I’m left today elated because the results of my scan were very good. Once again, however, I’m rather sad that people are so unused to small acts of kindness that they can regard them with suspicion.
At the hospital I was standing by the coffee machine when a woman with almost no hair, painfully thin and fairly obviously suffering from cancer, came towards me with a ten-euro note in her hand. We said hello to each other, which is quite normal and then she asked if I had some change. I had quite a lot but not enough to change her note so quite naturally I held out a one euro piece and told her it didn’t matter.
It’s a euro, right? Not exactly a solid gold bar, but she thrust the note at me again to prove that she had the money. What followed made me very sad.
“Listen. I’ve just had some very good news and I’d like you to help me celebrate by allowing me to buy you a coffee. Will you do that?”
Finally she realised that I hadn’t taken her for some kind of beggar and gave me a big smile. I wanted to hug her. When she thanked me effusively I explained that we are all here to help each other and the next time it could be me that just didn’t have the change.
“I wish there were more people like us in the world,” she sighed.
Yes, sweetheart, so do I and I’m glad I was able to pat you on the arm and wish you “Get Well Soon”, because knowing that I’m not dying and you might be, it really was the very least I could do.