Alone and listening – PAM

I went grocery shopping to Indian groceries at Quality Foods Hayes and alone. I amazed myself by going beserk buying as many vegetables and fruits as I could, the cook in me was thrilled and the health conscious foodie in me was unbelted.

Almost 2 hours in my riot of grabs, I was almost done and then I thought let me go buy some bittergourd too. So I hopped quick leaving my shopping trolly in a corner and I was back to the greens and as I was going through the lot to select a few, a lady next to me coughed and then she said “I am sorry”, I casually said “Oh seems like you are unwell”…and then it began.

She said she had a big brawl with her brother, feels very choked. And I asked her if she is feeling fine…and her story began, she was looking for someone to spill out everything that she was holding in her heart, maybe a stranger like me…and I took interest.

It was a 20 minute of talk and in that her life view summarised to me.

She is not married and is 60+, retired, worked all her life, has her own home, has an ongoing pension that supports her, lost her parents recently, has an abusive brother. She told me about her achievements, her troubles and her worries!

I patiently heard, I gave my bits in between and then at the end I told her..take care of yourself, she looked dressed well and I told her seems like you do take care of yourself, continue to do so… may have travelled a lot, you may want to travel for a purpose…for volunteering, for helping kids across the globe…give them what you have acquired all your life, your wisdom…and more importantly dont feel guilty when you are not able to help your brother…there is only so much you can will open other doors for him…she found solace in my words..her eyes beamed at the idea of volunteering work..her eyes glowed when I appreciated her achievements and her life..

She asked me my name, I gave a brief was not about me anyway so I kept my description light.

I asked her name:   “PAM”

A photo I requested:  She denied, did not want to be logged anywhere.

“PAM I wish you a wonderful life” is all I said and moved on, she smiled at me.

That picture I took of myself to keep the memory of PAM, born to a Portuguese mother and an African father.


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