By Bev Jordan
CONNIE VALLIS is a community stalwart who is keen to start a Friendship group in the Hills to spark good conversation, play board games and organise social outings.
While COVID restrictions made 2020 a difficult year for many people, the Baulkham Hills resident is hoping 2021 will provide more chances for people who have felt isolated to connect with others.
As a long-time volunteer with Computer Pals for Seniors and Baulkham Hills cricket and football clubs, the mother of four, grandmother and great grandmother has had a busy life. She is in the midst of writing her third book but the sudden loss of her husband Keith last year has left Connie living alone for the first time in 90 years.
“After a long happy marriage of 68 years, I am living at home, all alone, for the first time in my life,” she told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News.
“I want to stay in my home because all my memories are here and I am comfortable. I have beautiful neighbours and lots of lovely kids around me but when you close that door at night it is just so lonely. Weekends and nights especially. It’s about having company and someone to talk to.”
She says her family are wonderful but can’t be with her all the time. “I am trying not to be a burden and I have to try and make a life of my own. Keith and I did absolutely everything together, apart from my Computer Pals. I do still believe that life is what you make it, and if possible, one should try to help oneself,” she said.
“There must be other people out there like me, maybe not as old as me, who would like to create a “Friendship Group” where like-minded people in similar situations, can get together socially, days, nights and/or weekends for perhaps lunches, happy hours, dinners, movie nights, card games or book clubs.
“I could also help people write their life story.” She has written two books on her life for her family (four children, 12 grandchildren and three great grandchildren) called, Delectable Decades and Grandma, You Didn’t, and is now writing her third book with the working title, Chasing the Century.
If you are interested in being part of a Friendship Group call Cathy Pitts at Home Instead on 9980 2226 or email Connie at [email protected].