Tales of Synchronicity

Here you may share how the words Eckhart Tolle have affected your life.

Tales of Synchronicity

Postby snowheight » Sun May 01, 2011 11:48 am

I'm going to share some stories here of highly improbable events that occurred in my life. I invite others to do the same.

I'll start with probably the most improbable thing that has ever happened to me which just, coincidentally, happens to be related to my spiritual life and path.
Last edited by snowheight on Mon May 02, 2011 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby snowheight » Sun May 01, 2011 2:24 pm

The Mormons

"Hey Bill I'm going to have some friends over this Friday night."

Jack was my college roommate in the early-80’s. We shared a small-two bedroom over a bar about 2 miles from campus along a bus route through a colorful, densly-populated urban neighborhood.

"Thats cool". I was waiting for a punchline, and the apprehensive look on Jack's face suggested that one was coming for sure...

He responded: "O.k. ... well they are going to be talking about some interesting stuff …”

“Talking?”

“Yeah, well … like a presentation …”

“On what?”

“God … Jesus …”

I smiled.

“You mean like Jehovah’s Witn-“

“-No” he cut me off, “Mormon missionaries.”

At that moment I remembered the comical sight of my father literally physically chasing a group of Witnesses out of the vestibule of our house one Sunday morning clad only in his underwear, a wife-beater tee and dress shoes with no socks … the door had opened for them to a nine-year-old but the wrath of a sleepy man with a specific studied lack of religious observance greeted them a few steps inside. The witnesses had intruded on his weekend down-time… “Get outta’ here! … We’re not even DRESSED! … what the hell’s wrong with you people!!”.

“That’s Cool”, I told Jack, still smiling.

My girlfriend at that time was Glori. Glori was a free-sprirted and very outgoing girl who loved to smoke weed and listen to Zepplin and Pink Floyd. She had a great voice and I used to mutilate “Hang Man” and “Comfortably Numb” on my accoustic in accompaniment to her sweet renditions. She was one heck of a gal.

As per our plan, we greeted the missionaries with her on my lap. These guys were young, good looking and well-groomed. They sat down and unfolded a presentation book with a big ole’ picture of Jesus. Not long into their presentation, which had been met with few sounds of reaction from the audience save perhaps a giggle or to from Glori, I interrupted:

“But what about all the people who lived before Jesus was born or who were in places so far away in the years after that they might never have heard of him … do all of these people just automatically go to hell?”

The man on his mission was a bit startled, but he patiently replied “Well it is our belief that those who have never heard His message are given a choice upon death that would allow them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

“Hey you don’t believe in that Ark bullshit, do you? By the way, do you know how old the Universe is? Have you ever heard of Carl Sagan?”

And with that, Glori lit up a joint.

----------

Flash forward about 12 years and I was living with my wife Sue back in my hometown after she had finished law school but before having passed the bar. Sue had been raised a Christian by parents who seemed outwardly devote but came from a culture in which Christianity was not the primary faith. Sue is even more open-minded than Glori with respect to matters of intellect and philosophy, but she had and still has a nostalgic fondness for Christianity which is backed by a substantial education in the faith, but with no regular practice.

I’d see them, these missionaries. They stuck out like sore thumbs. I’d see them walking up and down the street and I would fear for their safety.

We lived about a mile in the right direction from my old college digs, but the neighborhood had gone down hill over the years. The plague of the crack epidemic had reached a peak in these neck of the woods in those days, and the missionaries -- young white men in white short-sleeve shirts, short black ties and carrying backbacks, looked to me for all the world like nothing more than targets as they walked by.

Eventually, two of them knocked on the door.

“Oh!”, I exclaimed, before they’d said a word, “Mormon missionaries!, Hi!, c’mon in!”

They seemed surprised at the reception but welcomed it and followed me back through that vestibule that had been the scene of the Hasty Retreat of the Jehovah’s Witnesses all those years ago. They followed me back to a comfortable seat on our couch. Sue offered and they accepted some water.

“So, are you familiar with the Mormon faith?”

“No, not really, but I have met some of you before. I really have to tell you how much respect I have for you guys. Let me ask you, how long do these missions last?”

I don’t recall the answer, but I really was struck by how these young men would put their lives on hold to trudge up and down the streets of my drug and crime infested neighborhood, knocking on usually slammed doors trying to talk to people about God. And this during a prime time in their lives when, by my estimation, they should have been pulling kegger’s and chasing girls.

In any event, the missionaries explained that they had a seven part presentation series, and asked if we were interested. Sue and I looked at each other and made a spontaneous decision to accept the offer. The young man pulled out a small notebook and put us on his schedule.

“Bill, Sue, we like to end each visit with a prayer, we’ll also want to start each visit with one.”

Me: “O.K. -”

Sue (at the same time): “Sure, allright! …”

“The way that we pray is in a few steps. First we call on the heavenly father, and thank him for our current life, then we ask our father for what it is that we need at the time, and we’re always sure to say that we ask this in the name of our lord Jesus Christ.”

To this day I still use this form to pray, replacing “Jesus Christ”, with “Whatever Is”. And what is meditation, anyway, if not prayer where we’re simply not apologizing, asking for anything or showing gratitude?

So the young missionary led us in a prayer. This was the first time in my then-early-middle-aged life in which I had ever seriously tried prayer. It really did strike me that sense of inner stillness that was touched. I had no idea what that was or even really the depth of the effect that it had on me at the time.

Sue and I hosted each of the presentations and I got quite a bit out of it in terms of basic Christian teaching to which I had mainly been exposed previously by my mother having took me to see “Jesus Christ Superstar” back in the ‘70’s. Ultimately, however, Sue and I both concluded that layering one set of mythology over another just makes it harder to accept.

----

“Hey there, need some help?”

I looked up from my work repairing some rotted planks on the side portion of the extensive porch on the old Victorian-eara house. My sister still lived in an upstairs apartment, but Sue and I had moved to Manhattan 5 years prior, and I was between consulting jobs. I was taking the chance offered by the time off to perform deferred maintenance in anticipation of what had always been our planned return after we’d saved up enough in the corporate grind to strike out on our own. It was post-9/11 and I knew that the opportunities that I’d grabbed years earlier during the boom were getting scarce, and that this return was going to happen sooner rather than later.

The questioner was young … damn he seemed so young. He was blond, slim and had the most energetic impish smile.

“Well hey, thanks! I really appreciate the offer but I’ve got it under control. And besides” and with this I grinned back a broad one, “you’ve got some important work to tend to yourselves now, don’t you?”

The new batch of Mormon missionaries looked amongst themselves quizzically, but they were bright kids and it dawned on them that I knew who they were. We shot the breeze a bit before they moved on.

“Well Bill, it was good to meet you” the blonde imp said as he extended his hand, “my name is Brother Kyle.”

I took his hand and wished them best of luck. With that they moved along. Even though the streets had softened a bit with the prosperity of the late 90’s, the guys had adapted – they were in a group of four and were still well-groomed but dressed a bit less conspicuously. No back-packs.

I went back to work marveling at the coincidence that I would run into these guys with such a short window, just a few days out of the whole year, that I’d been back in town, and the even shorter window in which I was working on the outside of the house and likely to run into them.

---

About a year later Ash was looking over my shoulder. I was in an office in a downtown high-rise near the end of the last contract I’d have for a bank in the City. Ash was a hardass. He was always stressed-out, driven by fear, constantly looking over his as well as your shoulder and always in cover-your-ass mode. He’d come on board a few months after me during the endless shuffle that is the personnel game at the banks in those days and which in and of itself created the vacuum for opportunistic consultants such as my self to earn our keep. Ash was the kind of guy that would overbook you on projects and then waste way too much of your time dragging you into useless status meetings designed simply to pressure you to work harder, faster and longer hours.

Ash was looking over my shoulder so I minimized my browser.

The browser had been accessing LoopNet and MapQuest. I’d been considering making an investment in commercial real-estate and was looking at buildings in Albany – I was interested in commercial rather than residential in that the types of tenants seemed preferable and was considering Albany because it was substantially larger than my home town and on the way home from Manhattan. I’d been there a few times but was totally unfamiliar with the area in which I’d located a property of interest, a few blocks north of the capital area.

A few weeks later I had an appointment to view the property, a three-story brownstone on a busy street. I had decided to get there early to have a look around before the realtor got there and started taking over the situation.

I was standing at this place where I had never been before, and which was a very unlikely spot for me to be – I’d come up the Hudson on a lark and was at this spot for maybe all of like 10 minutes.

I happened to be looking up the street in the direction away from the Capital, when my eyes rested on one of the approaching pedestrians, and the site just startled the heck out of me.

“Brother Kyle!”

“Brother Bill!”

I extended my hand which he took: “Wow, what a coincidence, running into you here? Still on your mission?”

“Yes as a matter of fact” Kyle went on to briefly explain how they shift around in their assignments.

“Wow!” I exclaimed, “You have NO idea how unlikely this is … this is completely a one-time thing for me, I’ve never been here before and might not ever again …”

Kyle repled “Yeah, I just got here last night and actually won’t be staying near here after tomorrow…”

He trailed off and we looked each other in the eye and just laughed.

“You know”, he said (predictably), “you ought to think about what this might mean Brother Bill”.

I grinned, climbing the steps to the brownstone, as he started making his way toward the direction of the capital.

“Yeah Brother Kyle, I’ll have to do that”
Last edited by snowheight on Mon May 02, 2011 5:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tales of Synchonicity

Postby Webwanderer » Sun May 01, 2011 3:41 pm

Enjoyable read. Nicely written.

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Re: Tales of Synchonicity

Postby WhatisMu » Sun May 01, 2011 3:59 pm

Thanks for sharing this with us!

For me, synchronicity has been in finding or recognizing spiritual teachers or teachings when I am ready for them. From Joseph Campbell at the start more than 20 years ago all the way through to today, I have come upon teachers or teachings that have helped me enormously, each at the right time for me. For instance, Krishnamurti has been around for a long time, but I didn't happen upon his teachings until it was the right time for me. ET became widely known in 2008 I think, but I only found his teachings about 5 months ago since I dont watch much TV... or perhaps since it just wasnt the right time for me to hear what he shared. This has happened repeatedly over the years and it is something I have always been so grateful for.

When the student is ready, the master appears, right?

There are so many masters. We see what we can see, when it is time to see it. It is selective perception in every way. Much like seeing blue Hondas everywhere when you buy a blue Honda - LOL!
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Re: Tales of Synchonicity

Postby Natalie » Sun May 01, 2011 5:31 pm

I enjoyed reading that very much snowheight. You got me thinking about these guys now. I see them often here in the Ft. Lauderdale area, riding their shiny bikes with their sharp looking helmets……carrying backpacks, wearing white shirts and black trousers. They have approached me once or twice, but the outcome of those approaches escapes me right now.

I am curious to know why you think your three encounters could be synchronized? Are you basing them on odds alone? I am sure you’ve had other encounters with Jehovah’s Witnesses since your first one. Do you see any synchronicity in those?

You also got me thinking about some events in my life that seem to be synchronized. Ummm…….gotta refill my propane tank at Home Depot now. I shall return.
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Re: Tales of Synchonicity

Postby Rick » Sun May 01, 2011 11:13 pm

I once became a Mormon. I was in my 30's, a single father and I just loved the two young lady missionaries who delivered to my door the book of Mormon. I had seent he Jesus Christ ads on TV and the offer for a free Book of Mormon. I was curious and called. A few weeks later the sweetest, prettiest young ladies appeared before my door to deliver the book. Long story short, we became friends, I feed them once a week for several months, was baptized, quit smoking, left a short time later when I realized they were not really the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were the Church of Joseph Smith of Latter Day Saints. Sweet people, love 'em to death, but got some crazy notions I couldn't buy.

Synchronicity? Hadn't thought of this for years. Was married while stationed in England in the Air Force by an Air Force catholic priest. Five years later I was in New England and my wife was in Texas. We were debating whether or not I should go back to Texas to see if we could work it out. I was in the office of the family owned motel were I was staying at the time. It was my marriage anniversary date. Into the office walks a man looking for a room. It was the same catholic priest who married us in England five years earlier. Had a nice chat and he went on his way. Called my then wife, told her what happened, we decided it was a sign that we should get back together, We did, only to clearly realize two years later that we should separate permanently.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby snowheight » Mon May 02, 2011 2:53 pm

Rick that was just perfect ... ever think of those odds? In the spirit of the topic, one of the tales I was thinking of posting here also involves a Catholic priest, and like yours, it's a sad one.

Natalie wrote:I am curious to know why you think your three encounters could be synchronized? Are you basing them on odds alone?


The odds of my meeting Kyle on that street on that day were pretty astronomical. I have thought about what the model for calculating them would be ... the factors would probably be the number of people you know, the number of people who are going to walk passed you during an event and the likelihood that one of those people you know would be proximate to you during the event.

Unlike other strange coincidences, this one stood out because of the spiritual nature of my contact with these folks. It went through my mind ... was God trying to tell me something?
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby Rick » Mon May 02, 2011 4:07 pm

Now you've got me started. I have thought of several more but I will keep it to one at a time so as not to hog the thread.

First I will preface this by saying that I was reminded of an old statement my father would make to me once in while growing up. He was not a pleasant man to be raised with, poor soul, but that is another story. Anyway, his observation was that I could "fall in sh*t and come out smelling like a rose" I think it was his was of saying that there seemed to be a kind of blessing, or better yet, a kind of protection on me that would get me out of pickles and that life was fairly easy for on me. I suspect it was because I was, for the most part, I was naturally willing to own up to my end of things, and quick to learn the lesson life wanted to teach. Anyway, I digress, back to my story:

I was about 15 or 16. I was Christmas shopping with my mother. There was a very cool component stereo I wanted. It had a receiver and two separate speakers like the big guys had, just a bit smaller though. I begged my mother to get it for me for Christmas. She did. I really couldn't wait to get my hands on that stereo but the weeks leading up to Christmas dragged on and on. But finally, on Christmas day I had what I longed for. I couldn't wait to set it up in my room but that would have to wait until after Christmas dinner. Finally I was able to put it on a shelf in my room that had already been cleared for it. I plugged it in, pushed the on button and set out to tune it to WBCN, the coolest Boston station at the time. But my heart sank. The tuning knob turned but the needle was stuck and wouldn't tune in. It was a huge disappointment for a 15/16 year old. I lost all energy and just wanted to sleep. But before I took that nap I said to the universe "if there is God out there, and if you want to fix my stereo, you certainly could, couldn't you?". I slept a very deep sleep and woke groggy, felt hungry and headed out the room to get a bite but stopped, remembering my stereo and "prayer"; I reached for the tuning knob to see if just maybe...just maybe...and I'll be damned. It worked. I was filed with joy and gratitude. I took it is a sign that said in reply to my prayer "I AM", and have never doubted at least that ever since.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby smiileyjen101 » Mon May 02, 2011 4:31 pm

I see synchronicity everywhere, truly just not believing in coincidences. Being aware and 'paying attention' it's kind of a beautiful dance in action as different players take to the stage - oh wait I"m mixing my metaphors lol!! Ah well, it's all a play and a dance on the stage of life!

I had one repeating synchronicity with a young, radical Buddhist doctor who used to breeze into my life in random places around the world at just the right time for me. He seemed like this wandering pied piper of a character, so calm and wise and like a big brother the universe sent to me at always the right time.

We were both gypsy like travellers and our paths randomly crossed at pivotal times and places across the world, even when we 'thought' we were each in other places, hearing through the grapevine of mutual friends.

We met first on a ship I was working on during a chaotic cruise full of high sea drama and he was very different to the normal passenger doctors. Through an amazing set of circumstances that cruise was like no other, not least by his energy and the energy of a few stranded sailors we had rescued in the middle of the Pacific and brought aboard that he befriended. The crew used to be quite tight-knit, but he and two of the sailors, one male, one female, totally immersed with us and became catalysts onboard like no others.

Myself and another lady crew member ended up leaving at the end of that cruise. He had been pointing out the 'unreality' of our life onboard, which I initially resisted and then the real unreality of it kind of blew up in our faces and we had no choice but to recognise it. It became a situation that we could not accept, nor change - although we tried, so we both removed ourselves from the situation.

I last saw him that time in Sydney, Australia where an aunt of his lived. He was a South African born French national and was returning to SA via Indonesia.

A few years later I was (supposed to be in Italy) walking on a street in Edinburgh in Scotland and in a conflict of sorts on my future at that time. He walked down the other side of the road and even though I didn't think it could really be him - he was supposed to be in Johannesburg, but even his gait - he kind of floated rather than walked - helped me to come to the difficult conclusion of once again 'leaving' a situation.

After a year or so I was back visiting friends in Sydney and on impulse called his aunt's number to enquire 'where on Earth' he was these days. To my surprise she said I'd just missed him, he'd gone out for the day, but would be back the following day - he was also back in Oz!! I was able to relay all the stuff about my infant son, and we realised it was him (and he had seen me and thought it was just someone who looked very like me too) in Edinburgh.
Again I felt a more settled peace about a new stage in my life unfolding.

A few years later I was in another Oz city and the last I'd heard of him he was sailing with a family around Asia. I was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy that doctors wanted to remove and I was sure she was just a 'little' stuck and would come through.

While I was refusing treatment it was a huge call for me. I wandered out of my room to go for a walk and think and who was at the nurse's desk - my pied piper big brother friend. While everyone else thought I was crazy he heard me out and gave me faith to stay my course - not an easy pregnancy, but that one is 26 years old now and blessedly, even though he wasn't my doctor he was around for the early few months and his calmness so priceless in the circumstances.

A few more years later and my then husband needed specialist medical advice and in yet another city the curtain swung open and his name was called - by my pied piper friend. The interesting part of this one was he didn't take any crap from my then husband, which made me smile and appreciate very much his candid honesty in the difficult circumstances. He showed me strength in peace and named unrealistic expectations as the cause of my then husband's 'suffering' (and much of my own to boot and he asked me why I would put up with it).

Many many years later I felt an overwhelming urge to write to the pied piper as I was awakening from the illusion that was my life. I, on some level, knew this would be the acceptance of yet another major change in my life, even though that wasn't in the content of my letter or even fully in my mind yet. His reply was once again one of calm wisdom and it wasn't so much what he said either, but it was like accepting the unreality of my life as I had before my life on the ship ended.

Once you notice a thing you can just let it unfold. In a way writing to the pied piper was like saying to the universe, okay, I'm awake now, bring it on.

ET talks about how an unconscious person cannot stand the light of consciousness. On some level I knew this even before I'd read the book, once my now ex saw that I had woken up, the marriage was over in a month. And like the 'ectopic' pregnancy it was hard, but very, very worth it.

The funny thing, in that letter I mused to the pied piper how wise and calm he had always been, caught him up on a lot of news, including the progress of our older daughter - the ectopic pregnancy that made it through, and the death of our youngest daughter. And having discussed my son's death with him previously noted the things about grief he had highlighted that earlier time and how I'd travelled that path this time. I also added how amazing it had been to bump into him all the random times we had, and how I thought of him as this floating on air pied piper always wandering off into the sunset, and sometimes wondered if he'd been my older brother in a past life still keeping an eye out for me.

In his letter he caught up with what had been happening in his life, how he managed to settle back here and about his family, and in his own tale of synchronicity that he had finally made it back to France and there he met his wife while cycling through the French countryside - and she was an Aussie.

He thought it was funny how I saw him as an influence on my life, because he'd always thought of me as inspirational and calm in the face of calamity.

He also shared that he really wasn't very wise and calm at all, he had long suffered with clinical depression and used to self medicate back then with the illicit weed.
He shared that in German the word for depression is worldschmirtz - world weary, and somehow he thought if he travelled the world he would overcome it, but he never did and now he medicates properly and feels much better. He also said that he thought that those that suffer from depression see the world more realistically than others.

I had no idea. All I know, is he appeared in my life exactly when I needed his brand of realism and calmness, however that was generated.

But, I do still wonder if he was my big brother in another life, still keeping an eye out for me :wink:
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby snowheight » Tue May 03, 2011 4:36 pm

Rick, please, snarfel away, I love to read your stuff man.

'jen baring your soul like that ... rather breathtaking ... your story has the surreal overtone of Benjamin Button which you've combined with the innocence of Forest Gump while adding one whole helluva heaping of tragedy. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby Rick » Tue May 03, 2011 6:14 pm

snowheight wrote:Rick, please, snarfel away


I didn't know what the word snarfel meant. I looked it up: "The act of blowing air thru the mouth while pressed against someone's stomach, resulting in the classic bubbly fart noise." Is that what I am doing? :shock: ------- :lol:

Back to the subject at hand. There was a time that I was reduced to picking trash and selling the stuff at yard sales and/or the flea market to get up some cash. It was a magical time and only the beginning of a magical journey that I will perhaps write about another time. (today I have a successful gold, silver and antiques buying business whose roots began in trash picking) Anyway, at the time, there were two books I had wanted but couldn't afford. One was about mindfulness meditation that I would loan to others and never get back. I needed to review it but didn't have a copy of it. The second was the Book of Mormon. The one I ordered hadn't come yet and I was dying of curiosity. Anyway, I held it up to the Universe as a want and let it go. While out sometime a few days later I found a promising pile of trash and when I approached it I was a bit stunned to find, sitting neatly on top of a heap in a metal trash can, two books, as if just placed there for me to find, the two book I had asked for. All I could do is marvel and smile.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby snowheight » Tue May 03, 2011 8:03 pm

Rick wrote:
snowheight wrote:Rick, please, snarfel away


I didn't know what the word snarfel meant. I looked it up: "The act of blowing air thru the mouth while pressed against someone's stomach, resulting in the classic bubbly fart noise." Is that what I am doing? :shock: ------- :lol:


whoops! sorry! .... also resembles the sounds of a "hog" ... ( u said "hog the thread" ...?)

Rick wrote:One was about mindfulness meditation that I would loan to others and never get back


funny and spooky all at once!
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby snowheight » Tue May 03, 2011 8:52 pm

Wait a minute Rick ... you mean to tell me that the book of Mormon is only free to people who aren't homeless? ... well in your case it WAS free ... but if you were looking for it ... don't they just give those out?

Careful now, I really am in a spiritual debt to those guys.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby Rick » Tue May 03, 2011 9:00 pm

snowheight wrote:Wait a minute Rick ... you mean to tell me that the book of Mormon is only free to people who aren't homeless? ... well in your case it WAS free ... but if you were looking for it ... don't they just give those out?

Careful now, I really am in a spiritual debt to those guys.


Hmmm. If it really and truly was free they would mail it to you. But instead they deliver it attached to some very cheery, bright smiled young sales people. So you see, there is a hook to the book. :D

PS: Snarfel...I'm gonna start using that word with my grand kids. I'll think they'll get a kick out of it.
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Re: Tales of Synchronicity

Postby smiileyjen101 » Wed May 04, 2011 12:34 am

snarfel :lol:

We always used to call that action/noise zerbet :lol:
But then again I used to always rattle on about Worzel Gumple (Forest Gump) - I'd forgotten his name and used that once and everyone 'got' who I was talking about so it stuck whenever someone wanted to quote his lines.

'jen baring your soul like that ... rather breathtaking ... your story has the surreal overtone of Benjamin Button which you've combined with the innocence of Forest Gump while adding one whole helluva heaping of tragedy.

It is what it is snow, one whole helluva blessed journey, with amazing characters bringing love and light along the way. We never walk it alone and we only do it one breath at a time.
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