Thursday, 17 January 2013
It was early morning and time to walk my dog. Such a chill in the air, the trees and ground covered in ice. I put on my wellies, wrapped up warm and headed out into the icy cold misty morning.
I was nearing the top of the lane when I came across an elderly lady, struggling with some shopping bags. She looked so tired, in pain and red faced. I walked up and said "Let me take those for you" at first she flinched as if she was worried someone was stealing from her, and when she looked at my face and saw my warm smile, she smiled back and allowed me to take them. With her hand on her back she straighten up before saying "Oh thank you, I wasn't sure I was going to make it much further... oh I could do with a nice hot cup of tea." I replied "Where do you live?" She pointed and we set off in that direction chatting as we walked.
When we got to her house I took her bags in, cranked up the fire for her and made us a cup of tea. She was so happy to have someone help her, and to have someone to talk to.
She has lived alone now for 7 years, since her beloved husband passed away and has no one visiting her, as her only son also passed away from cancer. She told me how some days she felt like giving up, everything was so much effort and it didn't seem worth carrying on. But today she said, my thoughtful act had given her hope.. She had walked that path so many times back from the shop with her weekly shopping, and not once had someone offered to help.. they just walked on by without a thought for her.
My dog cheered her up too, as he cuddled up to her. She was delighted to make his acquaintance and said she wished she could have a dog for the company, she always had dogs when she was younger and able to give them the proper care they deserve.
As I was leaving, she asked if I was religious and if that was my reason for helping her today. I told her that I didn't need a religion to make me feel guilty for not doing good things, my own Higher Self guides me and I treat others how I would want to be treated myself. She gave me a hug and I noticed a tear in her eye. She grabbed my hand, looked me in the eye, then with warmth and genuine sincerity said thank you. She told me that the shopping she had got today was supposed to be a special treat for her last meal, as she had decided there was no point going on. However she felt so much better now that this meal will be a celebration, because you never know what wonderful thing will be round the corner. I could feel tears coming to my own eyes, not just for this woman, but all those who feel so lonely and forgotten that they consider killing themselves, no one should have to feel like that.
I will go back and visit her again soon, and will help her with things all I can. I will also make her neighbours aware of the fact that she is alone and to look out for her. 30 minutes of your time a week, just to pop in and see someone who is alone will change their life for the better and yours too.