What is loneliness ….....?
Cambridge market place bustled in the excitement of Christmas. Happy Stall holders
went about their chores. Laughter echoed through the air like a familiar friend. Music played softly in the back ground adding to the happy atmosphere. A crisp November morning greeted you as you walked. The sun trying its best to show its face, quickly being jostled by the clouds, which played catch me if you can. Pigeons jostled for food. The day had begun.
A lonely figured stirred in a dark recess of a building. Her only companion, torn dirty shopping bags filled with all her worldly goods. Struggling to find her feet having slept rough, gradually, slowly, and in a great deal of pain, an elderly woman tried to stand up. Suddenly, losing her balance fell against the side of the wall. Quickly grabbing a door handle to steady herself, again wincing in pain, and finding it hard to breathe, tried to compose herself. Lonely footsteps surrounded her. People went about their business, ignoring her as they walked past.
Seeing her in distress I quickly went to her and help her to her feet. Taking her bags, and goods, got her over to a near bye seat, where she slowly sat down shivering in silence. Quickly wrapping one of her torn blankets around her. I asked her if she would like something to eat, perhaps a hot dog, or cheese burger. Perhaps a hot cup of tea. Nodding that she would, I went and got her something.
I watched her quickly eat the food as though not having been fed for ages. I wanted to get her help, but knew from previous experiences with people who slept rough that she would say no. Her hands shook as she tried to drink the tea.
As I was later to discover, her life had been like a roller coaster. When she was younger she had been a very successful staff nurse in a London hospital. Married to a childhood sweetheart, her life had seemed complete, until one day, she discovered that her husband had been having an affair with her best friend for over a year. Her life quickly crumpled. Over the next twenty eight years, drink and drugs started to take a toll on her life. As hard as various members of her family had tried to help, it was refused.
I felt sick inside that in 2017, it was still possible to still find people like this lonely sole, who chose to live her life like this, and there was nothing I could do about it.
Her frail face will haunt me forever, constantly reminding me how lucky I am to have a home, a Jack Russell that loved me, and food on the table. For her, it would be another lonely Christmas, with no love for sale.
By Jackie Humfrey. Pin number: 500285