Thursday, April 29, 2010

I hope it rains on Vappu

"I wish it would rain on Vappu". The doctor said to me.

I was surprised. Granted, she made me wait even though I turned up in time. But the face of the girl who left the consulting room made me realize that sometimes good doctors have to run behind schedule for a reason.

For a person afraid of medical procedures, I have always had great times with all my doctors. Many of my close friends are doctors, and I was lucky enough to be treated by some good doctors since my childhood. The doctor, indeed, was not the average Finnish person you would meet on the street. For one thing, she smiled, even on a miserable rainy afternoon.

Throughout the checkup and the procedures, we bonded. We both joked about the weather, we both asked about our cities of origin, we both drew maps of our countries in little post-it notes to show it to each other. And as always at this time of the year, the discussion turned to Vappu.

I wish it would rain on Vappu.

Seeing my mouth hanging open at her comment, she explained further. "Do you know how many kids are found on the streets each year, just children, thirteen or fourteen years old; unconscious and sometimes not even knowing their own names, children who get only their things stolen from - if they are lucky."

"So every year near Vappu, I hope for the rains so that the kids stay home and get drunk, and then they are passed out in their own home or in their friend's home, not in the streets waiting for police and volunteers to carry them into the first aid posts and sometimes into the hospital. "

"I have heard stories, and it is not pretty."

I did not ask her if she was a mother herself, but what difference did it make? She obviously cared for the kids who she had never met, and possibly never will.

So this Vappu if it indeed rains, I will not feel too badly about it. Instead I will be thinking about the doctor who has seen enough to wish for the rains.

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