8 June 2015
While wandering through a very trendy and beautiful art and craft stop in Noosa (Australia) today, an English lady in her mid 70s remarked on a colourful painting of a cow as she walked past. She had the most amazing blue-gray eyes, was still very pretty and wore a lovely gray/silver pants and blouse.
After telling me I must be from Victoria because I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless blouse in June (locals consider it too cold to wear these), and nodding ‘no’ to my query as to whether she lived here, it somehow evolved into a full-on telling of her story.
Lucy (as she shall thus be known) married a very quiet man (Bill) but over the years, his conversation had reduced to a grunt. Consequently she said she was busting to talk to someone whose conversation extended beyond three words.
Bill and Lucy used to live in Noosa for many years and she loved it. Around 5 years ago, Bill loaned $100,000 of their wee nest egg to the son-in-law for a business venture. His big mistake was he did this without consulting Lucy.
Seems son-in-law promptly lost the lot, as well as his own home. Now daughter, son-in-law and their children rent in Brisbane, trying to recover from the huge financial loss.
With almost no nest egg to live on, Bill and Lucy had to sell their Noosa home and move back to England (guessing they could get a pension or some such financial positive there). They come back to Noosa for a few weeks each year or so to spend time with the grandchildren, whom she misses dreadfully. She feels huge resentment towards Bill for loaning the money without asking her … there’s apparently little chance they’ll get it back.
The story jumped around a lot from here. She was adopted but didn’t find out until she was 20. Her parents chose to tell her on the day she and Bill celebrated their engagement. “Supposed to be a happy day” she said, “but that put a dampener on it.” She remains puzzled as to why her parents never told her until that point. I was thinking “why pick a party to spill the news?”.
She loved her mother as she was a hard worker, but said her father was pure evil. He was a control freak and interfered with her when she was 11 or 12 years old. “I didn’t say anything to anyone because it was at a time when no-one would’ve believed me”. Later when she told Bill, she said he didn’t believe her either. He had the attitude of “just get over it”.
When Lucy was seven, her parents adopted another baby girl. She loved having a sister but found the 7 year gap was too much to be of any great value.
After Lucy married, she lived about an hour away from her parents and sister. One day a letter arrived (they didn’t have a phone, guessing this was the late 1950s) to say her mother had had a breakdown and was in a mental hospital (as they were called then). To this day, she remembers the trauma of trying to get out of work and find a way to get to the hospital as they didn’t have a car.
Seems the now 15 year old sister had accused her father of interfering with her, and sadly it was still at a time when children weren’t believed. When she told her mother, the situation blew up. Despite all this, the medical profession still didn’t believe the sister and her mother was distraught and failed to cope. Hence a trip to the mental institution.
When Lucy visited her Mum, the medical staff said not to believe anything her mother said (about the incest). “But she was as honest as the day” said Lucy, “so why wouldn’t I believe her”. When Lucy asked her sister why she hadn’t said anything earlier about what the father was doing, her sister said “he threatened me and even if I’d said something, no-one would’ve believed me anyway”.
Just to cap the story off, Lucy said her married life was difficult, doesn’t know how they’ve managed to last so long, and even now is surprised they’re still together. There was a few quick comments about her son being difficult but we didn’t go there at all.
So there goes our Lucy, trotting along in her 70s, feeling a piece of herself is missing. Along comes some random bloke who convinces her it’s God that is missing and yes indeed praise be to the ever mighty, she found that this indeed filled up the hole.
I can listen for hours to people with troubles, be empathetic and sympathetic, really feel for them, and dream up solutions if that’s what is needed. But the minute anyone mentions God, you’ve lost me. The brain says “uh oh, time to get out of here”. I’m a total non-religionist – once you’re dead, you’re dead; there’s no hell, there’s no heaven, no God, no miracles and no divine anything. In my humble opinion, you can be a truly good and moral person without having to follow a religion.
When I told Lucy this, her reply was “but you can never be perfect, that’s why you need God”. Asides from the fact I’m not remotely interested in being perfect, I also don’t know anyone religious who meets that criteria either. Everyone is basically the same – some good bits, some bad bits. One saying I like is “religion is the roof of all evil”. Every century, including this one, there have been people waging war and other evil acts in the name of religion. Listen to the current news … the saying still stands.
Lucy tells me she’s a born again Christian. Without wanting to denigrate her beliefs, I’ve always found born agains to be painful. For some reason, they have to push the God factor down your throat. And indeed, Lucy did exactly that. By the end of the chat, she decided I should find God or – shock horror – I wouldn’t find heaven. She seemed worried that I’m not in the least concerned about that.
Given all Lucy’s just told me, I’m thinking the hole in her soul isn’t any better at all with this finding of God. I suspect the born again Christian passion is a cover up which she hopes will make her feel whole. And that’s great, if indeed she did feel whole. But to me, she’s a very lost and hurting soul. You don’t tell some random person in an art shop your life story unless you have issues.
She said she’d love Bill to convert and can’t understand why he’s not interested. I can – poor Bill is probably going nuts listening to the religious stuff pouring forth, coupled with resentment over money, and not seeing improvements to his wife’s happiness factor.
With Greg patiently waiting outside, time to go. Lucy said she’d pray for me. Not sure what for because all is well in my world and has been for the last 20 years. But Lucy, I trust you can find what you’re looking for in whatever fashion works for you. Everyone deserves peace and happiness in their later years, and I hope you find that above all else.