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My Umbrella Angel

The Guideposts executive editor shares why this woman with an umbrella was an angel.

It was a really rainy day and I wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on outside my window. I guess I was staring at the smaller window of the computer screen. Midday I had to go outside to meet someone for lunch. I took the elevator down and looked outside. Pouring rain. And no umbrella.

If I’d only paid a little attention. If maybe I’d even checked the weather forecast before I left home. But no. Always in a hurry. Dashing here and there. Totally oblivious. I didn’t have an umbrella in my office. Didn’t have a raincoat. I could see myself turning up at the lunch meeting as wet as a drowned rat.

In our building in New York, GUIDEPOSTS’ editorial offices are on the 21st floor. And here I was down in the lobby, staring at rain. Florence is the lady at the desk in the lobby and I figured maybe she would have some suggestions. “Florence,” I asked, “where is a place I can buy an umbrella?”

“Borrow mine,” she said.

“Don’t you need it?” I said.

“Not until 4:00 when I leave.”

“Really?” I asked.

“Of course.” She handed me the biggest, widest, sturdiest umbrella I’d ever seen. “Take it.”

I did. It was a Godsend. I arrived on time for my lunch meeting, perfectly dry. I didn’t even leave it at the restaurant (why are umbrellas so easy to leave behind?). I returned it to Florence with greatest appreciation.

Sometimes it is the kindness that you least expect that makes for a perfect day—even if the weather is awful.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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