I was at a friend’s house the other evening having a glass of (her) wine and (me) ginger ale and it was lovely to spend time chatting without the interruptions of children. I spent hours at her house and left really rather late. During this time she told me about something that had happened the week before which really had me speechless…
My friend has 4 children and she works part-time so her life is pretty full on, even more so than mine and although she’s a relatively new friend I feel we’ll be friends for life as, if I’m honest, I’m in awe of her. She’s been a rower (was asked if she wanted to train for the commonwealth games a few years back) she’s completed officer training at Sandhurst (and graduated second in her class – very nearly first!) she’s an amazing horse rider and just last weekend completed a 58k cycle race with no training before hand. If you ever wanted to achieve something and you needed someone with you who could motivate you and make you finish -she’s your women.
Now after chatting a while she told me about a particular busy day last Tuesday where she was going to be very nearly late for one of her daughter’s violin concert at school. Being distracted she nearly missed the older lady struggling to walk on the pavement but as she turned her head driving past she had the most amazing overwhelming feeling that she needed to stop and help. She struggled with needing to help and not wanting to be late for her daughter’s concert but after parking her car up she walked back to find the lady and asked if she could help to which the lady very proudly replied ‘No thank’ but when my friend suggested giving her a lift home she looked grateful and accepted.
The lady and my friend chatted in the car and my friend was telling her that her faith told her to stop and help and the lady whilst polite didn’t hold much truck with that and said ‘That’s the sort of thing my brother would say’ She also said to my friend that she was ‘like you’ when she was younger; active, busy and capable.
My friend deposited Mary (the older lady) home and left her number and she also called someone from her Church to see if they could pop round and make sure Mary was okay as her husband was out in London for the day. My friend went on her day and made her daughter’s violin concert.
Mary’s husband called later in the evening to say thank you for helping Mary and told her that Mary had been very touched by my friend’s kindness which made my friend very pleased that she’d done the right thing.
2 days later my friend was having (another!) difficult day trying to buy a car as hers had been slowly falling to pieces for months and so she found herself stuck in an hour and a half traffic jam with her husband on the way to see a possible new one. Her car was struggling in the traffic and they joked that they would have to buy the new one just to get home! Once at the garage the new car was great and the deal was done but as she was signing her name to buy it her phone rang. It was Mary’s husband phoning to tell her that Mary had died…
My friend was desolate as she had wanted, when life had calmed down a bit, to visit Mary, get to know her and take the children to visit. The tears came as she stood in the garage buying the new car.
When she got home she visited Mary’s husband whom she immediately gave a hug to as soon as his door was open and they chatted through tears and he told her that Mary had Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and that she really shouldn’t have been out but her mind thought she was a younger lady and when you need to ‘pop out to get some milk well, you just pop out don’t you’. He said that Mary had talked a lot about my friend and her kindness and that someone stopping to help really touched her. He also said that Mary had died, probably, from over exerting herself on that day and if my friend hadn’t of brought her home she would have been taken ill and she might have ended up in hospital and dying there. Instead she got to come home, where she felt comfortable and spend time talking about the nice lady who stopped and helped her and for the last 2 days of her life the world was a fabulous place to be. My friend gave Mary the gift of spending her last 2 days with her family and I think that’s a very precious gift to give.
My busy friend stopped and looked about her whilst in the middle of a stupidly busy day day and saw an older lady needing help and call it God, intuition, conscience or just plain old fashioned character she stopped to help. She didn’t drive on or think she might be interfering as she risked a re-buff or a refusal which so often stops us all putting ourselves on the line in the first place. My friend goes the extra mile and that’s why I’m in awe of her. She was in the right place at the right time and she did the right thing; she brought Mary home…