As Ms Claire and I continued to sit on the bench in the garden a light breeze from the tall silk cotton tree shed away its beautiful large crimson flowers from its branches on us. A variety of colourful beautiful birds hummed and chirped as they relished the nectar from the flowers as we watched, making this moment very mesmerizingly magical.
We were fast approaching midday and I was concerned about Ms Claire as I wanted her to enjoy her lunch that was scheduled for 12:30pm. I took Ms Claire's hand into mine and politely suggested that we return to her room to take delight in the rest of the day.
Ms Claire didn't take much time to decide and quickly agreed and we stood up and she wrapped her arm around mine. We walked past the lobby and got back to her room within a short span of time.
Once Ms Claire sat down on the comfortable recliner by the window side, I offered her a glass of a refreshing fresh mint lime juice which she slowly sipped with great delight. The juice perfectly complemented the warm weather. As she placed her glass on the side table Ms Claire said with a smile, " thank you Disha, this refreshing drink has quenched my thirst".
As I was about to sit down, I noticed a door hidden behind a curtain. I wondered where the door led to and curiously, I walked towards it to investigate. Unlocking the door and stepped outside, I was awestruck and surprised to see a beautiful balcony. The view from the balcony was spectacular and breath taking.
The view was of a mountain nearby with lush green grass and trees. I was spellbound with the beauty of the view and further couldn't contain my excitement. I quickly got back into the room and asked Ms Claire to join me in the balcony. She too seemed very surprised as she didn't even know about its existence. It didn't take much effort to persuade her and lead her towards the balcony.
The balcony was furnished with wooden floorings, with an array of vibrant flowers growing in ceramic pots that were placed in each corner. A small round table with two stack chairs were placed opposite each other. The stacked chairs were cushioned making us sink into the comfort of the seats and enjoy the breath-taking view in front of us.
I took notice of the tray of food which had earlier been placed in Ms Claire's room. Carefully I picked up the tray and placed it on the table outside. As I opened the cloche the plate had a colourful mix of stir fry vegetables, a chunk of grilled chicken, some salad with pieces of tofu sprinkled with fresh herbs, and a chocolate pudding for dessert all in all the meal looked tempting and exceptionally mouth-watering.
As I finished serving Ms Claire her meal, I quickly opened my lunch box and picked up one part of the egg sandwich that I had prepared earlier on in the day for my lunch break. Before I could take a bite, I politely offered Ms Claire to take a bite of the sandwich. She was more than happy to give it a try. As I happily watched her take a bite it was not long that she asked if she could eat the remaining half of the sandwich. The joy I felt knew no bounds as I was very happy to share the sandwich with her. After thoroughly enjoying the sandwich Ms Claire slowly continued to finish up the rest of her meal.
Ms Claire was truly a wonderful person. I couldn't help but wonder why someone would have to leave her at an old age home. She was warm, kind, loving and almost had an infectious permanent smile. My admiration, love and respect kept growing for her.
We enjoyed our meals and continued to sit in the balcony. The breeze was gentle and the fragrance of the roses from the garden captured my senses all adding up to having a relaxing afternoon. As we carried on enjoying our time with each other Ms Claire asked me to bring her handbag from the room.
As I picked up her handbag once again my sight fell upon the photo frame which was placed in her bag. Without taking much time I handed over the bag to her and she picked up the photo frame from her handbag and clutched it close to her chest as if to hug it with affection and love. Tears rolled down her cheeks and just within minutes she started to tell me more about herself.
"I have learned that in life one must feel welcomed, heard, seen, valued, loved and respected", she said.
"Often people are selfish and constantly think only about their needs, desires and gains. This manipulative nature often leads to meaningless relationships," Ms Claire continued with a sigh as she handed the photo frame to me.
I took a quick peek at the frame as I wondered who might be on it and to my surprise, the frame was empty. I looked at Ms Claire in confusion as she continued "My child don't let it shock you, I know that the frame doesn't contain any picture, do you know why?” she asked and continued “Because no one close to me is worth being remembered."
I reached out for her glass of water and prompted her to take a sip, she grabbed my hand and nudged me to sit by her side and said to me "My child, you are special. I have bottled up feelings for as long as I can remember but today you have given me all the freedom that I have always longed for. I have realised today that I am very strong from within, and I am thankful that you brought back the spark in my life, and I feel that a new lease of life has been added into my dull boring life and for this I shall forever be grateful to you”, she smiled and gave me a huge hug.
Well, the rest is history Ms Claire left the old age home and bought herself a warm comfortable cottage to live in and today she bakes and sells small, tasty cupcakes to the old age home where she once lived.
As for me, I make it a point to visit her twice a week as she often shares her experiences, knowledge, and wisdom which I know cannot be taught or read from books. Being with her for such a short time was the best experience in my life as I now believe that anyone is capable of reaching out to any goals as long as we can rid ourselves of our self-limiting thoughts and beliefs and once we understand, master and learn this with determination then we are capable of achieving and manifesting anything we desire for in our life.
Always remember that we are capable of achieving anything in life as long as the fire within us is nurtured with love and care so let no one dim our light.
By Disha Sharma