Definition of serendipity:
(n) : an unsought, unintended, or unexpected discovery, made by accident and sagacity; the discovery of something by accident while investigating something quite different.
I always wondered how serendipity worked. I used to think it was just a used cliche that was used for romantic comedies. I am not sure I had really thought about the definition of serendipity and whether or not if I ever noticed it happening to me before. Today I had a moment of true serendipity. It was so evident that it almost knocked me on the ground when I realized the power of what had happened.
I had a “friend”, someone I probably had not seen except on Facebook for 8 or 9 years, put a request for help moving this weekend. Like most weekends I had tons to do but for some reason I felt compelled to offer my help. I thought to myself that is the part about paying it forward is doing things for others when it may not be convenient for you. Stepping out of yourself and doing for others. I also know how much it sucks to move and have no one help. Moving is not my favorite thing to do anyways.
I hadn’t been feeling real well all week so much so that I ended up going to and Urgent Care because I felt so bad. Ends up I have kidney stones, if anyone has ever had them, then you know how painful this can be. Normally I would have messaged this friend and told her I wasn’t feeling up to helping her and apologize. I would go around doing as little as possible but not let it cross my mind again that I chose to not help. I had reason to not help, I wasn’t feeling good. I kept picking up my phone this morning to just do that, but I kept having a this voice in my head telling me “get off your butt and just do it, you said you would now just go”. That’s what I did, I took a shower and drove the 30 minutes to her house to help her move. What I didn’t plan on is that I needed her more today than she needed me. I found this is the funny thing about helping people is the action usually turns around and blesses you in some way.
My friend was a hairdresser that worked for me at a salon years ago, we were friendly with each other and did a few things outside of work. Life took a hold of us and we never saw each other unless it was a chance encounter at the store. She is a wonderful person, inside and out. She is Native American and does some absolutely beautiful work with birch bark and jewelry. I get to her house today and we are talking and I am telling her about my life since we last saw each other and she is doing the same. We decided to get to work and I said something to the effect of “at Drew’s memorial”. She stopped me and she asked me what I said. I just assumed she knew Drew passed away. She didn’t, she stops what she’s doing and sits down with tears in her eyes and tells me how sorry she is. She hugs me and we have a moment. It’s hard to describe how the conversation went. All I know is for the past several weeks I have felt that a breakdown was on the horizon. The loss of Drew has been so heavy that is was hard to think clearly. She started telling me about what she and her people do to help honor the people that have died, to help them find there way to heaven if you want to call it that. She said that in her culture that they believe it takes about a year for them to make the journey, and it takes that long for them to be able to contact you in one form or another. The way she described this ritual it was so beautiful and it made more sense as to why I may not be “feeling” Drew around right now. She said that on the year mark of your loved ones death you make a wonderful meal and feed yourself and your family from the same bowl, then you put some food in a bowl and put it under a tree (she mentioned what kind but for the life of me I can’t remember). Then when the first star that comes out that night, that is your loved ones star and they are thanking you for the nourishment. I loved the idea that I can do more for Drew and he would be able to know that I still love him and will always try to nourish him. Of course by the time she gets to that point in her story I am a blubbering mess, so when we get closer to the year mark of Drew’s death I am going to get her to tell me again and I can do this for Drew. I would love to be able to look up in the sky and see something tangible and say Hey there Drew, love you and thank you for watching over us.
This was my moment when I realized my friend helped me so much more than I helped her. That the urging in my mind was someone pushing me knowing I needed to hear this today. W. thank you so much for telling me your stories and I hope to learn more from you.