ending the isolation of other older people. 

Brooks explained that what happened to Mills could happen to anyone and added that no one should be made to feel lonely. She also agreed she found a calling following her encounter with Mills. 

Pen Pals For Senior Group by Brooks | Photo: YouTube/CBS Sunday Morning

It seemed Brooks was the perfect person Mills could write a letter as things turned out. Although it looked coincidental, the nonagenarian believed otherwise.

Mills believed someone sent Brooks to her. However, when quizzed about who that person was, she answered, “God sent her.” This beautiful story shows how little acts of love and kindness can change people’s lives. 

A similar story is that of a woman who found 25 letters her daughter left her before she passed. These letters helped the grieving woman deal with her loss. Read the full story here.

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