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Natalie Lichtenstein

Coleman House resident Natalie Lichtenstein often uses poetry to express her thoughts. At a recent meeting of JCHE's Board of Directors, Natalie shared this poem, which she began soon after she moved into Coleman House and recently completed.

Everything changes in one’s life it’s true

And sometimes when least expected it turns out to be just right for you

Well this is exactly what happened to me this year

I moved to Coleman House even though I was full of fear

I’d spent most of my life in Winthrop, a really small town

Been through two marriages, raised 4 children, had many ups and downs.

 

My children convinced me that for a change it was time

My oldest thought that if I lived closer to her, it would be fine

Well it’s great to have her and her husband closer to me

But my fear was could I make a new life – I would have to see

 

Well I’ve been here at Coleman House, counting the months it equals three

And the adjustments I’ve made have been made easier for me

By Robin, Vicky, Elizabeth, Tom, Manny, Tino, Francine, Barbara and Stacy to name just a few.

They are all so helpful and efficient in all they do

I’m making new friends, they’ve made me feel welcome it’s true.

And finding my “old” friend Paula really keeps me from feeling blue.

 

Joined Friends Forever, the title has a nice ring

Going to be in a show, they’ve asked me to sing.

The multi-purpose room is where most afternoons are spent

By the knitters, heart sewers, the talkers and where some days there’s an event.

So we mingle and kibbutz and really it’s fun

The volunteers are terrific, their work is never done.

For without their help this place would fall apart

And I appreciate what they give from the bottom of my heart.

 

I’m exercising, seeing movies, playing bingo and such

Making the most of living, counting my blessings, I have so much.

So to you all I want to say

Thanks for making me want to stay

Here at Coleman House, it’s really great

I’m glad that this is now my fate

And let me wish each and everyone of you a life

Full of good health, life’s joys, may you know no strife.

 

Well, it’s a little more than 3 years later and believe it or not

I’m still here keeping busy ‘cause I do a lot

I’m the secretary to the tenants’ council and I’m the welcoming committee as well

To help new tenants through the trauma of moving makes me feel swell.

I help some of the Russian tenants learn more English and do my best

I put no pressure on them and they don’t have to pass a test.

I love being part of the Brandeis program and our Epal program too

For being with young people and exchanging ideas is one of the most worthwhile things I do.

And now that we help the Tufts med students to learn how to be with people our age

And the fact that we are part of their curriculum makes me feel like a sage.

 

And so to all of you at JCHE

Who together with the wonderful staff at Coleman House have given to me

The opportunity to live and to enjoy to the fullest my life every day

G..d bless you all and thanks … what more can I say?

 

Well maybe just one more thing and that is …

Good luck to our now past president Ellen Feingold, she’s earned a rest

And welcome to our new president Amy Schectman I’m sure she will pass every test.

And though she has very big shoes to fill

With everyone’s support I’m sure she will.

 

So again, thanks to everyone involved … I’m really proud to be a part of the JCHE family.  Shalom.

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