Friday, August 24, 2018

Coincidences Happen, Believe It or Not

Yesterday, I was proofreading/editing on Jim’s memoir, Indelible, and came across a story about picking up a Memory Walk T-shirt that my sister-in-law had made into a tank top for me. When I read that, I realized I hadn’t seen the shirt in years and doubted if I still had it.

Later in the afternoon, after doing some housework, I realized I’d worked up a sweat. I went into the walk-in closet, lifted up some shirts stacked on a wire rack, and picked a white one to pull out from the middle of the stack. It was the long missing tank top.

I don’t know how many books I’ve read, or TV shows I’ve watched where someone says, “I don’t believe in coincidences.” What exactly is a coincidence anyway? A coincidence is the occurrence of events that happen by accident. It seems that lately in my life—coincidences rule.

At the Missouri State Fair, during one of the live acts I watched, the performers sang “Suds in the Bucket,” a song we hear in line dancing exercise class. This song was a hit for Sara Evans fifteen years ago! Okay, so I’ll admit that wasn’t too odd.

The next day, Harold and I went to brunch at Golden Corral, and were the first two in the building. While we were taking our plates to the buffet line, someone cued up the music. “Suds in the Bucket” was the first song they played.   

The last day of the Missouri State Fair, I needed to pick up some Alzheimer’s brochures, my photos, and my granddaughter’s drawing. I decided to go to the fairgrounds early to pick up the brochures because I had to pick them up before six p.m. The artwork and photos couldn’t be picked up until 6:30.

Widespread rain was moving into the area and I wanted to limit the amount of soaking I would endure. I’m sure it’s just a coincident that even in the midst of a drought; it always rains during the fair.

For some reason, I decided to walk down a different street than usual. I stopped to watch some horse-drawn carriages and moved on. I decided to take a shortcut between two tents, and came face-to-face with my son. Rob was hanging around to see if the races were going to be rained out.

Rob decided to go with me to pick up the Alzheimer’s brochures. Before  we had even moved from the spot, a man stopped and shook my hand. “It’s good to see you, Linda,” he said. It was a man I had served with on the Alzheimer’s Greater Missouri Chapter board of directors.

You don’t have to believe in coincidences for them to happen. How many times have you been thinking about a song, and turned on the radio at the exact same time it was playing? Or maybe you were thinking about an old friend, and she called you. Have you ever had a sick feeling in your stomach that something bad was going to happen, and you find out later that something bad happened at the time you had the feeling?

Was it a coincident that Jim was a Vietnam veteran—was exposed to Agent Orange, suffered from PTSD, had clinical depression—and developed a rare dementia? It could have been a coincident…

Coincidences can be great surprises, life’s little mysteries, or downright weird. I know some people don’t believe serendipity assumes a significant role in our lives, but I believe it does. Sometimes, I think most of the pivotal events in my life have been the product of chance and coincidence.

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Copyright © Aug 2018 by L.S. Fisher

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