The world is small, as learned through the Kevin Bacon experiment. This social experiment is the concept that any two people on earth are connected through no more than six people, by way of introduction of friend to friend. Never more so is this “I know your neighbor ” philosophy apparent when the folks all live within 20 miles of each other, regardless of population density.
I have a fitness membership in a local hotel with a spa. This five-star hotel is considered elite. I have encountered several celebrities within the confines of the fitness center. Most of the time, I do not recognize any of the actors or sports superstars standing within inches of me. The hotel is also a getaway for locals due to the location and the spa.
I recently met a couple poolside that was so entwined with my own life, we were almost related. This couple was at the hotel celebrating the enviable milestone of being married for thirty-seven years.
I first met the lady in the locker room, as I was getting ready for my personal training session. I commented that I practically ran over one of the Celtics players getting on the elevator. She mentioned her husband embarrassed himself with another player with his gushing fan approach to conversation.
After my session, her husband engaged me in conversation poolside. It turned out they were teachers within 20 minutes of my house. They knew the following people:
- My childhood babysitter
- My cousin’s wife as she was a work colleague
- My mother’s teaching friend was a work colleague
- My cousins I do not claim (they understood why)
- My cousins I do claim (they understood why)
Most importantly, they know a gal that grew up within a mile of me, as the crow flies. I actually babysat this person a couple of times growing up myself. We will call her Kim in this story.
Kim is several years younger than me, so I did not know her well. I knew her highly respected family and enjoyed babysitting as her, and the siblings, were all well behaved. It was an easy gig.
Her father died when she was a young teenager. It devastated many of the families nearby as her father was respected and left behind a young family.
As expected, Kim still misses her Dad and wishes she had known him better. She was left with questions wondering what type of man he was, whether she was like him, and would he be proud of her.
After speaking with her friend for close to an hour, and learning more about Kim as an adult. It was quite clear my role in this story. I was to pass along information about Kim’s father to her friend. I made sure to impress upon her friend, the respect her father held with my father (another highly respected person). I also told her a few times I felt he was a giving person to others’.
Kim would have made her dad proud by the type of mother she had become, her loyalty to her friends, her charity work, and her chosen career. I conveyed this to her friend. Her friend cried, she believed this is all she ever needed to hear from an outsider.
As I drove home that evening, I was reminded that Kim and I are similar. It doesn’t matter when we lose our father’s, all we really want sometimes is to know that our Daddy’s are proud of us.
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