Wednesday 18 May 2016

An Unexpected Visit

A strange thing happened to me yesterday (I love it when I get to start a post that way). I was just finishing up my chores and getting the kids to bed when the doorbell rang. It was an elderly lady I see sometimes going past my house or shopping nearby with her husband.  She asked if she could have a drink of water. I invited her in, gave her some water and she decided to sit for a while.

She asked me how many children I had, how many were girls (I think she only has sons), how my parents were and whose running machine was in our living room. If anyone else had walked into my home and asked so many questions by now, I might be a bit worried about what they were up to. But I like nosy old ladies who ask lots of questions, and it is a different generation, they don’t see the harm in their questions. Or maybe they have become disinhibited enough to ask the questions the rest of us think about but know better than to ask.

I asked if she would like some dinner. She said that she had made diner and just needed the flour for the chapatti’s which her husband was picking up down the road. Then she told me she knew my dad and my grandmother. Her husband had worked at the Ford motor factory with my dad and they used to live nearby my parents and grandmother many years ago. I might have thought she was a bit nutsy, or mistaking me for someone else, but she named each of them in turn.

Then she eased herself up and said she needed to be off. She asked me to tell her husband she had gone home if he stopped by to pick her up and headed out of the door.

It was a slightly surreal encounter, it made me think though about all of the people my grandmother knew. She was such a sociable lady, everybody called her Aunty and I remember a constant stream of visitors to see her when we were children. She lived with me when I was a newlywed and we were never short of guests who would come by and sit to hear her stories, or tell theirs when they needed a sympathetic ear. Better still was when we got to witness one of her occasional and wonderfully acerbic, truth-telling, scolding’s when she thought someone needed to be taken down a peg or two.

When she died, we had people coming to pay respect for weeks, friends, family and then people who we didn’t know but who gran had met over the 40 or so years she lived here. It’s nice when every now and again someone else pop’s up who knows her. Seems like a person’s welcoming nature and kind words can live long after the person themselves.

image source


  1. Anonymous19 May, 2016


    Mashallah your Grandmother sounds a remarkable lady. May Allah grant her the highest place in Jannah

  2. For some reason, this post reminds me of those stories of the sahabah, or those stories where giving someone a glass of water brings you such rewards. Just goes to show there's unexpected wealth of stories in everyone! :)