A REALLY Good Morning ?

We couldn't get a parking space near the shops, so had to park at the top of the road and walk down, "Oh well, at least it's a nice day" my mother said, detecting my annoyance. The thing is, when you have M.E even a few steps can seem  like the Green Mile.

Anyhow, as we began the walk down the residential street an elderly gentleman was making his way towards us on a zimmer frame with his just purchased newspaper tucked under his armpit, we moved into a single file to let him pass but said "Good Morning"  he looked up from the pavement and looked me directly in the eyes, paused then smiled and nodded "Good Morning"  The following week the same thing happened:
"Good Morning, Nice day for a stroll?" I beamed
"It is" he replied, before adding " Can I ask you something?  why did you stop to say Good Morning to me the other week? 

"Er... I guess because we're old School and it's just about being friendly and courteous" I replied, a little perplexed.


Again he nodded his head, and then went on to explain that he was in his nineties but that he'd felt invisible. He pointed to where he lived, just where mum had parked the car, and said that he went out every day to get the  newspaper, sometimes he didn't even read it because it was full of rubbish but he just liked the walk and seeing other people, but  nobody seemed to see him, sure they took his money, maybe said thanks occasionally but it was usually with their head down, nobody saw HIM. Is this what his life had come too?  



The previous week before he'd gone to purchase his paper for what he thought would be the last time, he'd decided to take his own life sometime later that day, nobody would care anyway because he was Invisible, they wouldn't even notice he'd gone.

"Did you see my surprise when you said Good Morning to me?" he asked.  
"Yes, I did" I replied  
" Well that's because as I was coming back from the shops, thinking I was invisible and that nobody cared and this would be my last day on earth, my thoughts were interrupted by you saying Good Morning, and when I looked up and saw you looking right at me with that beaming smile I realised I wasn't Invisible after all, you could see me, you could really see me,  that's why I looked you in the eyes, I knew that when you said Good Morning you meant it, it wasn't just a comment without thought, you were saying Good Morning to me  because you  really were wishing me a Good Morning because you cared, even though I was a stranger?"

"Of course" I nodded

" I felt it was a sign, he continued, So I went home, made a cup of tea, sat in the chair and read the paper.  Something had shifted, Just knowing I wasn't invisible after all made me think I'd stick around" 
"We're very glad to hear it " said Mum and I in unison rather shocked. 
Over the next few months we saw him regularly, and always made sure to say  "Good Morning" and stop for a chat, and then one week we didn't see him, nor the following week, so we knocked on his door but there was no answer. We went to the shop where he purchased his newspaper every day and asked the assistant  and that's when she told us, his son had been in to say he'd  had a fall, been taken to hospital but had sadly passed away. 

We were gutted, but drew comfort from the fact that he'd  died knowing he wasn't invisible. I'd like to say this is a one off story but unfortunately it isn't.  There's been a number of times we've discovered that a "Hallo" or a "Good Morning"  has saved a life, and so I hope if you don't already do it, it's something I can encourage you to think about doing? And not just to an elderly person, to anyone that passes you by, and yes, even that group of teens lurking somewhere inside their oversized hoodies.

There are an estimated 2.2 million people over the age of 75 living on their own and it's thought by 2025 there will be 2 million over the age of 50 living by themselves,  everyone has their struggles,  young and old  and we often don't know what's going on in someone's life, just because they  have family or may look okay on the outside, it doesn't mean they're  okay on the inside?  And just having someone acknowledging they exist can make all the difference?



Of course there's the flip side where someone ignores you, or just glares at you, but we've found that in most cases it's met with a smile and an echo of  "Hallo" or  "Good morning".   It seems most people are so busy rushing around these days, switched off, headphones on, talking or texting on their phone it's so easy for others to become invisible, and yet a short greeting  can make  the difference between life and death to someone, so, please take time on your travels to notice those around you, you never know just how good you really could make someones day? 
                                  
                                                       Til next time, Stay Blessed
                                                               Back Before Elvis
                                               


Comments

  1. I always try to say hello or at least smile and acknowledge anyone I pass and it upsets me greatly that other people don't do the same. Like you've mentioned in the great post, something so simple can change someones day or even life, for the better.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Kelly~Diane really appreciated. Yes, I think we could learn alot from other cultures?

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