Isn't it funny how life is full of curious coincidences! You know how you'll be talking to someone about another person who should be a stranger and that person will say, "You don't mean so-and-so. I went to school with him/her or I used to work with him/her...or I'm his/her cousin, etc.
When I started teaching at a Cambridge school, I taught with a new teacher to whom I became a mentor. He was inexperienced and somewhat disorganized but enthusiastic, creative and loved by the students. I would relate stories of his "escapades" to my brother, also a teacher, in Windsor. One day, this teacher shared that he had grown up in Windsor and that his sister was a teacher there. Upon further discussion, we discovered that she was a close colleague of my brother as well as a good friend. Who knew!!!
My third child was about to be born and we headed to Cambridge Memorial Hospital. It was not an easy birth and I recall one of the nurses who encouraged me. She was pregnant as well and I remember how stunningly beautiful I thought she was. Her name was Bev. Years later, that same daughter of mine came home from school with a new friend. She said that her mother was a maternity ward nurse. You guessed it...her name was Bev. This girl and my daughter are friends to this day and it all started in the delivery room where both were present.
When my girls were young, I went back to supply teaching to earn a bit of money and talk to adults again. I took a Grade 4, 6 week maternity coverage at a small country school. I will always remember two students in particular, Graeme and Nicola. One day in particular I found Nicola hiding from me under her desk and almost marked her absent. The two of them had more mischief in their heads than the rest of the class combined. Several years later, my oldest became friends with a Nicola and they are friends to this day. We didn't make the connection right away, but over time little facts were put together and added up to ... coincidence.
My first niece, over whom I doted for years before having children of my own, grew up and became a teacher. While she was in training we thought it would be neat if she could be my student teacher, so we had it arranged and she joined my class for a full month. Being that our last names were different, we felt it wise to keep our connection to ourselves until the last day when I told that class that we had a secret to share. I said that our student teacher was my sister's daughter so that made me her Aunt. They were stunned and then one naive little guy raised his hand. He wanted to know exactly when it was that we realized we were related!
Well so much for coincidence.