Serendipity Too

Posted: November 22, 2013 in Community, Family
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Serendipity is a word my wife Anne and I use often. We live, we love, we laugh, but most of all, serendipity is what affects us the most. There are more concise meaning to this word, but the two that she and I live by are ‘the accident of finding something good or useful while not specifically searching for it’ and ‘Karmic happenings’.

As a couple, we have lived in only two places: we initially bought my parents’ house when we got married,  where we lived for 10 years, then bought her parents’ house and have lived there for almost 14 years. Both houses are awesome for different reasons. The current one we have renovated completely, top to bottom, front to back. We love our home, and planned to stay here for many more years.

We live in a lovely community called Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. I left here in 1974 with my family, moving to Germany, then a host of other places. I finally returned in 1987, hardly believing I would ever return home. But I did. Anne, on the other hand, has lived here all her life, with the exception of 4 years of university studies. For me, change was good. And marrying Anne meant less change. But I was okay with that. After having our first child, and discovering he had autism, change became even more difficult, and resistance to change is the norm. We had a second child, who is neurotypical.  Later on, we discovered Anne had Asperger’s, which explained her resistance to change. And so, we slowly carved out our niche in life, careful to balance change with stability. Life is good.

Cue in serendipity.

My sister Barb is moving back to town. She called me last week, and while talking, casually mentioned that the house my dad built in 1971, the home we all had lived in until we left for Germany and started this big ride of ours, was up for sale. I was flabbergasted. This place was a house that I had vowed to myself since returning in 1987 that I would purchase should it ever become available, now was. Unbeknown to me, my wife also had a history with this place. She had visited it very often after we left in 1974, as the new owners and her parents were close. And Anne had always thought the same thing…one day I will live here.

Although we grew up apart, I find it incredible how much our past has been an intertwined path. We have shared friends at different times. We have had common experiences, all just missing each other by a whisker. Finally we met, fell in love, had a family, and these things keep happening to us. We again find ourselves in a serendipitous moment. We bought the old homestead, one filled with memories, one lovingly maintained by its current owners, and one where we will hopefully fill with our own great memories.

Our last visit before signing all the documents was for a home inspection, which found so little wrong as to be ridiculous. It was a proud moment to hear the inspector laud the builder of this house, to say it was crafted with care, that it had withstood the test of time, and was a fine home to live in. This was my dad’s creation. I may not have appreciated the work he put into this place when I was a child, but I sure do now. This is his masterpiece.

As I went down the stairs alone, crying to myself as I lamented the passing of my brother Bob last year, knowing he won’t be there to share and enjoy the rekindling of the past, I was haunted by the memories of him and I playing ball hockey in those very stairs. He always took the top, I was always at the bottom…but that story is for another day. Suffice it to say, I was simultaneously elated and melancholic. But this too shall pass.

And so serendipity has once again reared its head in our lives….things sure could be worse.

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