To Keep Me from the Rain

To Keep Me from the Rain

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom

To Keep Me from the Rain

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
~Ambrose Bierce

Sometimes it’s not the huge sacrifices that mums make, or even the countless things they do day in and day out that make you realize what really special people they are.

It was just a typical, dull and windy January day here in the North East of Scotland. When I left home for the office where I worked in the next town, the weather forecasters said, “Windy and cold, but no rain.” Naturally, by the time I was about to leave work in the early evening, it was absolutely pouring!

My office was close to the bus stop so that was no problem; I just shot out the door and onto the bus. Unfortunately, once I got home to Montrose, I had about a mile to walk from the bus stop to my home. Normally on a night like that, if my husband were home, he would get into the car and come and get me. That morning, he had told me that he was putting the car in for a service and it would be in overnight.

As I stepped off the bus that night to walk home, I struggled to get my tiny umbrella to go up in the strong wind. It had a sunny pattern on it and was obviously designed for a very light shower somewhere on the Mediterranean, not a Scottish downpour! Then, suddenly and to my amazement, I heard my mum’s voice.

“Quickly! Come under here, before you get soaked!”

I nipped under my bigger umbrella and stared at Mum in surprise. “What on Earth are you doing here in this weather?” I asked her. My mum was eighty-three that year, and although fit and healthy, she didn’t normally like going out in strong wind and heavy rain. In fact, if we got a few days like that, I usually nipped round to her house to make sure she didn’t run out of anything.

“You said to come round for tea tonight, but I came early before the rain got too heavy. Eric told me that your car was in for a service and I saw your big umbrella lying on the chair. I guessed you had taken it out to bring with you, but had forgotten it. Eric was on the telephone, so I just picked it up and came out so that I could meet you and you wouldn’t get soaked!”

My mum passed away the following year. This simple act remains embedded in my mind, and reminds me how completely my mum loved me. She wouldn’t have gone out in the wind and rain for herself, but, at eighty-three, she never gave a second thought about braving the elements so I wouldn’t get wet.

I just stopped and gave her a hug. And, as the umbrella shook all over the place, she asked, “What on Earth was that for?”

Only she could possibly have asked me that!

~Joyce Stark

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