Friday, 19 January 2018

The lady in the lift


I was recently asked if I'd ever met anyone for a very brief time and found myself thinking about them long afterwards.  I said yes, quite a few.

I met a lady in a lift (elevator) at the shopping centre in 2011.

I had recently had a fall at work, and cracked my elbow so I had my arm in a sling. She had braces on both her legs, on top of long trousers, and had two elbow crutches and a bag of shopping.

She looked at my arm. I looked at her legs. She smiled and I said, “You win!”

She laughed and said, “No, this was not an accident. I have (and she named a condition that I’ve forgotten but which causes muscle weakness).

I said,”I’m sorry to hear that. I know what it is as I recently met two children who have the same condition”.  She named the children and their mother - she knew them.

Then she looked at my arm and said, “Your mother should have taught you about using comfrey to treat that”.

I said, “I am using comfrey on it. That’s why I don’t have a plaster cast”.

She then told me how she made a quick and easy herb ointment by crushing the fresh herb and mixing the juice with plain skin lotion and rubbing it on.

“My neighbours call me a witch,” she said. “But when they are hurt they come over for some magic ointment”.

We got out of the lift. I asked her if I could help with her shopping bag. She said no, she would look after herself as long as she could. I watched from a distance as she walked to her car and went through a complicated process of putting the shopping in and then getting herself in with two crutches.

I knew her for five minutes. I wish I had said more.

I wish she was my friend. I liked her and I think she had a lot to share.



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