Tears are our traces on this planet

Author: Vera Dudikot’o
Location: Ostrava
On a train I met a sad-eyed old man. After a moment of silence, we started talking. He told me he was traveling to Pardubice to lay flowers on the grave of his daughter. She had married a professional boxer, and three years ago he beat her to death.
The old man said that he could never accept her death. Of course he wanted the husband to be punished. He could take him to court – but he would never do that: she cannot be helped any more, and it could harm her two little children.
When we got off the train he asked me to go with him to the cemetery. He didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t feel like going, but finally I did.
We put the beautiful bouquet on the grave, and he started crying. In his tears I saw all the despair there is in this world.
I wasn’t feeling so well either. I was embarrassed; I had no idea how to behave.
Then he said something very moving: that he was not at all ashamed of his feelings because they helped him stay himself.
Suddenly, in all his helplessness, he seemed very strong to me. Now I understood the old saying that a man’s strength is measured by his ability to endure pain. Tears are our traces on this planet, like tracks in snow.
He thanked me for not having left him alone, and when we parted, he seemed content. I was the one who was totally exhausted. I had no energy left. I almost missed the next train.
So nothing is easy: important things are never easy. Right?________
On 16 May 2002 Michaela Reichlova of Usti nad Labem responded:
Dear Miss,
I have met the same man when I was in Pardubice to see a grave of my friendwho had been killed in an accident (he was struck by a truck).The man toldme the same story. I was deeply moved. Then he took me to a cafe and triedto sooth me. We became friends. Then he took me to a hotel and finally thisbad man stole all of my money from me. You were lucky that you didn´t gowith him and left. He didn´t have time enough to rob you. Farewell…

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