Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Umbrella

I am back from Hamburg, and very grateful to be at home with my two Shelties again. 

My journey to Hamburg was for an MRI scan of my brain at the Marienkrankenhaus.  I was much impressed by the hospital itself, but the journey exhausted me and filled me (naturally enough) with anxiety.  Of course I know that my disease is only going to get worse, but most of the time I put that nasty fact as far out of my mind as possible.  Now I worry about what the scan will have shown.  I'm rather attached to my brain!  I don't want to lose the function of any part of it.

A very serendipitous thing happened while I was in Hamburg.  Friwi and I had planned to go out to dinner, and set off on foot from our hotel, only to find ourselves smack in the middle of a downpour.  It did not let up, but as I had not eaten all day, we soldiered on in search of a hot meal.  (This we finally found, and it was excellent.  I had a spinach pfannekuchen.)  After the meal, of course the rain had not let up in any way.  We were soaked to the skin, and dripping!  I must have been looking as bedraggled as I felt, for suddenly a smiling lady stood in front of me, offering me her umbrella.  She wanted me to take it and keep it.  I stammered out to her that then she would have  no shelter from the rain, but she just smiled and showed me the hood of her coat and how it would shelter her perfectly well.  She really wanted me to accept her umbrella and keep it.  So I did.  And kept looking behind me to see if she was real.  She might have been a good angel, after all.  But she was very real, a small lady hurrying to catch up with her companions, her hood pulled down against the rain.

When we got ready to leave Hamburg the next day, Friwi wanted to just leave the umbrella behind in the hotel room.  Instead, I took it back with me, perhaps to give to another stranger someday, someone who looks like they could really use it.

The unexpected kindness of a stranger has an effect that can change the entire outlook of a day.  Even a dark, rainy night beset by ill health and worry.  Something to remember, as all of us can be kind.

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