On the weekend, a friend was telling us about his trip to India. He said he was trying to explain to one of the local guys that elderly people living alone in England receive an allowance from the Government for their heating bill. The guy could not understand why an elderly person would be living alone, not being looked after by younger generations.
My elderly neighbour lived alone for many years and when she passed away last year my daughter didn’t get to say goodbye to her as she didn’t have a funeral. It was a sad time and Miss 5 took a while to understand that we wouldn’t be able to visit her anymore. I wrote Mrs Molly in memory of our lovely neighbour.
Mrs Molly tells the story of Annabelle, an inquisitive girl, whose excitement about a new neighbour turns to disappointment when she discovers it’s just a ‘boring old lady’. However, after meeting the eccentric Mrs Molly, Annabelle discovers that they have a lot in common and might even become friends.
I wrote this story to help shift children’s thinking away from the stereotypical “old people are boring and can’t do anything”. Also, many children don’t have grandparents living close by and many elderly people are without family to look out for them. My daughter loved going next door to look at our elderly neighbour’s photos and knick-knacks. She asked a lot of questions too.