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Transformed before my eyes

I was supporting a widow friend who had no children. Both her husband and herself were our family friends before he passed.

As many widows would testify, it seemed part of them has died and life had very little meaning for them.

Their little dog was a good companion, a reason for her to wake up each day and let the little dog to run around their walled garden.

We planned to go out shopping once a month or have a meal together.

I encouraged her to call and speak to some of her old friends. I was available at any time she wanted to speak or for me to pop round if she needed me, as she only lived a few minutes drive away from us.

My role was to listen to her even if she repeated the same story of "woe is me" over and over.

Her husband loved gardening and they both loved to sit in garden for hours during the summer.

One day as we sat talking in the garden, the conversation changed to their travels, places they had been to, and to my surprise she remembered some funny things and laughed out loud. Her face beamed as she laughed reliving that precious time.

That was a good sign but naturally she felt like there was no one behind her to catch her if she slipped or tripped.

Our shopping trips continued even if we only window shopped, the trick was to get her out of the house. She had a keen eye for quality and will handle clothes and other items, sometimes criticising the styles.

On our way home I asked if she would like to show me their photo album especially that incident that made her laugh out loud. It was put on the agenda for our next meeting.

She baked some lovely scones and asked me to buy some clotted cream on my way.

She lay the small round table in the garden with a beautiful lace tablecloth and brought out her fine China cups and saucers. What an honour to share in that special moment.

She also brought out a nest of tables with two photo albums and more photos in a brown envelope.

We enjoyed the tea and scones and she promptly ordered that we washed our hands before looking at the photos. Good idea, no jam, butter or clotted cream marks on such precious memories.


What lovely photos they were. It was like joining her on time travel.

Halfway between looking at the photos, her face changed to a brilliant glow that I had never seen before.

She looked at me and said; Hannah, I have had a good life.

I have lived a blessed life and I want to continue living this blessed life. I think my late husband would want me to be happy.

The transformation in her whole body was luminous. She suddenly looked younger, smarter and that pain and sorrow on her face disappeared.

I was witnessing a miracle.

And that miracle was revisiting precious memories from old photographs.

It was as if she had a lift to another realm. She dressed smartly even if she was not going out. Her life took such a glorious turn it was my pleasure to see that transformation.

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