A Chance Encounter

Image may contain: flower, plant, sky, nature and outdoorIt was a bit cooler today, we had some rain last night. By far not enough here in Bavaria while they had heavy thunderstorms in other parts of Germany. During the morning, after my water treatment and massage, I packed up some clothing I don’t need anymore and went looking for a Salvation Army container to donate it. I saw a Red Cross shop, just looked in for curiosity sakes. I could not believe a) the quality of their donated offers, and b) the prices. 2.00-3.00-5.00 or 7.00€ for really GOOD stuff. If I ever come back, I’ll travel without a suitcase, get what I need, donate it at the end of my trip and be worry free on my way home.

But, now I need to tell you about that afternoon. After a healthy noon meal and a little nap I took my Nordic Poles and wandered off. I got myself a kilometer counter. I seemed the only person walking through still blooming meadows, quiet forest as the birds were resting during the midday heat. Coming by a Hunter’s restaurant I decided not to stop for their fantastic cheese or apple cake. I rested on a bench for a while, feasted my eyes on the beauty surrounding me and checked my km counter. It said 3.7 kilometers.

After another 3 km I arrived at the “Kurpark”. I was drawn to a bench in the sunshine, occupied by a big elderly gentleman with a bright red sweater, his pretty little brown dog next to him. For an unexplainable reason I stopped and commented on the dog. I am a bit of a dog nut, and this was one I could have fallen in love with. I heard a sad story about it, how it was born in Spain in a garbage pile with three others, the mom went out scavenging for food, came to nurse and went off again. The dog babies were very afraid and shy, but this man and his wife decided to rescue one. They picked a little boy and called him Carlos. Carlos liked me, sniffed my hand but did not lick it. We just sat there next to and looked at each other. Then Carlos decided he had enough sun, got down, the man let the leash out and Carlos settled in the shade of a nearby tree.

Now, as you can guess, the man asked me if I lived in this town. When I told him about my home in Canada, he was amazed that I still spoke perfect German without an accent. I mentioned that I have a book reading next week.
“Oh, on Tuesday in the Gugger Hause and you are Mrs. Roeder.”
I exclaimed, “How do you know that?”
“I happened to see a poster yesterday and decided to be there. My name is Roeder as well.”

Can you imagine that the next half hour was taken up with ‘what, where, when etc.’ – and how that little dog had made me stop to experience something so totally out of the ordinary.

I needed to share this with you!

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Finally – It’s Here!

Forget Me Not
List Price: $11.95 US
Add to Cart

Following the publication of the eBook version I am so happy to tell you that print versions are now available from CreateSpace (Amazon). To order click on Add to Cart.

I know you will enjoy these short ‘true’ stories. As the title of the book also makes a terrific gift I wish you fun with it.

Forget Me Not – A Bouquet of Stories, Thoughts and Memories

Authored by Giselle Roeder

A thousand ‘Forget-me-nots’ have lined my path. From adoption, babies, cancer, dating, depression, dogs, earthquake, escape, grandmas, kayaking, love, Olympics, politics, from superstition, war to weeping angels and many surprises in-between – these stories are part of me and part of the people who touched my life. During the time we spent together – sometimes only days or hours – we shared our experiences and memories. I remember them all, some with laughter and affection, others with sadness, but they live on in my heart. Wander a mile or two with me along the winding path of life, and let me share my stories.
Each story, thought or memory in this ‘Bouquet’ carries a message and all lend themselves to reading alone or in a group. They are independent of each other and surely incite discussion.
What people are saying:
Giselle Roeder broke barriers of personal pain in her memoir ‘We Don’t Talk About That’. In this ‘Bouquet of stories’ she shares her thoughts about world events and tells of people who greatly influenced her. Each story makes you think and incites discussions. It includes several not to be missed surprises! – Barbara Lange, Winnipeg.
Giselle writes compelling stories. After reading her memoir – which I would place next to ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’ – her present book is a delightful ‘bouquet’ of stories. I am still waiting for the sequel to ‘We Don’t Talk About That’ and it seems that ‘Forget Me Not’ is somehow a bridge between the two. – Bob Pickles, UK History writer.
I really enjoy reading Giselle’s stories. A change from her memoir. – Carol Dunaway, British Columbia, a voracious reader.

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“A letter to Cindy:” #Dog #Poodle #Grief

CindyFor a long time you have been on my mind so I just have to write about my thoughts and maybe even feel a little closer. I won’t ask you the typical question: “How are you” because I know that you cannot answer it. But sharing my memories is another cup o’tea. Memories are the only way to connect and not let somebody you loved so much, die. I will not go into believes about an “after-live” and the hope to see everybody again: My granny, my parents, my sister Ingrid who had to die so young and several of my dearest friends. But I do have to admit: I have had moments when an almost wild joy flooded my veins that it might just be possible.

image0 (3)I will never forget how much you loved me. You were always there for me. I still wonder how you knew when I needed you most – but you always did. My tears were flowing copiously when I read the book about the two brothers sailing, their boat had keeled over and one held onto the hand of the other and finally the hand slipped away and only the younger one survived, sitting on top of the boat. The elder boy was the darling of his mother, she blamed the young lad and never forgave him, the marriage broke up, the boy needed counselling, – it was heartbreaking.

Cindy, my dear little Cindy, you sat close to my legs, kept cuddling closer and then you put your little head on my knees and when I did not stop crying you pushed it up between me and my book, looked at me and stopped me from reading. Another day, I came home from work, totally exhausted, made it up the stairs and lay down on the blue Tunisian carpet in the fetal position to ease my back. You lay down next to me and looked right into my eyes. When I turned around to ease my other side, you walked around me and again, lay down and looked at me. We did not need words.

Or all those mornings, when I would sit at my office desk, dealt with letters that my secretary had placed there, phone calls that came through, – and you were close to me, next to the radiator, sleeping or maybe pretending to sleep. Never failing, at 10.30 you put one of your little paws on my knee. I pretended not to notice, until after a while you put a second paw there, I still did not notice and then, with a deep sigh, you pushed your little head through under my arm and looked straight into my face. “It’s time to stop, – let’s go out for a bit.” This game became a daily occurrence and I still miss it.

Another thing I relive in my head seeing you sitting in my car at the steering wheel, your eyes fixed on the door into the bank where I had gone. One day there were about 10 people around the car and I almost had a heart attack seeing them all looking into it. I rushed across the street, expecting something terrible. But as soon as you saw me you jumped to your place on the old blanket on the back seat and assumed an air of innocence. You were not allowed in the front seats! I ask the people why they were standing there and they exclaimed:

“It was so damned cute seeing that little doggie with the paws on the steering wheel! But she never even looked at us, no matter what we did. Her eyes were fixed on that door across the street.”

Ohh yaah, Cindy, you were quite a character. When I came back from my annual trip to Europe after three weeks and my family was happy to see me, hugging me and I was looking at you, talking to you, and you would walk away several steps, sit down and put your nose into the air, not looking at me. I admit, the first time this happened I was really hurt. But then, after a few hours, when the excitement of the family had died down, you came to me and showed me sooo much love, you couldn’t even help yourself, wiggling, cuddling, making little noises- oh my God, it brought tears to my eyes and I felt bad to have left you for so long. I miss you to this day.

I was awful when I was called to the vet. My seven year old boy, Eric sat there crying, holding you on his lap. You lifted your head just a bit, looked at me, giving a big sigh to say: “I am so very sorry.” Then the doc came, carefully took you from Eric. You looked at me with very sad eyes and after not even another minute doc came back out and said: “She is gone. Do you want to take her body or should we look after it?”

Cindy, I cried for six weeks. You were my best friend. The best I ever had. You gave me so much love, unconditional love, during a time when my life fell apart. Without you – I honestly don’t know how I would have managed.

One thing I learned: “TAKE MORE TIME” for what is most important…
image1 (2)Just sitting there.
With big brown eyes you looked at me
to tell me – you are mine.
And I – pretend not seeing you,
because
there was no time.

Because there was no time?

You loved the car. You want to come?
One step – you stopped, then ran,
you couldn’t resist to be with me;
One nod was all – oh man!

When I lay down – you did that too,
you were so close to me.
Oh little dog, where are you now –
I want you here, you see?

I want you here. Just sitting there.
I’ll tell you, you are mine.
I’ll love you unconditionally
as you did all the time.

It is too late..

The car hit hard,
your eyes, they closed forever.
I’ll never see your wagging tail
invite for play me, clever.

You were all mine..

It will be quiet in my house,
no welcome bark nor whine –
Oh Cindy, why, oh Cindy why
did I not take more time.

Did I not take more time…

 

Internet love – It was the wrong date… #love #companion #dog

Helen was close to tears all the time. She knew that her beloved companion did not have many more days to live and she just couldn’t imagine her life without him. She worked at the library, only ten minutes away from her home and at lunchtime she would run back to see how he was doing and try to get some food into him. The last few weeks had been hard; he was now totally blind, eating very little, dizzy and unsteady, she had to put diapers on him and almost wished it would be over soon. She did not have the heart to bring him to the vet and have him put out of his misery.

Cindy“Oh, Giselle,” she breathed, “I love Pepper so much, how can I be the one to kill him? I just can’t see myself making that decision.”

I tried to make her feel a little better by telling her about my memories about pets.

“I understand. I lost a dog once, but it was different. Cindy was run over and I cried for six weeks until my seven year old boy insisted on getting another dog. I remember my father shooting his beloved cat Peter; he had him for an amazing twenty-one years, and Dad cried after he did it. He explained to me that he was being kind to Peter who was suffering and dying anyway. And, Helen, – you would be kind to Pepper. What kind of life is this for him? He suffers, Helen, and you don’t have to shoot him, the vet will give him a needle and he will gently fall asleep.”

It took a few more days before Helen did what had to be done.

It was about two months later that I ran into her in a Coffee Bar. She looked fine to me, – almost happy. Giving her a big hug I couldn’t help asking:

“Heh, you, – how are you doing? Did you get another dog? You seem like a new person to me!”

Pointing to the chair next to hers she offered me some Newton fig cookies but said:

“Here, have some date squares, – you want a coffee?”

Then she gave me the biggest smile:

“I am happy, Giselle, I really am! – You wouldn’t believe what I did! I’m embarrassed to talk about it… and I don’t want to ‘jinx’ it…”

“Oh, come on, – we have known each other long enough. What did you do? And, by the way, you are eating Newton fig cookies and not date squares…”

“Whatever. Okay, I’ll spill my beans but you must promise to keep my secret for now. I couldn’t stand living alone after Pepper was gone. One night I went online and checked out the dating sites. I figured it would be nice to have a human companion I could travel with instead of another dog who keeps me at home. You know, – I lived ten years with Pepper after my lousy divorce, convinced that ‘a dog is a woman’s best friend’ but I’m getting older and I want a bit more out of life now before it’s too late. Believe it or not, – I have about three dates a week! I found a dating site for seniors, with men looking for the same thing – companionship.”

Wow! I was dumb founded. I looked at her, I was incredulous, and by now she was very excited to tell me about it.

“I always meet them at this Coffee Bar, I want to be safe. They don’t need to know where I live. So far I have met most of them only once, I liked a few of the guys but none has even asked for a second date. But there is one, – Giselle, – I am going to see him again on Saturday. But I have another date this afternoon. I feel like a teenager again, – it’s cool, maybe you should try it!”

When I met her a couple of weeks later she couldn’t wait to tell me more about it.

Grinning, she confided:

“Remember that afternoon date I told you about over coffee? I was waiting for the new guy and lo and behold, all of a sudden the one I had a date with for Saturday stood in front of me. You can’t imagine my embarrassment! I felt the blood rushing to my face I wasn’t sure what to say, but he just sat down, smiled and complimented me on my healthy colouring…“

“Oh my God, Helen, what a situation! What did you do when the other guy turned up?”

“That’s the doozy, Giselle, he never did! It was this one I had the date with. I kept looking at the door until he asked me why I was so nervous. I took heart and told him about my mistake and we had a good laugh. That laugh settled it! We have been seeing each other quite a bit and even plan to go on a trip to the UK in August. So what do you say now?”

It was almost a year later when I worked alongside her at a volunteer function. When there was a bit of a lull she held her left hand in front of my face and looked at me expectantly. “My goodness”, I exclaimed, -“you got married?”

“Giselle, he is incredible. I had a broken shoulder and he cared for me while I lived with him for several months. He really proved himself. When he asked me to marry him I agreed wholeheartedly. My home is for sale and I will live with him. When I sold my car, he immediately had his transferred into both our names. I was so lucky for having met him and he thinks all the luck is on his side. We are so happy. Can you believe it? To have a new start like this in our ripe old age?”

“Helen, my congratulations! I remember the day when you introduced him to me. I told him you are a keeper! He seems to have taken it to heart. Please tell him that I am glad you are together for the rest of your life.”

Cupids heart“Bet ya, Giselle, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep him and myself healthy so that we still have many years together.”

Hope. There is always hope! The Internet, – canoodling while Googling?