Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kindness

The A to Z Geniuses
When one of our loved ones (adult, fully capable, with some common sense) sets out on a lengthy trip, we pray.  We hope for safety.  We try not to think about all the what-ifs

When our son "Victor" returned from two week biking in Germany and Switzerland, he told of one of the what-ifs.

“I mis-judged this part of the Alps. And the ascent, how steep it was. Then it started raining, a hard cold rain that nearly blew my poncho off.  By the time I reached the summit, my thighs were knotted and cramping.

I was freezing, I started doing exercises, flapping my arms, anything to keep warm.  A few energy bars in the saddle bag, but not enough to refuel.  My map app showed how far it was to the next town.  It wasn’t that far, maybe twenty miles.

It was a slick downhill ride.  Rain in my face, soaked me to the skin.  Dark sky, no moon, just my bike lights to show me ten feet ahead.  Cold, bitter cold.  Shivering so hard that handlebars vibrated.

Then lights ahead, a hotel. Started crying, so relieved.  Pulled on the door handle and found it was locked. Closed for the night.  Pounded on the door. Any one there?

Then the door opened.  A woman about my mom’s age, rounded and hands on hips.  She said something in German.  Then she grabbed and pulled me inside.

She acted just my mom.  Didn’t understand her, but she put me in a room with towels and a hot shower, so nice, down the hall.  Putting my gear near the heater, heard her calling.

Like Mom, for sure.  Sit down here!  Eat! Eat more!  And then she probably said something like this: WHAT did you THINK you were DOING?!

I fell into the best bed in the world and slept hard. There was a huge breakfast waiting for me, and a bag of bratwurst and cheese.  Plus some more mom-words.

I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t opened that door.  If she hadn’t been so….kind.

After a 60 mile jaunt
338 words

61 comments:

  1. Terrible adventure, good ending.

    When my adult children tell me about their "what ifs", even years after the incident happened, it causes me great anxiety. These are stories they should share with others, not their mom.

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    1. LOL! I agree wholeheartedly!

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    2. I am glad he shared this story with us. It showed so much to me about his world experiences. It is the stories I never hear that worry me.

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  2. Susan, this story raised my blood pressure several notches in the beginning. What a kind woman whose actions will never be forgotten by your son. Love how he thought she was like you --what a feeling .

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    1. God arranged the path for him, put people in the right spots. I guess his view of them as Moms meant that he was under my care in some way.

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  3. Have had a similar experience, staying with a German woman and being cared for with great kindness. She is 90 next birthday, we are still friends.

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  4. Thank God for that German lady. Sounds like he got a deserved mother-scolding.

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  5. Those kind of strangers sure show the good side of humanity

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    1. Thankfully those strangers appear just when needed.

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  6. The kindest of strangers is a remarkable thing. I am so glad your son found a mom to help him warm again.

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    1. It was a relief to me when he told us about this. Provided for, in a night rainstorm, by a stranger who told him in German what he knew I would say.

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  7. Hurrah for the truly kind people in the world! I'm glad he came across one when he needed it most.

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    1. How different life would have been if he had not stopped, if the woman had not opened the door, if...

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  8. Such a heartwarming proof that kindness still exists. Beautiful. Thank God, your son is fine.

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    1. Thanks for commenting on my blog. My son has learned so much as a biker that now, he would not have attempted this so close to night. Thank God is my thought every time I recall this event.

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  9. excellent travel story. My husband and I were on the road in Switzerland. We stopped at a place thinking we could get something to eat. Folks were sitting in the bar area. We asked about food. Minimal English, but they gave us menus and cooked lunch. Looking back I think they were done with the lunch hour. But they were......kind! Indeed - a smile and thanks go a long way

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    1. Kindness is always repaid. That is a lovely story.

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  10. Oh wow-thank God for this woman's kindness!!!

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    1. Wow, indeed. In retrospect, my son said he realizes that he could have died from exposure if that door had not opened.

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    1. Such relief, I know he felt. As I listened to this, my heart clenched and then released as he told of the mom-like person.

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  12. wow! that is an amazing story of hospitality. It's sad we don't hear stories like this more often.

    thanks for stopping by.

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    1. I am sure those stories out there, and should be told. Hopefully. to their families.

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  13. Leave to a good Old German House frau:) Sounds like my mom or my Aunt. I am so glad he made it there and he must be, to this day, so thankful to them. Has he ever sent them a thank you letter?

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    1. I asked him that, and he said he could not even remember where the hotel was, or its name. I would like to thank her myself.

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  14. How lovely that he found her. How lovely that the person he found was filled with the milk of human kindness.
    And how awesome that the person she reminded him of was you.
    In the dark days it is always wonderful to hear that kindness still exists. And thrives.

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    1. Pretty amazing, the whole thing. He told his sister that he could have frozen to death then, but....

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  15. Makes a good story though doesn't it?

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    1. Great story, true story. He better not do something like that again!

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  16. How neat. Such a great word for the letter K.

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    1. In checking other blogs, Kindness was a post for many.

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  17. Such a kind act! And a great story for the letter K.

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    1. I wonder if she realized what she did...

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  18. I love those mom words! thanks for making me laugh, Susan!

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    1. If he had spoken German, my son would have gotten some major bawling out!

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  19. Your son will never forget the meaning of kindness. I love the universality he found in another mom. She knew instinctively what to do, and God bless her for doing the right thing! Thanks for visiting my blog :)
    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails

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    1. We moms all the world over have to recognize a lost child, even if that child is a grown, albeit lacking in common sense, man.

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  20. A great cycling adventure in Switzerland, Great experience!

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    1. It took him two weeks cycling time, and then two weeks recovery time.

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  21. Good thing she opened the door. But she had to have seen how cold he was and with the storm... Who would have done different?

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    1. Exactly! No one should every turn away a shivering and almost blue person in need.

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  22. Oh, my. What a good woman. I'll bet you'd like to thank her! (I almost want to thank her!!) I suspect only the good memories of that experience will linger. :) It may become one of the best memories, overall, in years to come.

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    1. He talks about it, reveals more each time.

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  23. I'm glad the story had a happy ending!

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    1. Me, too! The 'what-ifs' will continue to hang over me.

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  24. Thanks goodness that wonderful woman was there for your son! You hear so many horror stories of bikes breaking down, and cars not seeing them on the road, that it's especially nice to hear how everything worked out in the end. Hope your adventurous son continues to stay safe on the road.

    Julie

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    1. My son learned a lot from that bike adventure, nearly 6 years ago. One thing he said was "respect the mountain".

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  25. Mums are the same the world over. Thank goodness your son found one.

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    1. When I visit Switzerland next time, I will try to discover the town and hotel. I want to thank her in person.

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  26. Hi Susan,

    A heartening tale of kindness. There is no language barrier when it comes to the kindness of a mum, even one that isn't your real mum.

    Thanks for sharing this story, Susan.

    Gary :)

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    1. A loving mother would never turn away a child in need, even if the child is a 6 ft. + young man.
      Thanks for checking in, Gary!

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  27. What a wonderful post on kindness, Susan. This is primary reason why my husband and I grab any opportunity to help a young person when we are travelling. I would like to think someone is there for one of our children when they are far from home. Thanks for visiting IWSG.

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    1. God provides all with the opportunites to serve and help someone. This is what I think, too, from your comment:...someone is there for one of our children

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  28. What a beautiful story. Kindness is such a simple concept and yet sometimes so lacking in today's world. Stories like this are a wonderful reminder of Man's ability for kindness.

    TD Harvey
    A to Z participant
    http://www.tdharveyauthor.com

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    1. Thank you for your comments! I always told my students when I was teaching: You will never regret being kind, but you will always remember times you were mean with regret.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!