Inspiring women

IMG_20170708_192520[1]This is Pat.  It’s the second time I have met her – having a little stroll along the riverside and enjoying the sunshine.  She is an inspiring lady.  She is 91 – the same age as the Queen, as she is pleased to tell me, only she has to wash her own socks!  She has lived in south-west London all her life, through two world wars and has fascinating tales to tell.  What inspired me most were her tales of caring and kindness – ordinary and extra-ordinary at one and the same time.  She cared for her father, invalided after WW1, and then her ailing mother during WW2.  She cared for her husband and their children, and her children and grandchildren in her many widowed years.  She cared for her dogs – golden before the river walk, and black with mud after the walk, and all the neighbours and friends.  The heron, carved on the bench, is a familiar sight, and has been through all the years she has strolled along here – and it showed up right on time as we sat there!  She thinks she has done nothing extra-ordinary.  But I think she has.  She has cared and nurtured people her whole life, and is as open-hearted now as ever, happy to chat with another Pat!  I think of all the caring women who have touched my life, and those whose love has touched me indirectly – like Bridie.  And I salute them all and thank them each.

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