Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • He walked right by us on the walking street. We were sitting at a table outside of our restaurant and yes: he walked by, and twice.

    Yes, he greeted us, and very friendly, but neither of the two times did he approach us to chat a bit, which my husband and I both kind of expected.

    He is another German, who lives here nearly as many years as I do. We have never been close friends, but we used to have common close friends. I knew the girl - friend who came with him to Mexico, his following one, who also was my close friend and I know his Mexican wife since about 25 years, we are kind of friendly with each other. I know his two adopted daughters, who for many years I picked up to bring to school and he would stand there at the side of the road and hold their hands and be a great father.

    I had not seen him for years. He must be my age. He looks great, actually he looks more attractive now as an old man than he seemed to me ever before.

    He is from Kiel, about an hour north from Hamburg and Northern German people are not overwhelming in their emotional expressiveness, they are cool and reserved much as Scandinavians are said to be.

    When he passed the second time on the walking street and did not come close but his eyes locked for a moment with mine and friendliness poured out of them, I suddenly knew why he did not stop for a chat: his oldest daughter, 33 years now, is painfully dying of Cancer. Everybody he meets in this small town muct stop him and ask and he must have told and retold the story a million times by now!

    I know: he did not want to tell the story one more time, not on this day...

    The way he had looked at me while greeting and passing surged up in me while waking up from sleeping the following night. Suddenly I felt so very, very close to him. I felt deep compassion. He might not feel at all that I feel this ever since that moment at night a few nights ago, but to me happens this astonishing thing: even if he has no idea about this, it makes me happy to feel so close to him, suddenly, after all these many years.....

    __________________________________________
    Artwork by Kiki ( Azul busca su camino - Blue Searching For Its Path)
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.