Josie's blog Can you see me? made me think. Looking at the comments it is easy to see that I am not the only person who values her blogs and her amazing writing work shop. I started to consider other people who have touched my life and who will never really know how I have valued them.
Michael, my postman. He is the only postman who knows when I am out walking the dog and will go away, to do the rest of his round, and then come back a second time.
Gemma, at nursery. It was tough going back to work after Sarita was born (I thought could go back full time after only one board meeting away: WRONG) but Gemma made it easier. I went to visit some other nurseries and it was clear that they read and adhered to every bit of regulation but something was still missing. With Gemma, at the end of the day would greet us with a delighted smile, breathlessly telling us the amazing thing that Sarita had day. Yes, it was her job but it was clear that it was also much more, she loved it being there.
Debbie, at pre-school. Debbie has immense patience with kids (the parents rather bore her). Just watching her and her belief in the abilities the children is amazing - she does not talk down to them, but she does not tolerate anything but good behaviour. I have seen her quell a volcanic toddler mid flow without resorting to raising her voice. When my blood pressure rises and Sarita is doing a public display of her toddler temperament I just channel Debbie.
A Random Doctor. I never seen her before or since, but this lady was a healer. I went in to see why I was not conceived yet (one year on) and she somehow managed to manipulate the situation. I was becoming a bit disillusioned by conventional medicine and was expecting a patronising pat on the head followed by a letter to a consultant that would be answered sometime in the next few years - instead she made me cry. Let me explain, my Dad had died a while earlier, his funeral had been anything other than a private affair. I remember after the ceremony trying to take my coat off while a guest/mourner just wanted to make small talk with me and just trying, in vain, to have a few moments to myself. There was no time for mourning as after the very public funeral as I seemed to move onto finishing my Masters and our wedding (an irony of timings) at great speed. The Doctor seemed to know this and just asked me a few pointed and pertinent questions then just let me cry: I finally could sob about the death of my Dad. It did not help me conceive but it was such a healing moment. It helped me grieve properly which, in time, helped me move on.
The man with muscles - once when I was living in London I ordered a 1/4 tonne of lovely white pebbles for my tiny garden (a alternative to decking or paving) and the **** delivery arrived a few hours early and so just dumped in unceremoniously on my doorstep. I just looked down and in my wisdom thought that I should take the first sack in with me as I unlocked the door. It must have the sight of a strange girl in 1920s style tight tweed skirt and some ridiculous pony skin high heeled boots getting to grips with a leaden sack - but a total stranger stepped in a volunteered to help. He carried the whole lot through the house into the garden. As he approached the last few sacks I started to consider the possible quid pro quo nervously; but he dropped the last sack and with barely a wave off he went.
My saviour - the time when I was saved from possible death. How may times have Londoners heard 'Mind the Gap' well, this time I didn't! I raced down the steps, a little too fast, to catch the tube and went flying. Thank goodness for my womanly derriere, my feet and legs disappeared into the gap and my bottom wedged my on the platform between the train and the abyss. Oops! Suddenly I felt two arms under mine and with one great heave I was standing into the carriage safe and sound.
Here comes reality check: I had just extricated myself from a long term relationship and as I turned around I was alive, whole heartedly relieved and a little bit hopeful. Well, he saved me, I want to show my eternal gratitude BUT (on catching a glimpse at him) that was certainly going to be our last physical contact...ever.
People are amazing, random strangers can do the most extraordinary things. Just don't expect fairy tales!