Monday, January 30, 2012

MEANT TO BE

"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  ~Matthew 19:26

Have you ever experienced or witnessed something so unlikely, your only explanation was that it was meant to be? Somehow everything in the Universe lined up perfectly for this chance event or encounter. And it took your breath away.

When I was nine years old, my dad's company offered him a job in Belgium. My parents began the process of preparing our family of five for a move to a different country. Part of that preparation involved private tutoring sessions in french.

My french tutor was an older gentleman and a survivor of the Holocaust. I cannot remember what prompted him to share a personal story, but it is one I will never forget. He and his wife had been sent to Concentration Camps. He managed to survive until the day when all prisoners were released. He had no knowledge of his wife's fate. Had she lived through the ordeal? If so, where was she?

Many attempts to find her left him empty-handed. After a period of time, he had an opportunity to come to America. Believing that his wife had passed away, he grabbed the chance.

It was years later while strolling down a rather busy street that he noticed a woman walking on the other side. She caught his attention. Her gait was similar to his wife's, and he paused to watch her. It wasn't just the way she moved that held so much familiarity. He raced across the street, eager for a closer look. He had never recovered from the loss of his wife, and the sight of this woman made him remember and long for her.

After crossing the street, he made his way through pedestrians to reach her side. He touched her shoulder and she turned to him. Their eyes locked...and he was home. Before him stood his wife, believed to be dead. It turned out that she had searched for him, too, but to no avail. Assuming that he had died, she had grabbed an opportunity to come to America. Now, there they stood, two very small needles in an immeasurable haystack, reunited.

Yes, I was nine at the time. Perhaps the details aren't as clear in my memory as they once were. But I clearly remember how he took a hanky from his pocket and dried his eyes. I had no idea at the time the suffering this man had seen and the stories that contributed to his tears. But I remember his words, "Il etait cense etre." ~ "It was meant to be."

(In case you are wondering, we did not move to Belgium afterall. As my french tutor would later say to me, "Il n'etait pas cense etre." ~ "It was not meant to be.")

"In dreams and love there are no impossibilities." ~Janos Arany

                   

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