A Chinese proverb states “…an invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break…” This proverb is commonly referenced for two lovers that were destined to meet. However, it also implies that we are attached to everyone we meet, by the red thread of fate. Today, I experienced this phenomenon, the red thread of fate, in a very emotionally charged moment.
I volunteered to help my friend Dino, who is a home remodeling contractor with a charitable project. I brought 3 young men with me, 2 of whom were recipients of an Extreme Makeover:Home Edition build, for which I was a Volunteer Coordinator. Since completing their build in December 2008, I have forged a wonderful friendship with the recipient family. The young men and I have volunteered together on many projects that Dino has coordinated. The third young man is a dear friend of the family and is a ready, willing, and able “newcomer” to the world of philanthropy.
Today, we had the pleasure of meeting the homeowners of our latest charitable service, Mary and Tom. We learned that Mary used to be an employee at Bob’s Discount Furniture. Mary was the person who managed the donation process of ALL the furniture to the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build we worked on in 2008. Mary met the family she helped in 2008. In a bizarre twist of the red thread of fate, 2 young family members were returning the favor by volunteering to help remodel her home. The phrase “it’s a small world” was most certainly applicable in this instance. But, the red thread of fate had more tangles to weave in its serendipitious web.
Earlier in the day, while Mary and her son were walking their 2 dogs, I had asked to meet the pups. Being a dog trainer and dog lover, it’s just what I do, it’s who I am. Fenway, a German Shepard mix struck my fancy. He came right to me and as I squatted to greet him, he thrust his head under my hand so that I could pet him on top of his fluffy head. Fenway’s companion, a barky little dog, wanted no part of the affection. Mary and her son quickly took the dogs away. I was happy that I got to meet a new dog. I always have a good day when I get to meet a new dog. However, I learned that a red thread of fate had been attached to Fenway and I five years earlier.
My dog Tux, (an AKC Champion Samoyed) sired a litter of 12 puppies to the neighbor’s German Shepherd, Angel. (Angel left her yard, hopped our fence and Tux took advantage of an amorous opportunity.) In a span of over 12 hours, I sat with Angel and helped her deliver all 12 puppies. I helped care for those puppies for 8 weeks. With the assistance of Animal Control Officers, each of the puppies were placed in qualified, forever homes. I never knew where the puppies had been placed. I trusted that I had done the best job I could to raise healthy puppies. I trusted and hoped that those puppies, who I witnessed take their first breaths, and some I had to “jump start” to take their first breaths would be in good hands. I helped them find their mother’s milk before their eyes opened, I saw them when they discovered they could “see.” I heard their first barks and refereed their playful wrestling matches that got too rough. It was hard to see them leave the nest, so to speak, even though they were not my puppies.
Mary asked me today, ” You mentioned earlier that you are a dog trainer. Do you have Samoyeds and live next to someone that has a German Shepherd.” I felt the goose bumps explode on my arms like a volcano!
I replied, “Are you kidding me? Is Fenway from a litter of 12?”
I fought back tears, to the amusement of my young friends. I pleaded with Mary to please let me see Fenway again. She gracefully obliged and I was reunited with an old friend. The red thread of fate that had been attached 5 years earlier was no longer tangled in a mess. Maybe it was God who untangled the thread, maybe it was the Universe or Karma or some other yet unexplainable phenomenon. To me, it doesn’t matter. I had a wonderful moment with an old friend, a “grand doggy” if you will.
And more importantly, my 3 young friends saw something wonderful. Maybe it was “just cool” to them today. But, hopefully someday they will reflect upon today and realize that wonderful things can happen to people when they are least expected.
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.