Yesterday I had the most exciting thing happen to me, and the way it came about was truly serendipitous! (If you haven't seen the movie by the name Serendipity, starring John Cusack, do! It's a terrific romance--fun and funny.)
I took J. to a doctor's appointment in Ann Arbor. She was seeing a specialist, so of course we waited 2+ hours in the office. (She is totally fine, btw.) I was in such a stupor by the time we left that I went immediately to a coffee shop to get coffee. I chose a place slightly out of my way, but where they have fabulous pastries. I parked about a block away from the shop due to a preponderance of one way streets which made it impossible to get any closer without going around the block. We were walking along in front of the farmer's market area, deserted at this time of day, when we saw a woman sitting on the ground. Another woman was standing and talking to her. It looked like she might need help, but I wasn't sure. As we got closer the standing woman motioned me over. The sitting woman had fallen and had a large gash on her cheek. They asked if we could go in the nearby store and get a cloth to clean the abrasion off with.
We entered the store and I saw a woman I recognized. My foggy brain thought, "Oh, it's Valerie," and almost kept walking, when I snapped to attention. Valerie is one of my freshman year dormitory roommates that I lost touch with and have been attempting to find for several years. I tapped her on the shoulder. "Valerie?" "Paula!" Much hugging and exclaiming ensued.
After a few minutes I remembered that I was supposed to be helping someone--so much for being a Good Samaritan! I got some ice and a clean cloth from the store (a meat and produce market, luckily) and took them outside to the injured woman.
Then Valerie and J. and I walked to the coffee shop, doing a little bit of catching up and exchanging phone numbers. I was so excited that I managed to immediately misplace her number and had to ask her for it again! She gave it to me, but told me, "Don't worry--you don't need it because I am going to call you."
I last saw Valerie on my wedding day almost 19 years ago! Last I knew she was living and working in Washington DC as an attorney.
Such serendipity: If I hadn't stopped for coffee, if I'd parked elsewhere, if the woman hadn't fallen and needed my help, I wouldn't have found her! I have googled her dozens of times in recent years, and even sent a random email to a woman that I believed was one of her sisters!
This event made my week. I know that we will resume our friendship and that makes me very happy.
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