What Are The Chances
Yesterday was my birthday. I love my birthday. As I go about my day, I tell everyone, even strangers, that it’s my birthday. After a transaction at a cash register a person might say, “Have a nice day,” and I reply, “I will! It’s my birthday!” They smile and wish me a happy birthday – and more joy is added to my day.
This year, all the usual happiness occurred on my birthday, with one remarkable exception, about which I’ll write last.
Throughout the day, I got text messages, emails, fb postings, and cards (e-cards and real, paper cards). They all contained images of hearts and flowers, candles and cakes, fireworks and butterflies, as well as words of love. It was good vibrations all day long!
A lifelong, joyful aspect to my birthday is that I share it with my aunt, my mother’s only sister, who is the dearest person. I had tears of happiness in my eyes as I read her (paper) card, which arrived in my mailbox precisely on our birthday. At age 95 she still handwrites the envelope and heartfelt message to me.
There’s a numeric quality of my birth date, 3/21, that fascinates me: backwards and forwards in counting ~ 321, 123; addition and subtraction ~ 3-2=1, 1+2=3. These mathematical gymnastics float through my mind throughout the day.
And always, Mother Nature surprises me. Because my birthday is the first full day of spring, it’s on the edge of winter’s exit and spring’s arrival. I’ve had sunny, hot birthdays – with temps in the 80s, as well as full blown blizzards. Yesterday, I awoke to a gray day with snow falling at a good clip, courtesy of nor’easter Regis. Fortunately, only a couple of inches accumulated. By mid afternoon, the sun was shining brightly from a blue sky and it was in the high 40s! This is typical of my birthday.
But this year, the most surprising thing happened in the early evening. I went to CVS to pick up a few things. I waited quite a while at the end of a customer line. During that time, I saw a woman sitting and waiting for something. She was called to a register, handed her product and then she maneuvered to the end of the line, directly behind me.
I said, “Why did you have to come to end of the line if you had already waited and were then at the register?”
She explained the reason, which seemed reasonable to her, though it bothered me.
So I said, “Please go ahead of me. You’ve been waiting longer than I have been.”
At first she protested, but with my insistence she did move to in front of me.
After a minute she turned to me and said, “You know if I weren’t so tired, I would have been happy to wait. But I’ve had a long day. I was out all day with my brother and sister-in-law. They called me early this morning and said, ‘Why don’t you spend the day with us since it’s your birthday.'”
I said, “Oh my gosh, it’s my birthday, too!”
She said, “No.”
I said, “YES!”
We laughed and wished each other a happy birthday and talked on and on about how uncanny it was that we should meet on our actual birthday!
As it turned out, my celestial twin and I ended up at registers side by side. When the pharmacy clerk asked for her date of birth, she replied, “3-21” and then she turned and smiled at me. Five seconds later, I was asked the same question, to which I answered, “3-21,” and my new friend and I laughed at the amazing coincidence of our encounter, on our birthdays.
When my transaction was done, we said goodbye. As I walked away she smiled and called, “My sister’s birthday is tomorrow!” I laughed and said, “My brother’s birthday is the day after tomorrow!”
I treasure such moments of human joy!
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