The Old Man with the Umbrella

It was a rainy, cold January morning. My husband had a check-up with our primary care physician. We go with each other to keep each other company while waiting. Most of the time, we don’t even speak to each other, but we’re together. He usually reads a magazine, and I observe and listen to others waiting with us.

Our doctor’s specialty is rhematology so he cares for older patients – older than us, that is. This morning, it wasn’t very busy. An older gentleman came in a few minutes after we had been sitting. He was the only one who bothered to bring an umbrella with him. He signed in and then sat in a chair next to the water cooler. He placed the umbrella between his legs with both hands placed on top of the handle and watched the TV.

After a couple of minutes, the young office assistant behind the window called his name, Mr. Osborne. I could tell he was hard of hearing, and sitting next to the water cooler didn’t help him hear the young lady calling his name. She called him a couple of times, raising her voice each time. When he finally realized she was calling him, she asked him, “Mr. Osborne, I don’t have you down for an appointment today.” He shuffled over to the window.

She told him again that she didn’t show an appointment for him. He pulled his smartphone out of his pocket. The calendar on his smartphone showed an appointment for that day. He was a bit agitated, so she told him she would check with another assistant. He returned to his chair and propped his hands on the umbrella.

She came out to the waiting room several minutes later to speak to Mr. Osborne. She informed him again that he didn’t have an appointment that morning. She said that he had called the week before and changed the appointment for the first week in March. He looked at her and said, “now, why would I call you and do such a thing? I need to see the doctor today.” She told him she would see what she could do and returned to her desk.

Mr. Osborne continued to sit with his hands on the handle of the umbrella. He put his head back against the wall and appeared to fall asleep. Several minutes passed, and she called to him. Again, she called his name several times, and he finally woke up and heard her. She told him they would make sure he saw the doctor.

About that time, my husband came out and we walked towards the door. Mr. Osborne looked like he had started napping again. I’m not sure how long he had to wait, but when we left, he was still sitting with the umbrella propped up, hands on the handle, head propped up against the wall.

For some reason, Mr. Osborne made an enduring impression on me. As we drove home, I wondered out loud if he drove himself to the doctor’s office himself and hoped he would get home safely. It also said that a confused mind must be scary – since he didn’t remember calling and changing his own appointment. At a red light stoplight, I turned and looked at my husband. I told him that I am so thankful that neither one of us have to sit alone in a waiting room.

I hope you enjoy this Bea-utiful Christian song called “God Made You For Me” which I dedicate to my soul-mate and loving husband who always tells me “Bea Positive” through all of the ups and downs.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Norma
    Feb 16, 2015 @ 00:07:30

    Beautiful…for sure…

    Reply

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