Lily

Lily
Lily Tessa

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Photography
Photography

Archer

Archer
Archer Leo

How a five minute encounter with a stranger changed my entire outlook



Yesterday an old man stopped me in the park and asked if he could sit and watch my kids play a while.

We went on to have a conversation that I want to share with others. Because it’s a conversation that will remain with me forever.  




As I said, yesterday an old man stopped me in the park and asked if he could sit and watch the kids play a while. 

 I asked him if he was okay and he told me that Archer looked just like his son when he was that age.


 “Once upon a time I had a massive family” he told me wistfully with one eye on the kids. “And I’ve still got them, but I haven’t got them – if you know what I mean?

I didn’t know.

Oh they’re still alive” he told me cheerfully. “My three sons, my boys. They’re still alive, happy and healthy but they’re all grown up now and living in Australia with families of their own.

He chucked Archers ball over to him that had rolled under the bench near his feet before he turned to me and continued.

 “My wife is still here with me but she’s not very well. She used to be the life and soul of the party, a non stop chatterbox and these days she’s quiet as a mouse. I’m lucky to get one word out of her all day.
I told him how sorry I was to hear that and he told me how he calls her his sparrow, because she barely eats, except to nibble on the food he makes her every now and again [like a little sparrow.]
But it’s great” he went on to say, his entire face lit up “because on Friday I bought her a bag of chips from the chip shop and she ate the whole lot! It felt like I had my old Jenny back again.

[And honestly my heart almost broke for him. Then and there on that spot.]

He must have seen something on my face because he was quick to reassure me.

“It can be lonely sometimes, walking through this park alone now when I used to walk through it with my wife and kids. But don’t feel sad for me because my memories keep me happy, memories I’m so lucky to have had in the first place. And looking in to the face of your boy is like rewinding the clock back 40 years so thank you.”

Then he stood up to leave. Tipped his hat to me, ruffled Archers hair and said “Do enjoy this time with your children miss. Soon enough they’ll both be grown and just a treasured memory inside your head instead of the reality you have now.

And then he was gone. 

And now I can’t get his words out of my head.


Bless his lovely, lovely soul.


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3 comments

  1. What a sweet old man and such wise words. I remenber people always saying to make the most of my eldest being small and how quick they grow. She's now ten for goodness sake and it really does fly by x

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  2. Oh my goodness, what a wonderful conversation to have had with him. It really does make you want to focus and appreciate every single thing doesn't it.

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  3. Oh good grief, this has got me all choked up. It's sad really, to know that one day that will be us. So thought provoking - thank you So much for sharing x

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