When it comes to reading, I am the slowest. It takes a certain book to grab my attention for me to not have to read, and re-read, and re-read again just to comprehend what I just read three times over! Perhaps that is why I am a slow reader! haha Or maybe that's why I jump head first into a book when the book and I finally click!
The reason I am mentioning all of that is because I stayed up last night finishing the 2nd book in a series called Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury. These books are just awesome... and really get you thinking. She writes of angels coming down to perform "missions" and make sure things happen in the manner in which they are supposed to in order to reach an overall goal.
This would mean that there are no coincidences. Is that possible? Come on, now, follow me here...
Two cars are pulled off the side of the highway for a fender bender. Every car on the highway is hitting their brakes trying to see the who, what, when, where and how of the accident, as if it will make their day complete. And then there is me. Stuck in the middle of all of this nonsense, watching the minutes pass by on the clock, knowing that there is no way I am going to make it to work on time. This situation just aggravates me. And, well, I usually have a few choice words for all of those people hitting their brakes. (Hey, I KNOW I'm not the only one who feels this way!!) I get worked up, irritated, and let this ruin my morning. How do I know that someone (ahem... an angel, perhaps) didn't know better than me... and that I could find myself in some serious situation if I had arrived to work early? Maybe this accident was to slow me down? Or maybe it was just to slow me down so I can have more time with my thoughts?
Or, how about you wanted to watch your favorite show on TV and just when you sit down and hit the power button, you realize the cable is out. Irritating, right? You are mad, yelling at the cable company (as if they can hear you), and you feel like your whole night is ruined. But then you start talking to your spouse or your kids.... and decide to play a few games. You end up laughing and talking and feel great when you go to bed that night. Would you have felt that way if you watched your TV show? Would you have made those special memories with your loved ones if the cable hadn't been out? Probably not. Coincidence? Or did someone know that you needed a night... without the TV?
I have felt this way A LOT over the last year of my life. It all circles around losing my dad. I lived in Pittsburgh, he was in Florida. My partner and I decided at the last minute to take a long weekend and DRIVE to south Florida. Who does that?! Definitely not something I would do. First, its a LONG drive. Second, its a LONG drive to only have 2 days before you have to do the LONG drive all over again in the opposite direction. It was really such a spontaneous thing. But, here is what happened.
The day before we went, I took my car for an oil change. During that time, I was told everything looked good and that I only needed to replace a tie-rod. So, I did. Then we hopped in the car and headed for Florida... you know, that LONG drive. ha!
While visiting, my dad looked at my tires on my car and insisted I get them replaced before driving back to Pittsburgh (he was always looking out for us.) So, we did. The mechanic had my car ALL day and then called to tell me I needed new brake pads. I honestly felt like they were just trying to convince me to spend more money, since the last mechanic in Pittsburgh didn't mention the brakes at all. So, I told him to just handle the tires and Ill come pick the car up. After all, we were heading back to Pittsburgh the next day.
Well, my dad came home from work that night and took a look at my brakes just to be safe... guess what he said? Yep... I needed them. He also said that he would feel much more comfortable with us making the trip back if I could stay an extra day and get the brakes done. This meant calling work, changing plans, etc. But something told us we needed to listen. (well, that and the thought of driving through mountains when the brakes need replaced was a bit scary)
This extra day allowed me time to spend with my mom and dad... I was very thankful for that. When we left for Pittsburgh the next day, I hugged my parents and went to get into the car. To this day, I cannot explain it, but something told me to hug my dad again. And let it consume me. I remember this thought clearly. So, I walked back over to him, threw my arms around him and hugged him hard. I can remember the way he felt and his scent so vividly, even at this moment. When we pulled out of their parking lot that day, I specifically remember thinking... "wow, that is one of those memories that isn't going to fade" and "where did that thought come from?!"
I didn't know it then, but my dad would suffer a massive heart attack less than 2 weeks later. That was the last time I was ever going to spend time with my dad. And the last hug I would ever get from him.
Now, do you think that was coincidence? I don't. Not for a second.
I love you, dad.