A Brief Encounter.

An account of a very strange occurrence.


I picked up the phone to be informed that my late wife’s wedding ring was now ready for collection.It had been re-sized to fit my finger.I was going to keep my promise to wear it .

When I looked out of the window I could see that it was going to be another one of  those wet, windy days,and I decided to leave the visit to the Jewell for another time.

While doing my chores my mind kept nagging that I should go and collect the ring today.It kept bothering me until I gave in and called for a taxi,not being able to drive anymore.

The rain had not stopped,but the driver dropped me outside the shop,and we arranged for him to pick me up in an hour’s time at the entrance of the shopping centre where I could shelter from the wind and rain.

At the entrance of the shopping centre was a bench for people to rest.I would be able to see my taxi arrive from there ,so it was ideal.

Getting to the place I saw an elderly lady sitting on the bench and I asked her if she would mind if I joined her.

“Please do” she replied,whereupon I sat down.

“Not a very nice day,is it ?” she said

“No, and the wind is quite chilly “I replied. I had a feeling she wanted to talk.

“Oh,”  she said”It doesn’t help my mood at all; I have such a great deal to worry about.You see,we have been married for 68 years,and we had a very happy marriage.My husband was always busy and a very happy person to live with.Never a dull moment, but that has all changed now.

He has been diagnosed with a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.He had two sessions of chemotherapy,and gave up any further treatment as he could not stand some of the side effects.Ever since then he has been so depressed,and I don’t know what to do.I love him like always, and I want to help him, but he won’t let me do anything.All he does is sit there and moan and groan.”.

She also told me that they were married when she was eighteen years old.I thought, How strange,just like Edna and I .

She obviously wanted to talk to someone,and I must have looked the person she could talk to.

“Well that is so very strange,let me tell you a little story that might help and give you some hope.

I am 91 years old, and like you I have been married since my , wife was 18 years old,and we have had a happy marriage for the last 68 years.

Nine years ago I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I have undergone two full cycles of Chemotherapy,and I am presently on a tow-monthly maintenance dose.We have weathered the various side effects and as you can see I am still here and we were happy until my wife passed away two months ago.

I have nursed her for the last four years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.It was not always easy for either of us, but we managed. Our love for each other helped a great deal.

I hope that our story will have been of some help to you my dear, and  have a word with your husband when you get home,and tell him what I have just told you”.

“There is your taxi”,she said,”and thank you,I feel a lot happier now,and I wish you all the best”.

On my way home,and ever since I have been wondering how this came all about.What made me go that day, when I had already decided that I was going to wait for a better day to collect the ring?

Who or what arranged all this,it was weird.I never knew the lady’ name and I wonder if my little story gave her, and naturally her husband some hope.Has he continued his treatment?He could easily be sitting next to me when I go for my next bout of Chemo.Who knows?

This episode seems so strange that it makes me wonder what it is all about? Fate? Coincidence? I don’t think so .To my mind it was arranged by some greater power.

E.W.Peters.                                                                        12-10-2017.

© pommer 2017
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critique and comments welcome.

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thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

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