I went to a old train station museum today and looked around at the antiques and old tools of days gone by. As I walked around to the platform that once held passengers departing to several cities down the track, I came upon a old woman who was just sitting there looking sad and knitting to pass the time. I set down and spoke to her to see if everything was okay.
"Are you okay Mam, you seem like something is wrong?" I looked at her hoping to see what was wrong before she spoke.
She smiled and chuckled for a moment and started to speak, "I am fine, I am just waiting for the train to arrive to take me to New town."
To which I was a little shocked, did this lady not know that the train had not passed by here in years. That the building was in fact just a museum of something that was no longer used. I spoke gently, as I did not want to upset her, "Mam, how long have you been waiting on this train to New town?" She shuffled through a book and then thought for a minute, "You know I do not know, it seems like it started some time ago. The wait is not important, only the train which will come and get me soon. I have relatives in that New town already, waiting for me. They used to stay on this platform with me every day, but something happened and they ended up getting to that town before me and without the train." I set puzzled for a moment, was this gentle woman really thinking straight and seeing memories that really happened? Could she really have not noticed in all these years that the trains never arrived anymore, and that the building had not been used? Were there ever really other passengers who waited and then left in some way that she would not have seen? I could not figure this out and so I spoke again, "Mam, why do you want to go to this New town so bad that you would wait here and never leave for so long?" She smiled again and seemed excited that I asked, "Well in the New town, there is only love and happiness and the people all treat each other with kindness and good hearts. Doesn't that sound wonderful?" Well I had to agree and I nodded, "Yes that does sound wonderful, but how is it you have waited so long and not tried to make this town such a place while you waited?" She seemed puzzled that I would ask such a question, "Well the other town is already like this and the mayor has done the work for me. If I stay here, one person could not change the whole town, plus these people do not want such a place or they would have done it already on their own. So here I will wait for the train to my New town." I felt a sadness in this conversation and wondered just how long she was here. I got up for a minute and began to walk away, but she spoke again, "You do not believe the train is coming do you?" I tried to be respectful but I said what I thought, "No I don't, this building is a museum and the tracks do not go any further then fofty yards in either direction. No train will arrive and no New town is down these tracks." She seemed to accept my answer, but followed with, "It will come and you will see, but unless you wait on this platform you will not get to go to the New town and you will be stuck here in this town without me." Then she settled in more looking down the tracks, apparently not noticing that they lead to no where and could service no train to pick her up. I did not want to argue with her and I felt she really believed what she said, so I went back into the museum and started to leave. Then a man walked up and asked me if I talked to the lady on the platform, to which I explained I had. He shook his head in sadness and spoke, "For 40 years she has waited out there, waiting for that train. I have fed her, clothed her and tried to bring her in, but there she waits looking for that train. I do not know what to do, she will not listen and no matter what she always tells me she is afraid to leave in case the train comes while she is gone and leaves without her." I could feel his sadness, but what could I do. I walked out and went back home. It was a week or so later when I was looking through the local paper that I saw that this woman had died. The obituary was short, but it told a long story. It said ... "A local woman, who lived 70 years spent 40 years waiting for the train to the New town. She told everyone about it and said it would arrive soon. She died waiting on the platform that was closed 4 years ago and in her hand was the train ticket she cherished so dear. Yet their never truly was a train, only a track that stretched only far enough to see from the platform in both directions and because she never left that platform, she never saw that it was nothing more then a track that came from no where and exited to the same place. She was proceeded in death, by others who waited in vain as well. Services will be held at the platform on Saturday, all are invited to learn why she waited and perhaps learn to wait themselves." ....... So how many of your relatives are still waiting on that platform, for their train to New town?