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.