I spot her as we walk through Myer on our way to Melbourne Central, and quickly say to Tim, “I’m going to follow her”.
But I couldn’t, not without offering to help carry her (very) heavy bag. She talked to me of her son, who had died recently, a (very) heavy burden for her to bear, and of her stroke which had caused her to forget things. We walked a few steps, stopped to talk, and walked on.
She used to work in Myer, many years ago – her first job after arriving in Australia from Malta in 1958. Her father had a Humber and would park out the front of Myer, go to the markets and then pick her up when she finished work at lunchtime.
I heard many stories, always returning to the death of her son four years before at the age of 39. She showed me photos, of him as an adult and as a child. She laughed fondly, before her eyes filled again with sadness.
I asked if I could take her photo, and she took my hand to signify her version of yeah sure.
This is Josette.