I’ve never really believed in coincidences. I used to explain the phenomenon as fate or “meant to be.” Then I learned of Albert Einstein’s statement that “coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” and I thought, “That’s it!” But the truth is that God isn’t very anonymous when He performs the miracle that is a coincidence.
I’ve written about my friend Shelle before and how we connected in 2009 when it seemed impossible that I would see her. I have also wondered how my two worlds, my professional life and my personal story, could possibly connect. And then I meet Robyn.
I was away at a professional conference the week after Thanksgiving. It is held the same time every year so I simply put it in my calendar. This year the timing seemed inconvenient; only two and a half weeks until Christmas when I got back. Professionally, it’s a perfect time of year for the conference. Personally, it cuts into the Christmas season and adds some additional stress. However, I knew I’d get to see Shelle and that made it worthwhile. (Yes, we spent a couple of evenings together in Vegas, and that’s all I’m going to say). The conference was great, and seeing friends from around the country was wonderful.
One of the nice things about being at a professional conference is getting to see friends in the industry that I’ve worked with over the years but we are now at different colleges. We don’t get to see each other unless it is at a conference. And while Facebook is a great place to stay in touch, it just isn’t the same thing. One of my lunch dates was with a former colleague and dear friend, Rebeccah. Rebeccah brought her co-worker Robyn with her.
We chatted about people who were still at Rebeccah’s institution; catching up on various changes. I asked about a mutual friend who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. My question was posed in such a way that I realized it would be out of context for Robyn. So I turned to Robyn and said, “I’m a breast cancer survivor, just so you know where this is coming from.” Our exchange then took a different route.
Robyn had recently lost a very close friend to breast cancer and she wanted to know about mine. We shared our stories and our knowledge. I disclosed how Rebeccah was part of my story. Rebeccah told of her experience with me. In the end we talked non-stop for over an hour.
Again, my two worlds collide. Coincidence? I think not.