Synchronicity. I believe in it.
The universe causing things to happen or appear at a time when they are most meaningful. And yes, I've heard how humans look for patterns, ignoring what doesn't fit and only taking note of what does.
Yet, I still believe some things beg for belief.
I was fortunate to be with my mom when she passed away. At 94 she had lived 7 years with Alzheimer's, several years beyond the prognosis. Her eyes were closed, breathing irregular, so I held her hand and trying to decide what to do in these final minutes, searched, found and played "A Summer Place" on my cellphone for her, a comforting old favorite song of hers, for some reason remembering at that moment that the sense of hearing is often the last to go.*
It was all very peaceful. Official paperwork followed and I happened to notice the Time of Death recorded was 8:45 PM.
The next morning I was getting ready to go to the funeral home and deal with the arrangements. Reaching for my trusty watch, I noticed it had stopped.
Watches stop all the time. And they can choose to stop at any one of 60 minutes on any one of 12 hours. Math isn't my strength, but I think that's something like 60 x 12! It's at least 720 permutated times my watch could have chosen to stop on.
Like 12:07. 2:53. Or 5:15 to name just a few.
But it chose to stop at 8:45. Synchronized to the minute and stopping time at the exact minute of my mother's recorded Time of Death less than 24 hours earlier.
Not the best quality photo because I was shaking a little when I took it. But it's the real deal, taken on October 23, the day after my mother passed at 8:45 PM.
Just seems very unlikely to me. We arranged a day for my mother's funeral, with my sister flying in from California, avoiding a weekend, etc., so it fell on October 29.
Which just happened to be my deceased father's birthday.
Days later I took the watch to the local jewelry shop to have the battery replaced, browsing the jewelry cases while I waited. A monogram necklace got my attention in the Estate case. My first thought was: Why would a jeweler want to re-sell a monogram necklace -- what are the chances that someone randomly walking into this little jewelry store would have the same three initials?
I looked again at the initials on the necklace. GSB. My mother's initials. My heart jumped so violently that I started sweating and couldn't see straight. I took a picture of it in the glass case, and at that minute my cell phone decided to get in on the act and go rogue and presented the photo upside down. I took another photo and sent it to my sister to prove I wasn't hallucinating for the sake of the story.
As I sent her the picture, I noticed for the first time another necklace that had photobombed its way into the photo proclaiming a single word: "Believe".
So recently, I was fortunate to have been selected as one of twelve story tellers at Listen To Your Mother, Rochester. In February 2020, I submitted a humorous piece and auditioned (first time ever) in March 2020.
Then time stopped with a worldwide pandemic so the live show was pushed back from Mother's Day 2020 to Mother's Day 2021, to October 9, 2021 while we waited for the time to be right.
Finally, finally, after 18 months, show day arrived. I was a little wistful about not having anything of my mother’s to wear to our show. A Depression-era child, she had neither jewelry nor fancy clothes and had been gone for three years.
I told myself I was bringing humor to the stage, which I know was her gift to me.
In the Green room I opened the gift from our Producers. It was a piece of jewelry called "My Intent" with a single word of intention lovingly hand-hammered onto the back by our show's producers.
An interesting word choice out of all the words that could have been selected from the English language.
My mother's name was Gloria.
Turned out I got to wear something honoring my mom after all.
And I choose to believe that was her intent.
*Years earlier my mother told me about being in the hospital in labor having me, her first child; nervous in a new city without her family nearby, her mother having passed away less than two months before. When the song came on the radio it shifted her mood, and made her feel everything would be okay.