Sunday, November 10

I can't think of a title that conveys how I feel



I had a phonecall a while back from a lady who wanted to sell some
vintage fabrics, curtains and a Stockman mannequin.

I called at the house on a warm summer's day-
a Georgian beauty covered in wisteria.
Two little blonde girls playing in the front garden
nursed their dolls with a solemnity beyond their years.
They didn't meet my smile.

The lady was pleasant but not friendly, dressed head-to-toe in Boden
she had impeccable taste in furnishings and furniture.
With a brief explanation they were moving
nearer her family, she showed me the pieces for sale.
I declined the offered coffee- the house felt uncomfortably cold
and I was anxious to buy and be gone.

We agreed a price, she helped me carry the bags to my car
where we shook hands rather formally.
 I called "goodbye" to the girls who hugged their dolls tighter
and looked away.

Later that year, before Remembrance Day, our county paper
published the roll call of local soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
The name of the officer at the top of the list caught my eye,
it was the same as the lady who had contacted me.

He had been awarded a posthumous bravery medal.

The faces of those two little girls still haunts me.
 

16 comments:

WinnibriggsHouse said...

Oh Elaine, how many times do we make a snap judgment or even make a comment not knowing the circumstances and later feel so bad. OK we can't know everything, and sometimes our instincts are right, but it still doesn't make you feel any better when you're proved wrong! There are so many sad stories out there, we can only be very thankful when we're not one of them. Hope you are keeping well. x

KC'sCourt! said...

Oh dear....... You wasn't to know until you read the paper. Think I would be haunted by the whole thing too.
Julie xxxxxxx

Ivy Black said...

Isn't that life though? We all make judgements and sometimes we call it intuition. Sometimes we miss but we aren't to know.
That's so sad.
Take care.
xx

nilly said...

I know this type of story well - your post is a very good warning to all. Do not judge until you know more - and smile gently at everyone you meet.

The Vintage Bazaar said...

That is so moving Elaine. It is certainly a reminder to us all never to judge at face value. Liz x

Winkel's Crazy Ideas said...

How very sad. Just goes to show doesn't it, how we just don't know what is under the surface. Hugs, Pam

Molly said...

It's so easy to judge people. I'm sure that I would have done the same as you. You never know what's going on in someone else's life do you.

Willow said...

War is a haunting malady , that can so heartlessly deplete the emotions of those touched so severely by it .

lemonade kitty said...

So very sad.....x

Jacqui Galloway said...

So Sad x

Sue said...

A lesson to us all.

Do not judge what you do not know, a friendly word or at least a smile should be offered to anyone who seems 'down' rather than a sulky face because they've been grumpy to us.

BadPenny said...

I am always troubled when I see a sad soul. When there isn't a smile I think of what might be wrong.

This was so sad.

OhSoVintage said...

Oh gosh, I feel a shiver as I read this. I do sometimes think that we don't know what a stranger's home life is like if they appear off hand. Also if an older person is grumpy I always think 'I wondered what they did in the war'. What a sad story.

Vintage Jane said...

What a sad tale.
We often have no idea what goes on in another person's life, what sadness, trials or tribulations they may be living with or have lived through. M x

Delia Ryder said...

Brought a lump to my throat and a tear in my eye this has. The saying you should never judge a book by its cover comes to my mind. Big hugs to you, dee x

the woolly dog said...

Such a sad tale. It's true, that 'everyone has a secret that would break your heart' xxx

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