The Game of Life: How Nanny Rosie’s Days at the Club Built Lasting Connections

In the tapestry of life, some threads shine brighter than others. For me, one such luminous thread is my grandmother, Nanny Rosie. As she celebrates her 94th birthday today, I’m reminded of the valuable lessons she’s taught me about connection, community, and the art of living well.

Nanny Rosie, with her movie star looks and impeccable fashion sense, has always been a beacon of charm and wit. But beyond her external grace, it’s her ability to forge and maintain deep connections that truly sets her apart. For decades, Nanny Rosie’s calendar was punctuated by regular gatherings at “the club,” where she and her friends would meet to play cards and mah jongg.

These weren’t mere game sessions; they were rituals of belonging. As the tiles clicked and cards shuffled, conversations flowed. Talk of grandchildren’s achievements mingled with discussions of current events, travel plans, and the inevitable touch of gossip. These gatherings provided more than just entertainment – they offered a sense of purpose, a reason to look forward to each week, and a stable anchor in the sometimes-turbulent sea of life.

Sociologist Robert Putnam’s groundbreaking work, “Bowling Alone,” sheds light on why Nanny Rosie’s club days were so crucial. Putnam’s research revealed a startling fact: simply joining one club or social group can halve a person’s chances of dying in the coming year. The secret ingredient? Social capital.

Putnam argues that “social networks have value” because they foster trust, combat loneliness, and bind communities together. In essence, every hand of cards played at Nanny Rosie’s club was a brick in the foundation of a stronger, more connected community.

As we face increasingly complex challenges in our society, Nanny Rosie’s example reminds us of a simple truth: sometimes, the most profound acts of community building happen over a game table. By prioritizing these regular social interactions, she not only enriched her own life but also contributed to the social fabric of her community.

So, on her 94th birthday, I toast to Nanny Rosie. Nan, thank you for showing us the power of play, the importance of belonging, and the joy of genuine connection. Your legacy of love, laughter, and social engagement continues to inspire.

Happy Networking!

2 thoughts to “The Game of Life: How Nanny Rosie’s Days at the Club Built Lasting Connections”

  1. What a lovely testament to Rosie’s friends and social networking in her “Circle of Life.” As always, you write beautifully and I very much enjoyed your prospective on fleshing out the aging process. At 72, I am realizing the importance of this. Blessings.

  2. Dear Alana,
    This tribute is so heartfelt. Thank you for sharing your pearls of wisdom. Your writing is powerful and provides valuable guidance to remind us all to be connected with purpose. It’s good for our health!

    Best to you always,

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