Friday, December 14, 2007

Deja Vu

Yesterday I got an incredible surprise gift. Not the kind you can wrap with a pretty bow, though. Even better.

A man walked into our office to tell us that he had recently opened a body shop nearby and would like it if we could refer some business to him.

He was really funny and he even brought a box of chocolates! (shhhhh!)

I was on the phone when he walked in, so he went over to my co-worker, The Biker Chick. I missed his name, but the minute he started talking I had an odd deja vu sense and I noticed that he kept looking over at me.

When I hung up the phone, he apologized for staring, but he said I reminded him of a very old friend he hasn’t seen for many years. Since I look just like my mother and had a feeling that I knew him somehow, I said “Was your friend named Penny?

He nodded and I said I was her daughter.

You have got to be Jessica!” he exclaimed and literally jumped across the room to hug me. He had tears in his eyes.

I hugged him back, still not exactly sure who he was, but then he told me his name and asked if I remembered him.

I totally remembered him even though I must have been about 10 the last time I saw him. He was one of my dad’s closest friends when I was little. His company had transferred him to California in the late 70’s and shortly thereafter my dad had passed away. He had kept in touch a little with my mother but had lost track of her many, many years ago.

He asked about my mom and I told him if he could wait about 15 minutes, she was on her way in to the office. I told him that my mom had remarried and this was my stepfather’s insurance agency. He was floored because he said he almost didn’t stop in because our parking lot was full.

Not only did he wait, he stayed the rest of the morning and took us all out to lunch.

I heard some very funny stories about my dad which was kind of bittersweet, in a way. They were nice to hear, but upsetting to me a little bit, as well. I felt like I didn’t really know the person my mom and this man were reminiscing about and yet, that man was my father!

Sure, my mom talks about him, but she also gets very upset and I don't like to talk about that with her for that reason.

My dad passed away almost 30 years ago and while, of course, I do remember him, my memories are limited through childhood eyes, like going to the park, watching Hee Haw (seriously!) and him trying to teach me to play the guitar, which never happened because I am left-handed and I just couldn’t do it with the right handed guitar.

I know what kind of a dad he was, but I really never knew my dad as a person, if that makes any sense.

He promised to come back next week for lunch with a whole bunch of pictures and more stories. Even though yesterday was a little bittersweet, I can’t wait to hear more!

Sometimes the best gifts don't come in packages at all!


Qtpies7 said...

Wow! I love when God brings sweet gifts like that.

I've had two like that about my grandfather, weird out of the blue. One guy I met at the state fair, and the other through freecycle! LOL

lost2society said...

wow! seriously - there were tears in my eyes!
That is cool how God orchestrated it to get that man in the shop. Neat! :)

... again, it's Jessica, not her hubby, just on his computer and he hates when i sign into my stuff on his computer :-p

FRIGGA said...

That's a great "small world" story.

Happy Friday :P

Damien said...

Wow! What an amazing connection. Will he be getting lunch tomorrow too??? That would be a plus! said...

Sometimes life just has the best surprises!

m.o.M. said...

That's a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing it.

Sassy Lucy said...

Bittersweet or not it will be something wonderful for you to get to know your father better. The world really is a small place.
I am getting to know my father anew as he is no longer drinking, 7 months now...and he is a very different person. I once thought he wouldn't be here to see today, and he is.
You did receive a very special gift.

Di said...

I love that kind of serendipity! How amazing it is that your paths should cross all these years later and it should be so meaningful to you and I'm sure to your Mom.

It is always so much more fun to hear about your parents, grandparents, etc. from their peers who delight in telling us about their foibles and devious exploits!

Kendra said...

how special! i hope you enjoy your time talking with him about your dad!