Twisted Umbrella Handle..!

This happened over a decade ago, and it was a bit of a nasty fall I had that morning. It had been raining all night and yet I’d decided to go for my morning walk, and so with my umbrella firmly in hand I entered a wet deserted park and started at a brisk pace and the next moment found myself flying in the air!

I struggled to pick myself up from the slippery muck, wondered what I had broken and was happy that except for a bruised elbow and slightly twisted hip was nonetheless worse for wear!

“Why?” I had asked aloud, “had I been allowed to fall? Wasn’t there a God above who was supposed to look after me?”

It was then I noticed my umbrella handle. The thick steel had bent to a full right angle and I realized with horror the handle was what had broken my fall and the misshapen steel could well have been my wrist. “Thank you Father!” I prayed, “thank you for showing you are always there!”

“T’ was a few days later when my family celebrated the golden wedding anniversary of my in-laws. We had traveled to their hometown and my brother-n-law and family had also come down from Dubai where they lived.

“Bob!” my late mother-in-law had told me, “Could you plan a thanksgiving service for our anniversary?” And I did just that. “We’ll sing a song,” I told the children, “and you,” I told my poor brother-in-law who was still trying to unpack, get over his travel fatigue and find a place to keep his luggage, “will speak on such and such a subject!”

As I watched everybody getting ready for the big event, a neighbor rushed in, “Quick!” she shouted, “Your father-in-law has fallen down stairs! He can’t get up!” In a flash we were down and managed to get him to sit. He had taken quite a nasty fall and yet despite his age, not a bone was broken nor was he bruised!

We managed to get him home and as he put one arm round me and the other round his son and walked, I realized what I had left out of the whole thanksgiving service: I had forgotten to give thanks!

I had forgotten to give thanks to a God above for all the years they had had together, I had forgotten to mention his good health and that of my mother-in-law despite their increasing years.
His fall reminded me that He above had to be thanked, and that is exactly what we did the next day; we had an anniversary service that gave thanks!

I look at my twisted umbrella handle and there are tears in my eyes; I can write this piece because a God above saved my wrist. How often we need a small fall, don’t we, to make us realize and then gratefully whisper thank you..!

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at and can be reached at