That friend in Mobile has a husband went to law school in Birmingham and sat for the bar with a friend who had just finished law school.
A friend of that friend introduced me to my most favorite person, Shannon, who found a mentor in my cousin, unbeknownst to the family relation.
That cousin had a baby- well, my cousin had three babies. Before this, her husband's father gave me a scholarship to UGA, relationship between us held in oblivion.
My SIL was in South Georgia for the holidays and ran into an old classmate who lives two blocks from us in DC. A friend came to visit me here and ran into three classmates from her high school in Georgia on our rooftop deck- neighbors.
My grandfather grew up with several of my friend's grandfathers and Husband lived on a farm 15 miles from my aunt's home in Thomasville.
Brother and SIL gave birth to Ford at University Hospital five years ago, three doors down from his childhood best friend giving birth to his son, Matthew. They had not seen each other in 15 years. Matthew's mother and I are now friends.
Are we really so far apart?
My aforementioned cousin is named Tara- for some land in Ireland, not for the house in the South. Tara has three wonderful boys, the Band of Brothers. When Brennan was diagnosed with cancer several years ago this band of brothers grew from three to a flock of several. With open arms, open books, and open hearts they shared their tale of happiness, loss, fear, faith, and most importantly, love.
Love for God.
Love for each other.
Love for children.
Love for the fellow bald comrades.
Love for strangers.
Through CarePages, they have shared with family, friends, and strangers in kind the joy and tragedy that comes with a child battling an unseen enemy that has taken root. Through their candor, Tara and Turner have shown us how both faith in God and faith in each other can lead to a new day.
Brennan has lost comrades through his battle. Cassidy was added to the choir of saints this fall.
Cassidy, a complete stranger to me, was a journey I followed and a little girl I prayed for.
Brothers in arms continued. One of Brennan's friends, Patrick Chance, was diagnosed at the small age of just three years old. LMC will be three this May.
If God only gives me these three years with my sweet baby, than those are three years I am given- and those that I will always cherish. The Chance family lives in Atlanta and the father, Stephen, is a lawyer. While the Chance family were strangers to me until just a few years ago, I have followed their journey- the perils of love, the joy of defeat, and the ability to take both one day at a time and find saving graces through sadness.
While I am a stranger to them, they are not strangers to me.
It snowed yesterday. As the white flakes fell hard and fast from the sky in DC, the Chance family was quietly celebrating Patrick's ninth birthday in Atlanta. Not with wind up toys and dinosaurs, but with morphine, soft words, and machines helping him quietly and sweetly find his CURE.
LMC & I suited up and ran outside to cherish this moment in time. We have each other. If this is all God gives me, I will treasure each moment.
Shannon sent me an email this morning asking about Patrick and if he had passed. Shannon's a lawyer and thinks highly of Patrick's father. For the unequaled Shannon to call Stephen a "class act" says more than just words.
Are we really all strangers?
Rest high on that mountain, Patrick. The battle is over. There are many angels waiting to greet you and envelope you with the love you always knew on this earth.
As JGW would say, "Hug your people, people."