Sunday, March 29, 2015

Leah - a little story

Something I wrote a while ago:

For Leah.                                                                                                     

February was particularly cold that year. We’d arrived in the middle of term and I stood at the school gate with the other mums edging uncomfortably towards the group. We’d left family and friends behind and hubby was working long hours to pay the mortgage.
Every morning for five long weeks my eighteen month old daughter, Anna and I turned away from the gates and trudged home to a cold, empty house.  With long, black hours in front of us we baked, did jigsaw puzzles, painted pictures and read stories trying to occupy ourselves until three o’clock, when we could fetch her big sister.
It’s not that I was being snubbed. I just didn’t feel that I fitted in. People nodded, said hello, then hurried away to their busy lives as the wind blew sharp icicles around them.  Every day my head hung lower and the lonely ogre in the pit of my stomach grew as my confidence ebbed away. Anna worried, too, as some days the book I read to her would be wet with my tears. And when even my voice seemed to have turned against me, I snuggled on the sofa with her, mind numb , children’s TV washing over us.
Then one morning, you, my dear friend now for more than ten years, spoke words of kindness. Words that enriched, strengthened and consoled me, planting a flame of hope in that bitter winter and bringing my vulnerable self back to life.
Seemingly so ordinary, everyday and simple and maybe they were, but in the place that I was in, they had such force. They said to me, you’re important. You’re likable. I want to spend time with you. You are interesting and I value you.  You’re ok.
Those eight words, full of grace and magnanimity, your gift to me, were:
“Like to come back to mine for a coffee?”
Now, I felt belonged , was  accepted.
I’ve never told you how timely and precious that Kind act was, so I’m singing your praises now. Thank you, Leah, for your powerful gift to me. A gift that, when unwrapped, took on its own momentum, bringing, health, friendship, warmth and love.   A present that you had no idea you were giving, yet it altered my life.
What a joy to have met you on my way. Your inspiration stays with me and I hope I use the wondrous talent of speech wisely and in a generous way as you did and still do. It is a gift.

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