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I am a girl/woman/human who has random thoughts. Sometimes you can find me here rambling, other times i might have useful stuff to say. For the most part, my friends and family can see what I might be up to in the days events. Or, for sake of sakes, its all made up... only i know.. and MAYBE a select few of you! Either way~ I am an American living in Australia. Oh, and any photo you see on this blog IS NOT FOR YOUR USE. If I have taken the photo myself or have permission to use it, YOU CAN NOT USE IT FOR YOURSELF. So be warned... and just dont use my damn photos.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Older

There is a particular lady in my vicinity that lives in an "aged care facility".  She is usually seen hanging around the shopping complex nearby where we live.  Her attire is always intriguing - polka dots mixed with stripes, bold colors, layers upon layers of clothing... a bit eccentric lets say. Adding to the array of fashion disasters, is her bold red lipstick which is placed about 2 inches around her lip outline. She definitely stands out.

Her name is Elizabeth, and most people know OF her.  She is usually sitting on the bench, asking someone if they could spare a stamp, or if she sizes you up correctly, asking you if you could spare a smoke for her. Shes harmless, and seems to enjoy her moments in life.

Not too many people stop and say hello, due to her 'colorful' clothes, or the fact that random stranger sitting there seems harmless.. but most dont give her the time of day. But, everyone is aware of Elizabeth - they know her name, and where she lives, and everyone knows shes going to ask you to spare something.

I always say "hello Elizabeth" as to which the standard reply, "do you have a spare smoke ( or stamp)?"  I usually tell her no, but somedays I do give her a smoke... probably out of just being nice, or guilt, or that I feel a bit sorry for her.  Im not sure which really.

The other day, after seeing her for many days in a row, I said, "hello Elizabeth" and she responded with, 'I'm sorry, I have forgotten your name, do I know you?"  I told her my name, and that I live in the area, and she acknowledged me, and we began chatting.

She told me how when she was 12 her sister & parents moved from England to come to Australia. They guaranteed her dad would have a job when he arrived off the boat.  They set sail for a promise of a new job, and new beginnings.  You can imagine the turmoil when there wasnt any jobs for her dad after arriving in Australia.  Eventually, he took a job 'with an American company' she tells me 'NCR, you know, National Cash Register' which of course I did know (being American and all!). She proceeded to tell me snippits of her life and it was nice to hear her revel in some memories. Some good, some not so good. She asked a little bit about me, my family, and was curious as to why I didnt have any children (she has none either). 

After about an hour, I had to leave to get on my stuff, and she had to leave to make it back to the aged care facility for dinner. She asked me if I could spare a smoke (I know.. imagine that!) and I asked if she was allowed to smoke.. she said yes.. to which I responded, well, if you arent, you didnt get them from me Elizabeth.." She giggled, as if she was the 12 year old girl she was only reminiscing about earlier to me.  I handed her a few smokes, said goodbye, and off we went, each to our own lives.

It was neat to share for a moment with someone, almost a stranger, and yet such a familiar face. To make someones day by chatting away, asking how they were.... I guess I didnt realize how much it would make my day as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So beautiful of you to share yourself with another. Taking the time to listen. That's so much of what we all want in life, to have someone listen to us. To feel we have worth. Thanks for making her day. Wonderful that she could return it and make yours also. Hugs from Minnesota!