When it happens to me

At some point, if you’ve lived long enough, you think you know everything, have seen everything, experienced everything, heard everything. Maybe there is a little nuance here and there, but when you hear the beginning of a story, then you already know about the end, until, yes, until your own story teaches you that things can always turn out very differently.

I was prepotent enough to claim that my life would go the course I assigned it, as if I could control it and determine it, as if life were asking for my ideas and putting them into practice without ifs, ors, or buts, until I thought found myself at my husband’s grave on a cold, gray November day. And it was raining. I didn’t feel it. I was stunned. Not that we had a very happy marriage, but at least, we had had it for decades, and even if there was nothing intoxicating about being together, it was at least a being together. I had pictured everything so beautifully. The children had come into the world, and I had stayed at home, to live my motherhood, fully and completely, and the more independent the children had become, the more I had arranged my life again according to my goals. At some point they would move out and have children of their own. I could look after the grandchildren from time to time and still pursue my goals. I now have grandchildren, but they are so far away that I rarely see them twice a year, my children and my grandchildren. Well, I thought, then all I have left is my goals and my husband, and as soon as I had thought so, I was sitting here, at this grave, on a November day in the rain that I couldn’t feel.

All plans were suddenly destroyed, everything different than expected. I was completely alone. A drastic way in which life showed me who is really in charge. Cruel indifference. And so, I sat there and quarreled with fate. No, I no longer quarreled, I took it like the rain and the cold. After all, it didn’t matter. Whether I sat here or not, whether I went or stayed, nobody cared.

In one fell swoop everything was different. I had no plan or direction. So, I stayed where I was because it was as good or bad as anywhere else I could have gone when suddenly a low whimper reached my ear. I wanted to ignore it. I didn’t want to let it be my business, but I couldn’t. The whimper came from a pocket that was next to the tombstone and that I hadn’t noticed until now. I looked carefully inside and discovered a small, brown ball of fur in it, which was trembling and pressed into the furthest corner of the bag. The little guy was soaked through. He was shivering from the cold. No, I don’t want you to touch me, kid. I don’t want to get involved emotionally again, I thought while he looked at me with his little brown button eyes, clattering in his fur, which was far too big. He was just as insecure as I was, but he tried to approach me. „Come on here,“ I finally said and carefully took him in my arms, „First we have to get you dry.“ Only then did I notice how completely soaked I was. I quickly ran to the car and took him home. „Don’t think you wrapped me up,“ I thought when he fell asleep full and dry next to me on the couch, in his seat.

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