While I was browsing Facebook yesterday I saw something really interesting. It was a post by a man discussing his mother’s death, their relationship, life. And he mentioned, almost in passing, having lost his backpack once in college, and a homeless lady found it. On one of the notepads he had written “Mum” with a phone number, and this homeless woman called his mother and arranged to get his stuff back to her. After that, for years, this mother and woman would check in with each other regularly. Keeping in mind this was before cell phones, so each call they would end with the next day and time for a call, usually to a payphone, I imagine where the homeless woman would be waiting.
It really struck me. This, well, humanity. Two people who had a happenstance encounter then keeping tabs on one another, checking in, over years. Maybe, too, I was struck by the effort involved. Now, most of us can quickly reach out to pretty much anyone with a cellphone, a computer, but for both to stick to set times and places to call, to continue to make the effort when I didn’t get the impression they ran into one another, there was no family obligation, just a simple obligation, one person to another. It reminds me a bit of my Dad. My Dad loves looking at Craigslist (I know where I get my interest in LeBonCoin from!), and through a purchase there met an elderly gentleman that he now regularly keeps in touch with. A chance encounter, that has led to this gentleman taking the train out to spend the weekend with my parents, my Dad stops by now and then, sends him some pocket money now and then (so he can vary his meals from ramen)… And I think they both get something out of it, and beyond the material. It is a positive and enriching experience for everyone involved, on a basic, human to human level. I think some of us are “better” at this then others, maybe. My Dad seems to attract people, of all walks of life and is friends with many many people. I can think of many characters from my childhood, all that entered into our lives from some chance encounter. And the beauty of all those relationships isn’t lost on me- I realize how hard it can be to make friends, find a place in a community, or even in the world.
These weird, unexpected, encounters feel like destiny, or fate. Something meant to be, something that was meant to happen, pieces of a puzzle falling into place. Each person bringing something to the other, everyone enjoying something from the encounters. I like thinking that it is fate, meant to be, that we are all fulfilling some bigger picture, or moment, that we are all linked in some strange, unpredictable way.