Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Stranger things have happened
In the mid to late 70's I lived in San Diego. While I was between jobs I did some baby sitting for a very sweet girl named Amelia. That's her pictured here. Lovely, isn't she?
I always wondered what became of her. Amelia would be in her 30's now. Is she married with children of her own? Or maybe she's an astronaut in training for the next shuttle launch. An archaeologist? A nurse? An athlete?
I'm posting her picture here because I believe in fate. I'm hoping someday, someone will stumble upon this blog and recognize that sweet face. Slim chance you're thinking. Well, stranger things have happened.
When I was in college I had a friend, Diane, who was a couple years older than me and who was an important influence in my life. She was an artist with an independent spirit. While I was wondering where the next party was going to be, she would balance me with discussions about politics, literature and current events. Her sense of humor was amazing. To this day I can see her throw her head back in a bout of laughter.
After school, Diane married a fellow artist and I moved to Atlanta. We stayed in touch, but in the days of no Internet or cell phones, our connection was not as close as it once was. A couple years into her marriage, Diane became pregnant with twin boys. I saw her not long after the babies were born and she was a a radiant mother.
My next visit back home I spoke with Diane's husband and received the sad news that she had cancer. The prognosis was not good. A few months later, Diane passed -- her sons were not yet two -- and over the years I lost touch with her family.
Fast forward thirty some years to about a year ago. I was attending a local theatre production and began thumbing through the program prior to the performance. Looking at the credits, I noticed a familiar name. The same name as one of Diane's sons. I contacted the head of the theatre company -- did this man have a twin brother?
My message was passed along and before the day was over I communicating by email with one of the boys. It was a heady experience telling him stories about his mother. So many wonderful memories and feelings resurfaced. He 'd lost his grandparents and his aunt, so connections to his mom were dwindling, and the stories were well received.
Don't doubt the power of fate, the presence of serendipity. At my last lunch with Diane's son, I learned that her grandson had been born on my birthday. Coincidence? Of course. But still a powerful reminder of another connection to a dear friend I thought I'd lost many years ago.