Kindness Matters.

Dear reader,

Like some I have been off work for 5 months and because of this I have gotten into a routine. A daily walk from 3 to 10 miles, gardening which I enjoy, baking more than ever and now I have discovered I like pickling too. Since the lockdown I shop at our local Tesco’s, Ystrad Mynach, every Tuesday at 6am. I do our weekly shop and I also shop for an elderly couple too. The other week at Tesco’s a woman was so fearful it came out in anger, spite and hate. I did not react but I felt a bit disturbed by the incident. Tesco’s gave me a bouquet of flowers for the distress. The following week I saw the same woman at the car park at Tesco’s. I locked the car and gingerly walked towards the store, she slowly walked towards me. I stopped and she said “I am sorry for my behaviour and the names I called you” I replied “Thank you and I understand your fears” We both smiled and continued shopping.

The following day I had a 6 month dental appointment (Which was now 8 months) Been with the same NHS dentist for 25 years. After my check-up I went to pay. To my surprise there was no debit card in my purse. I smiled at the receptionist and said my husband will pay after his check – up. At home I could not find my debit card. In my mind I retraced my steps. I last used the card at Tesco’s. I phoned the store and to my relief my card was found in the car park and was handed in by a very kind stranger.

We are all going through it some more than others, others have broken every lockdown rule but you will always find this in times of crisis. I remember the late 1970’s and early 80’s, 4 million unemployed, Aids virus. I was made redundant 3 times and I decided to go back to collage and retrain. During this period I lost my father, sister and brother all died young. When I look back to those times I shudder. However, late 1970’s and 80’s was a wonderful teacher for me and a growing time for wisdom.

Today I am going into my 60th year, the year I should have retired. No, it has been taken out of my hands and the pension age was moved to 66 then 67. Sometimes a burning anger rising inside me, I have been working for 44 years! I seek wisdom and cool the flames. My hours are now part time, part time and I am better off than most.

I am a solitary person and like my own company and the silence that comes with it. Out walking I stop more and from this I hear and see more too. Yet, I miss the book group, the poetry event that I host, volunteer litter picking on Gelligaer and Merthyr, with ‘Tirwedd Y Comin Project Team’. Family gatherings round the table, food shared and laughter hanging in the air. Meeting up monthly with my sister in law and brother in law Brian and Brenda. Brenda and I go walking and the brothers go for an afternoon pint. Saturday we met up for the first time since February, Brenda and I walked the coastal path and the brothers sat in the garden chatting over a cuppa. John’s daughter and boyfriend came for a meal alfresco style on Friday, Poetry open mic that I host is back in September and this Wednesday I will be out litter picking ‘Tirwedd Y Comin Project’ I will wait for better times for the book group, that is held in Waterstones, Cardiff and hosted by the talented Kath Eastman.

Everything passes grief, disappointments, anger, time but kind gestures and social gatherings will always be remembered.

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