Often on our walks in life we come across some amazing people, and this past weekend was another one of those times for us.
It was an extremely hot, high pollen count and very dry day at this particular large event where there must have been about 8,000 people, surrounded by vintage cars, numerous side attractions, Archery, Mini Quad bike racing, ice cream, bungee jumping and burger stalls, canons, tractors, steam engines as well as many more exciting activities.
If you are lucky enough to take some children along to such events, then they give any adult the wonderful excuse to be a child for the day - not that many of us need that excuse! or if you haven't tried being a child for the day . . this is a must . . . for it keeps your heart and soul young, even if the muscles and bones feel a bit aged!
As you can probably imagine trundling around in such a humid heat made everyone hover around the ice cream/tea tents or at the very least in the shade. In fact it was one of those days that individuals troubled with Asthma or Emphysema would have been struggling.
Like most of these events there was a corner filled with smaller activities or mini entertainments with a mass of screaming kids to attempt to muster through. These mini entertainments are often for the very young, yes, you guessed it, the ones where you can get the chance to win a gold fish, or a plastic toy which often doesn't last more than a few moments after winning them before they break. However, we are delighted to say there were no Gold fish stands and the toys, to our surprise seemed quite robust!
But a few of the stands cost only £1 instead of the usual £5, so some of the kids, who only had a couple of pounds left, were naturally pulled to these particular stands and of course their eyes were tuned in to all the toys that could be won. Next to one of these stalls was a lucky dip, again only costing £1 but this was the only stand guaranteed to win a prize, so naturally there was a massive queue.
Now having set the scene from a parents point of view, although we did have a shot at the lucky dip - and won! we ended up standing for ages waiting till the children had their turn.
One of the things that enchanted us the most was the smile on each of the children's faces when they were given the choice of which toy they wanted having won the game (costing only £1) and indeed the sheer excitement on the ones who had picked a prize out of the lucky dip again costing £1 was truly humbling to see.
However, what we also noticed, while waiting, was the joy that each win brought the Lady who was behind the counter, it was as if each child winning just a little something gave her so much joy that her smile seemed to extend from one ear to the other. But as the children we took got closer to their turn we moved closer with them and to our astonishment we noticed that this extremely happy (but fairly aged) Lady had a nasal tube attached to an oxygen machine which was very cleverly hidden in her apron which had been very wisely hidden to her offside so in fact most people wouldn't have probably have noticed.
Like many of you we have known and know numerous people who are attached to an oxygen machine, but what we have never seen before was a lady who donated her whole day, from the early hours of the morning to the early hours of an evening totally dedicated to her work and to making each child happy. In fact she moved our heart strings so much that when there was a 2 minute gap in her children's queue, we went back to her and spent 5 minutes to briefly interview her.
She seemed particularly touched that we had noticed her, and that we actually wanted to spend time talking to her. We said that we admired her courage coping in the horrific humid atmosphere and the heat of the sun and she proceeded to say ' Well, I was told I would only have a few months to live, and that was three years ago, and when I was bed ridden, I refused to give in and said to myself 'I am not going to let this illness get the better of me and I haven't, it's mind over matter you know!' she said. We of course had to agree with her as this is also our thought and that far too many people today with this type of an illness and many others do just give in, although of course there are the unfortunate few who are not able to let mind over matter rule their illnesses.
We so admired this lady and offered to shake her hand, which she accepted and then said 'we had better not keep her back from all these excited children and that it was indeed a privilege to meet you today Ma'am, and we just wish many more people could carry your ethos of life. You are an inspiration to many . . . thank you'.
She smiled and said, 'Bless you . . . . not many people notice you know'
A truly humbling experience, in fact a triple humbling experience and how;
1 The joy this elderly and strong hearted lady brought the kids
2 The courage she had to fight her illness
3 The example or standard she set for many others who don't let their beliefs be 'it's mind over matter'
A humbling little post . . . . for a special little lady who brought and indeed brings much joy to many . . . thank you Ma'am
And the biggest lesson here, is, please, don't buy something with your eyes shut, notice the person who serves you, commend them for learning to carry on even if they have a health issue, or indeed a hidden health issue, because far too many people never notice, but the example from this little post is being noticed on this occasion made this Lady's day. The other lesson learnt is remember the long term effect something can have on your health if you give in to something. As this wonderful little lady said 'I refused to become dictated to by my illness or indeed to end up feeling frustrated by becoming chair bound!'
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