Dr Elizabeth

I am lucky that in my job I often get to meet interesting people. It isn’t that my job is special or unique; I think it is more a matter of being in a position where I can ask questions, even in the form of small talk, which often reveals different stories and experiences. There is no underlying motive or salacious interest in personal details; it is a genuine curiosity about people and their experiences which is the trigger here.

There are some people that I get to know quite well through regular meetings, and others that are more of a one-time crossing of paths. It is surprising what people reveal, and I know that I too have been more likely at times to confide in strangers at points in my life. There is something almost of the confessional about sharing something which you might hesitate in telling a friend or loved one.

There are some remarkable stories that I have been told. There have been moments shared of betrayal or bewilderment at the actions of others, along with times of great joy and sorrow. Lots of laughs too as people enjoy sharing moments of humour and the random circumstances of life.

Lately, I have been thinking of one lady in particular who I knew in a professional capacity for about five years. A retired doctor, she would come in occasionally with some questions or seeking advice on one matter or another. We would get to talking and she told me many wonderful stories.

During one visit, she told me about an uncle of hers that had died whilst in his local bank. It wasn’t anything untoward; he died of natural causes. His wife had been waiting outside for him and she had wondered at what was taking so long. It was only when the ambulance officers wheeled him outside and she caught a glimpse of his socks that she realised what had happened.

I must confess that this played on my mind for a while and I ended up writing a short story – a work of fiction, apart from the identification from the socks peeping out on the stretcher.

I was saddened recently to learn that the good doctor had passed away. I will miss her wisdom, wit and generosity, and am grateful that for a while our paths crossed and that we were able to share some of our stories.

[Photo: camellias]

6 thoughts on “Dr Elizabeth

  1. What a shock for the wife to see her husband being carried out of the bank, where he had died. You are so right that we are often inclined to tell very private stories to strangers rather than to our own family members. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the beauty of when You meet such people you have shared something about them which in turn makes us think of all the people you have mentioned which is keeping their memories alive. I like that a beautiful sharing of personal journeys. I can not imagine how the wife of the man with the stripe socks must have felt. I think stripe socks will now have a slightly more poignant memory attached to them when I see them. They will still make me smile as I am sure the man who died liked his stripe socks, but that momentary thought of your story will be there too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Some people stay with you even if you cross paths only briefly. Dr Elizabeth was a wonderful person, and I enjoyed her company and stories so much. I’m glad the image of the striped socks resonated with you too – what a lasting impression for the poor wife. Thank you for taking the time to read and for your thoughtful comments.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s