A Crazy Story of Serendipity!

family friendship universe May 13, 2019

The best description for what happened last September is that it was serendipity!

Noun: serendipity; the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Synonyms: chance, happy chance, accident, happy accident, fluke; luck, good luck, good fortune, fortuity, fortuitousness, providence; coincidence, happy coincidence.
The happy coincidence is really so unbelievable that it HAS to be shared here in my blog...
First, it's important to give a little context as to how odd it was that the circumstances lined up to make this serendipitous moment occur...
It happened at a VERY UPSCALE restaurant in Charleston, SC where my daughter & her husband live. Number 1, they NEVER go out to dinner. Number 2, when they do, it's never upscale. (They have 3 kids.) But it was my son-in-law's 40th birthday and it was worth a big celebration.
Here's how it went down...
They arrive at the restaurant and get seated, finding themselves at a table right next to a large family who is also clearly celebrating a big event. (They find out later that it is also the 40th birthday of one of the men at that table.)
As it often happens when you're in a restaurant within earshot of other tables, my daughter began hearing bits and pieces of conversation... It was a family, from what she could tell, with parents, their children and their spouses. 
Her ears perked up when Northern Virginia came up in the conversation because that's where she is from. And being the extrovert she is, she was chomping at the bit to introduce herself as a fellow Northern Virginian, but probably because it was an upscale restaurant and not a bar on the beach, she held back. She tried to stay in the "be quiet & polite because you are in a nice restaurant" character she was so unfamiliar with...
But, as the wine bottle she and her husband were drinking got emptier, and her upscale restaurant persona got hazier, she became bold enough to speak across the aisle: "Hello, I couldn't help but notice that you are from Northern Virginia. That's where I'm from..."
Hello. Yes. And so are 3.149 million other people!!! LOL! (I know because I just Googled it. And that statistic is from 2018 so the population is even greater NOW!)
So what do you think the odds are that they have any connection, let alone a very strong one?!?! I guess one in 3 million, right?
The woman at the other table responded in a way that my daughter didn't expect... "Are you Nikki? And is your mom Laurie and your dad Mike?" 
As she reached down and picked up her jaw off the floor, her husband who had encouraged her NOT to speak up (because all men get embarrassed when their talkative wives start conversations with complete strangers) was watching in disbelief, wondering how in the world this is possible.
Once Nikki found her voice, she responded that yes, she was in fact Nikki and did have parents by those names. And the woman told her she knew right away because she looks just like her mom (me).
The woman, who introduced herself as Joyce, then explained that she, her husband, and 3 boys, who were there with them that evening, lived across the street from her when she was little and that she watched her the night her mom went into labor with her little sister. 
Say WHAT?!?! How in the heck is that even possible? 
Think of all of the things that had to fall into place for these 2 groups of people to connect.... That these people who have this connection a) are in the same city b) end up at the same restaurant, at the same time c) are seated RIGHT NEXT to each other d) get into a conversation to make that connection?
The other happy coincidences they discovered: 
1. Their middle son and my son-in-law have the same birthday.
2. Their middle son and his parents (my old neighbors) ALL have houses in the SAME NEIGHBORHOOD as my daughter and her husband.
3. Their middle son has a daughter in the same grade at the same school as my grandson.
So of course my daughter immediately texted me as this was going down at the restaurant. And I of course was also in disbelief but so excited because I had lost touch with my old friend over the years and now it was a chance to reconnect.
We immediately friended each other on Facebook and when I was visiting last week, we got together for lunch. Just old friends, reminiscing about our lives as young mothers, reflecting about our old neighborhood and the neighbors she remembers a lot better than I do!
So the moral of the story is to never be quiet at a fancy-schmancy restaurant. You never know what may happen... 
But seriously, this not just pure coincidence. There were too many dots to connect for it not to be a universe-guided thing... I believe they were meant to meet that night. Providence. Nikki felt it. Her gut was telling her to speak up... And she followed through on it, thankfully - with the help of some wine!
I also believe the little 2 year old girl inside of her recognized Joyce's voice... There was something familiar about her to Nikki. Deep down her subconscious knew!
And now my friendship is rekindled!!! How awesome is that?!?!

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