Meet My Friend, Albertha

Meet My Friend, Albertha

Posted on Mar. 30, 2021

Ms. A has always believed in the best. That was why at age 16 she came to the United States from the Caribbean island of Montserrat. Her commitment to the best worked. She was happily married at age 18, bought a house in Roxbury, raised three children and worked the night shift in a bank reconciling accounts. Her husband died a few years ago, but she loves her house, community and friends. She’s in her 80’s and excited that life is so good.

“I believe we have to make the most of everything we do,” said Ms. A. “For me, Bingo is part of that. You see friends, and they see you. Maybe you win. Maybe you don’t. But everyone feels good.”

For Ms. A, not even cancer got in the way. Six years ago, she was surprised to have been diagnosed with lung cancer because she’d never smoked, ever. She was given four months to live. At the time, she surprised the doctors by saying the diagnosis was honestly fine and she wasn’t sad because she’d had such a good life. Seriously, life was good, very, very good. Always had been. She just wanted to be able to talk to all of her family and friends in the United States, Montserrat, and in England. In the middle of her weeks of phone calls, the doctors then offered a better surprise – a new experimental treatment. That chemotherapy worked. Ms A is now cancer-free. A truly fantastic surprise.

During her treatment, a friend encouraged Ms A to join LBFE Bingo. “I like people, but I’d been so busy with weekly chemo and recovering from it the next day, that I wasn’t seeing anyone. It wasn’t me, but it was what I had to do.”

That was why Ms. A attended her first LBFE Bingo game at a Roxbury senior center. “Sometimes you walk into a room, and you know it’s a good place with good people. People who smile and listen. That’s exactly how I felt the day I walked in.” A long chuckle came from Ms. A. “That’s how I still feel during every Zoom Bingo.”

Ms. A is thrilled that Bingo continued during the social distancing of COVID-19 and that the LBFE Tech Cafés taught her how to use Zoom. “In truth, I didn’t know about Zoom before. Never heard of it.” She chuckled again. “Now I talk to my brother in England, and nieces and nephews and their families in Scotland and Wales. I’d never met them in person before. Now I’ve seen them all. I love Zoom. It’s beautiful.”

Ms. A is excited for when the pandemic is over and in-person Bingo can resume. She’s especially grateful LBFE has kept it going during the socially-distanced time when everybody has needed it most.

“I love talking. I love people,” said Ms. A. “I want to say thank you. Thank you to my beautiful friends, and the beautiful staff, and all the beautiful people who make this possible.”