You never never know what people have gone through , are going through. We tend to scrub-up well and present ourselves as ‘pretty together ‘ even though my pathetic attempt at scrubbing-up means brushing my hair and putting my lipstick on albeit never looking in a mirror .
So this morning’s routine took a funny turn . By 6.55 I was at Geoff’s getting my friend some flowers .By 7am I had my trolley and was in Sainsburys and by 7.35 my stuff was on the conveyor belt and I was being checked-out by the lovely Harpreet , who I noticed was wearing a brace on her left hand and wrist . So the conversation goes something like this …
Me ( after this know as R ) : Oh dear what have you done to your wrist ?
H: I’ve been in pain for sometime and the specialist has told me to keep it strapped up , to see if it improves.
R:It can’t be easy doing this job , it is so physical and so busy at this time of year .
H: I know ,plus I have to do everything at home as my husband passed away 4 years ago .
R:OMG how awful , how old was he ?
H: He was 54 and suffered a brain haemorrhage while on his early morning walk
R: What a terrible thing to happen and what a shock for you .
H: Yes, I think he was in shock as earlier that year our daughter had been in a bad car accident in Birmingham and had spent a few weeks in ITU in The Q.E. and he could never talk about it .
Are you looking forward to Christmas ?
…At this point , I crumpled , started to cry , couldn’t speak, couldn’t see and just wanted to hug Harpreet . Of course it wasn’t about me . But when your sadness is just under the surface , only a smidgen of empathy, makes it come bubbling over .
By the time I’d left the store , I had told her about Rosie , we had shared photographs and the woman next in the queue had given me her packet of paper tissues