Well, this post really doesn’t qualify at all as a business post. But so many of you have become friends and like family to me, so I have to share this unusual story from our current trip to Disney World.
Many of you have been to this magical place and although it’s pretty “magical”, it’s also pretty crowded with strangers. I find it amazing in this world of strangers how many times I’ve run into someone I know. Ok, yes, I come here often enough that even the cast members are familiar looking to me now, but this trip something very unusual happened to me and I have to share.
I’ve always been a believer in fate and destiny. I know everything happens for a reason, and I do not question it much any longer. I do wonder, though, at the odd twists and turns we sometimes take and how we end up in the places we do…so here is my unusual story. I am sorry to bore you with it, but I hope you’ll take a minute to read this and wonder, as I have, how small the world really is…
We arrived in Disney on Sunday, around 1 pm. We went to meet some friends in downtown Disney and had to get our passes updated, so we didn’t get to the parks as quickly on this trip as we usually do. Our trip had us at the Boardwalk, planned as it’s Food and Wine Festival time in Epcot and we love to wander the world showcase in the evenings and sample the offerings from the many booths representing countries from all over. On Sunday, we arrived in Epcot around 5:30 or so as we had to stop back at the room and check in and unpack, etc. We meandered over to Epcot and started in France….working our way around the World Showcase very slowly. Well, very slowly as I stopped and sampled some of the wine, Marty stopped and sampled some of the food…you get the message.
We were strolling past the Mexico pavilion when I spotted an ECV (electric cart vehicle) up ahead of us. There was a name tag on the back that said “D’Amico”. I joked with Marty as that is my maiden name and I see more and more often now. As we came up alongside the cart, I did something I don’t often do, but have been known to do from time to time….I spoke to the strangers. I said “hey, great name!”. When they looked at me quizzically, I said – “it’s my maiden name” and was fully prepared for smiles and moving on. The lady accompanying the man in the cart asked me my fathers name – I replied “Peter”. The lady introduced the man to me as “Joseph”. I commented that Joseph had been my grandfathers name. Again, making conversation with strangers and it still seemed light and easy, right?
The man had stopped his cart and we had stopped now also. He asked me where my dad was from. I said New York -honestly, sometimes I can’t remember it exactly. The man said he grew up in Richmond Hills. That rang a bell and I said I think that’s where my dad is from. The man said he had a brother name Peter, but he hadn’t seen him in many years. I took a very careful look at this man…and I realized this man, this stranger I happened upon in Disney World is my Uncle Joey. My father’s brother.
Why is this odd? I’ve never met my Uncle Joey before in my life. Circumstances have taken my father and his brother apart for all these years. I’ve often wondered about this man, and asked my parents. Now I had this opportunity to meet this man in person…in the place I go to all the time, but so rarely do I come with extended family. I met not only my Uncle, but his wife, two of his sons, their wives and 4 of my very young second cousins too!
And luckily, my loving husband had the sane state of mind to snap a picture. I, though, am still dazed by the whole thing. Fate? Destiny? I will take it all…everyday, every moment it brings. It takes talking to a stranger now and then, but you never know who that stranger will be, do you?????
If we hadn’t stopped along the way, if we had come to Epcot earlier, etc, etc…we never would have been walking past Mexico at the exact moment Uncle Joey was…and in this vast world of strangers, I would never have seen that ECV name tag. So many little things had to happen to put me in that place at that time. Weird…and oddly comforting at the same time.
So talk to the strangers you meet. My encounter completed a circle in my life I’ve wanted to complete for many years. I hope I can get to know my Uncle Joey and his wife and even his kids – more cousins! – I welcome the chance to see them again. And I didn’t even have to ride the “It’s a Small World” to figure this one out!