Monday, July 27, 2009

Coincidence? I don't know...

For a decade my mother was in a nursing home in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease.

I remember the day we took her there.  My father was no longer able to care for her at home.  She had been falling.  She no longer recognized her home.  It was a very sad day.

I remember meeting the woman who would be her roommate.  She was a psychiatrist, a delightful woman who also had Alzheimer's.  Although she wasn't completely aware of where she was and why, she had a quick wit and was very friendly.  I'll call her Dr. Spencer.  (not her real name.)

Whenever I visited my mother I also talked to Dr. Spencer.  She always had a ready smile and frequently said things that were hilariously funny.  She died sometime before my mother, but my whole family remembers her well.  We all really liked her.

OK.  Fast-forward to last week.  I was meeting a friend of mine (who is also my financial adviser) at Starbucks.  Because of a miscommunication I was late.  While waiting for me, my friend Shelley started talking to a woman sitting next to her.  Shortly after I arrived this woman got up to leave and came over to Shelley to say she had enjoyed their conversation.  Laughing, I said, "She's also a great investment advisor, if you ever need one."  

This woman looked a little interested but said she already had a good advisor who had served her mother very well.  She said her mother had had Alzheimer's Disease and that she had been a doctor.  For some odd reason, (I have no idea why) I asked if her mother's name was Spencer.  She looked very surprised and said, "Yes, she was a psychiatrist."  My jaw has now dropped.  I said, "And she lived at Peachwood Inn?"  The woman, eyes wide now, said, "YES!"

I said, "Oh my word!!!!!  She was my mother's roommate!!!!!

The three of us were looking at each other in disbelief.  The nursing home is 50 miles from this Starbucks.  The woman remembered my mother well and also my father who had visited my mother every day.  I was absolutely flabbergasted that this could happen-- that I could actually run into Dr. Spencer's daughter and that through a casual conversation we would identify each other.

Somehow I suspect that my mother (and maybe my father) had something to do with this.  The likelihood  of this happening is so remote that I have to believe it was not a simple conicidence.  I always thought that Dr. Spencer was someone my mother would like.  Could it be that they now know each other in heaven and thought it would be fun to arrange circumstances so that their daughters could meet?  Can you do things like that in heaven?  If you can, that would indeed be fun, don't you think?  It sounds like just the kind of thing my mother would like to do.  Or was there some other purpose?  We may never know.

We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and plan to meet again for coffee next month-- to honor our mothers.


Denise said...

Oh this was no coincidence. This was Divine Providence. Read the book about Francis Cardinal Arinze, The Invisible Hand of God, and your view of those things that seem coincidental will be forever changed.So glad you found this connection to your mother.

Kalona said...

Rosemary, I don't know why but your story made me get choked up. Maybe because my mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer. She is still able to live on her own in a senior apartment complex, but I know the day will come when that will have to change.

I love the last phrase in your post--"to honor our mothers."

Mimi said...

I totally agree, God works in mysterious ways.

Melissa-Mc said...

Wow. I got chills reading this story. There are no coincidences, just tender mercies.

Teresa said...

Rosemary..Since you are planning another meeting...I'd say..Divine Providence like Denise and I would add that there are some plans in the making ...who knows a conversion of some kind for someone because of it..who knows? :)

Did you ever go online to look up anything about St. Meinrad yet?

Suzanne said...

Rosemary..That last comment was by me..Suzanne. Teresa had not signed out of Blogger or I had not signed in..sorry...
You might want to read her blog more than mine..its pretty good. ;)

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Denise, thank you. I will look for that book.
Kalona, I'm sorry to hear of your mother's Alzheimers. God is still in charge.
Mimi, yes, true.
Melissa, yup, I agree.
Suzanne, yes, my feelings exactly. And thank you for the reminder about St. Meinrad.

Aussie Therese said...

Oh Rosemary,

What a wonderful story. My father is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's as well. We have meet some lovely people there. Since my parents live 3 hours away, I rarely get to see my father.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and your lovely comments. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.