She Taught Me to Really See
During my working life I was an occupational therapist. At one time I was working in a Day Centre for elderly people.
One late Autumn morning I woke late, I was having a bad hair day. I got ready and went out to find a gale blowing and rain lashing down. Jumped into my car..........it refused to work. I had to run to the bus stop and waited ages for a bus. I got to work rather late and in a bad mood.
I helped to serve cups of tea to the old folk and served old Elsie last, she was my favourite and I used to sit and chat to her. Elsie was blind and she asked me why I sounded so down that day. I told her why and had a moan about the horrid weather. Her reply was................
"I went blind on a day like this, and being an artist it was very hard, but I had such beautiful memories of the world around me." She then asked me to look out of the window and describe what I could see. I replied that the sky was miserable and grey, the trees had hardly any leaves and leaves on the ground were blowing all over the place, and there was a large cobweb just outside the window.
Elsie then said " Imagine you are going to paint what you can see, how would you blend a colour to match the mystic grey of the sky, do you see any brave leaves clinging tenaciously to the trees? What colours can you see on the fallen leaves, they are not just brown, look closely at that spider's web, can you see raindrops clinging to the strands like little diamonds?"
I looked again, thought about what Elsie had said and realised what she meant. Elsie said so many people looked at the world without really seeing it. She was a wise old person.
When it was time to go home I walked her to the door. She asked me to remember, kissed me on the cheek and said "I will see you later".
Elsie died that night in her sleep. I went to her funeral and when a gentle breeze caressed my cheek it was as though I felt her last kiss again, and felt that she really could see me!