Dear Lady in the Car Park (I apologise for not asking your name),
It has been over a week since meeting you and I must admit I think of you daily. I think of the moment we shared. I think of your reaction. I think of what you shared with me. I think “What if I hadn’t queued at that specific time?”, “What if I had gone in to town in the afternoon instead?” We would never have met and our encounter wouldn’t have happened. So I am very grateful I got up early, arrived in town, took 5 attempts to drive around the car park to find a space, because if that all never happened, I would never have got the chance to make you smile through your tears of heartbroken sadness.
Our conversation started as British as we could get, tutting at the queue in the pouring rain. Both declaring our regret at not remembering to bring umbrellas. We expressed how typical it was, had we brought them, it would be glorious sunshine and we’d be left with the burden of lugging it around all morning. We chatted cheerily for around 10 minutes.
I must admit, I do have a soft spot for older ladies. If I could, I would adopt as many as I could. I think maybe because I sadly don’t have any Grandparents left alive, I miss the company of the older generation. You were so friendly and warm, I forgot we were standing in the freezing rain.
I then had an idea and a overwhelming feeling that I wanted to do something for you. When I asked “How long do you need a ticket for?” you must have thought that it was an odd thing to ask, but you answered without hesitation – “Just an hour, I just need to pick up some medication from Boots”.
Your reaction when I turned around from the ticket machine and handed you a parking ticket for one hour, was priceless!
You looked at me with tears in your eyes and a broad smile on your face. You thanked me and said what a lovely thing that was for me to do and then you told me your heartbreaking story. Your husband had passed away the day before, after a very short battle with cancer. You had no local family and were about to begin planning his funeral. You told me that what I had done for you might only be a small gesture, but it meant the world to you.
I gave you my deepest condolences, we hugged, we departed and with a wave across Wadcroft car park you were gone.
I shall remember you forever and I hope we meet again.
Lots of love