While in Scotland recently I noticed in the local rag’s death column the passing of a 91 year old woman that I knew from the village wherein I grew up. Seeing her name triggered a memory of long ago.
As a child I used to play with her son, Billy. One morning on the way to school we strayed into a copse to look for birds nests with the result that we arrived late for school, a transgression for which we were rewarded with the strap from the headmaster. As far as Billy’s mother was concerned I was to blame for leading her son astray and therefore she banned him from ever playing with me again. That was over fifty years ago.
This week a work colleague said that the wife of a homeless centre volunteer wished that I would be a friend to her husband, Terry. She felt that I was the ideal company for him: similar age, interests, viewpoints and Celtic background. Terry had told his wife that he had enjoyed my company. I was touched when I heard his wife’s wish and contrasted it with Billy’s mother’s wish all those years ago.
I somehow feel validated now.