I am fortunate to have many dear friends whom I have known since childhood. The longest term friendship I have dates from the nursery at my church, where I met Linda when we were 2 years old. We have remained friends since then. I have several friends dating back to kindergarten and many more from first grade and other years of elementary school. One of my friends, Roger, has always held a special place in my life and in my heart. My mother, who has been described by my friends as “an icon of the neighborhood” for her kindness and generosity toward all of my friends, also loved Roger, perhaps just a little bit more than my other friends. They had a special bond that remained until my mother’s death. Sadly, events took place that led to years of estrangement between Roger and me. And, tragically, a mutual friend of ours guided our reconciliation, due to a promise I made to him prior to his death. When this friend was near death, he asked me to promise I would do whatever I could to reconcile with Roger as ours was a friendship too valuable and rare to waste. I contacted Roger on the day our friend passed away and we have taken positive steps toward renewing our friendship. The final stage of this renewal was a weekend visit to David’s and my home by Roger and his lovely wife. I provided them with several weekends from which to select the date they could visit. The weekend they selected included April 3, 2016. The morning of April 3, 2016 began with Roger reminiscing about his attendance at a children’s Bible study class Mom hosted in our home for many years and his fond memories about the good snacks she always provided to all the neighborhood kids who attended. He went on to say several other nice things about her. As soon as he finished, I said, “Well, now that you brought up the subject of Mom, I will tell you that TODAY is the 100th anniversary of her birth!” Of all the days Roger could have selected for our reunion, he selected Mom’s birthday! Coincidence? Not in my view!
I don’t know if it is an alignment of the stars, or what, but the fact that the events happened in the way Melissa described made the reunion with Roger even more meaningful. We all deal with issues in our lives and when they are enough to send friends on different paths, it sometimes seems to take special “coincidences” to bring those paths together again. And, when the path to a reunion was there, Leola (Melissa’s mother) was there in spirit to be a part of the party and to make sure it happened. I know she would have approved. Leola served punch and cookies, cupcakes, and other treats to Roger and the multitude of Melissa’s friends. And, while we updated her menu offerings, restarting a friendship was enhanced by including her presence in the festivities. The celebration of Leola’s 100th birthday was one way to take some of the tension away as the reunion occurred. It was a lucky coincidence, at the very least.