Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We Are All Connected

It's not always easy to get together with friends.  I know that.  Everybody is busy and sometimes life just gets in the way.  So, when I have the chance to see one of my friends I do my best to take it.  Today was one of those days.

My friend Paula and I don't see eachother very often, but she is a dear dear friend.  We both like to be outside and decided to take our kids to the zoo this morning for a field trip.  Since she drops her husband off at work, we met right when the zoo opened at 9 AM.  We were the only people there besides staff, so decided to start our morning off with a coffee and a bathroom break for the kids.

What happened next is something that nobody will ever believe, but Paula was there and saw the whole thing go down.

Paula and I were having a conversation while we were in the bathroom, and I asked her if Luke's preschool was in a church, and she said yes, it was in the Parkdale United Church's basement.  Then I stated that is where Jenny Vincent's funeral service was held.

*For those of you who don't know, Jenny was a player for the Canadian Women's Rugby team and an elite coach.  I met her when I first started coaching and always looked up to her.

We started talking about Jenny as a lady walked between us to go to the bathroom.  I was explaining what type of cancer Jenny had and how sad it was that she died so young when the lady who walked in came out of her stall and looked at me.  I made eye contact with her and smiled and that is when she told me that she was Jenny's mother.

I asked her if I could give her a hug, and that started a wonderful exchange between us.  She told me that she always thought Jenny was special because she was hers, but didn't fully realize how much of a difference she made in other people's lives.  She was so touched that people are still talking of her. 

I took the opportunity to tell her how much I admired Jenny, and what an inspiration she was to me and so many others.  I also told her that her and her husband must be amazing parents, because people like Jenny didn't just "happen".  I could see who she got the twinkle in her eyes from.

I don't know how on earth we were put in that space together at that time having that conversation, but it happened, and it surely has to be more than a coincidence.  Both Paula and I could not believe what had happened.

One thing I know for sure and learned today is that if you're going to talk about someone in public, make sure you're saying nice things, because you never know who is listening.  I also learned we are all connected.  Be good to one another.