My seniors group is always interesting, more because of the combination of personalities than because of the activities and content and this recent happening was no different.
The morning was drawing to a close and we were suddenly interrupted when a very thin woman with her hoodie pulled up over her head, obscuring her face came in the front door.
She was half crying and said she had come for a food voucher so while somebody went to get the person in charge of food vouchers the woman sat on a chair, just to the side of our group.
After a moment of surprised paralysis I went over and said "So, tell me what's going on for you?"
She blurted out that she hadn't eaten since Sunday (this was Wednesday) and followed up with "after that I had the vomiting and diarrhoea"
Her way of saying it was disorganised and I wondered how it all fitted together, then had the idea to offer her some immediate food in the form of our morning tea left overs. I was sure there was an egg sandwich somewhere but when I went to get it, there were no sandwiches to be found. There were a few strawberries and some teeny pieces of a rich chocolate slice. She thought some strawberries were all she could manage so I handed over the mostly empty punnet. At around the same time, Miss London loudly said "Give her a sandwich."
I didn't respond to Miss London and my attention was focussed on other things so I can't confirm the next part of the story but word has it that Miss London was poked n the ribs and asked to be quiet!
A funny story for a bunch of old church ladies.....
While all of this was going on, Ann was rubbing the woman's shoulder and talking about blood sugars.
"Tell me your name? " I said
"How is it at home? Are you staying warm? Would you like a blanket?"
Yes, an extra blanket would be a help
By this time the person had arrived with the food voucher "Can we get a blanket for Sandra?" I asked. The answer was an unequivocal yes.
The voucher lady led Sandra away for a bit and when they came back there was a backpack, blanket and food voucher. I felt it was a small miracle, I had expected someone would need to buy a blanket and take it to her or maybe she would be given a voucher for that, too.
Somehow, oddly, the strawberries made their way back to me and I packed them away in the bag they came from.
As we got in the car to leave, Miss London was visibly distressed and I knew it would be best to take her to her favourite seaside haunt for lunch. As it turned out, all she wanted was a coffee. It was an unexpected little insight into the heart and mind of a woman who has seen it all.