A Mere Coincidence? Me Thinks Not.


coincidence: a remarkable occurrence of events or circumstances
without apparent causal connection

A few months back, I was sitting in L&L Hawaiian BBQ singing the words to the song My Favorite Things (from the Sound of Music). The next thing I know, the song begins to play on the overhead speakers in the restaurant.

Coincidence? Maybe. But read on.

I’d been thinking about my dad all day (he passed away 10 years ago), and when I was a little girl he used to take my sisters and I to the theater to see The Sound of Music every year. Since then, the movie has become synonymous with my father.

Still think it was coincidence?

Not me. I believe that the song on the radio was his way of letting me know that he was with me. That he was thinking of me, too.

I believe that the occurrences of events in our lives are the result of fate, destiny and not coincidence. But sometimes I think it’s something more.

Last week I wrote THE END on a book I started almost a year ago. In it, one of my characters—call him Mac—was a fighter pilot in the Navy during World War 2. He did his basic training at Great Lakes Naval Station, located north of Chicago in Illinois. He then went on to Pensacola, Florida to do his flight training.

This summer, my niece Jessica, who lived in Southern California, announced that she was joining the Navy. Last week she graduated from Boot Camp at Great Lakes Naval Station. The following day she flew to Pensacola, Florida, where she is now stationed.

This got me thinking.

Two years ago I wrote a book called The Many Lives of June Crandall. Originally the title was supposed to be The Many Lives of June Crandell, but then my editor sent it back to me with the slight variation in the title.

Believing that this was not a mere accident, I decided to Google the last name Crandell. I didn’t find much in terms of significance. Nothing spoke to me. Then I Googled the name Crandall. The first item that popped up was an obituary of a woman named June Crandall. She’d been 76. She lived her entire life in a small town outside of Detroit, Michigan called Battle Creek. And she was born on March 19th.

At the time, my book had 76 chapters. My mother grew up in Battle Creek, Michigan. And I was born on March 19th. And so the title of my book officially became The Many Lives of June Crandall.

But wait, there’s more. The heroine in the book is named Grace. And in the story, her mother becomes paralyzed after a tragic accident. In February of this year, my niece Jenny had a daughter whom she named Grace. And this summer, Jenny’s mother (my sister) became paralyzed.

Coincidence God

I’m not sure what this all means exactly, but it does seem that some force was at play, guiding me in my writing. Was it mere coincidence that I wrote about events that would one day become significant to me? Was it fate or destiny (personally I’d prefer to think that my sister’s paralysis was not fated)? Or something more? Intuition, maybe?

What do you think? Have you ever experienced something significant that cannot be explained by coincidence? I want to know! I love hearing from you. And to prove it, for every comment you leave, you’ll be entered into a drawing. At the end of the month, I will draw a lucky winner who will receive a $10 gift card (your choice, Amazon, Starbucks or iTunes). Winners will be announced in the first post of the following month.

Congratulations to Gretchen Wing, the November winner!

8 comments on… “A Mere Coincidence? Me Thinks Not.”

  1. Wonderful post, Suzanne! I think there are synchronicities in our lives – call them paths that converge in parallel systems we can’t see or whatever you like – and we rarely pay attention to them. We brush them off as coincidence, or as an accident, or as a fluke.

    Over the summer, one of my best friends of over 40 years died. We hadn’t been close in the past couple of years because she was convinced the best way to deal with the cancer killing her was to push everyone away. When she passed away, I deleted her contact information from my Outlook list, and with it, her birthday disappeared on my calendar.

    Over the weekend, she was firmly on my mind. It was like she was checking in with me. Her birthday was November 29, but it wasn’t on my written calendar anymore. But on my internal calendar? Definitely. I never got a chance to say goodbye. But then, she never got to say goodbye to me either. But after a couple of internal ‘conversations’ this weekend, I’m at peace with it, and I think she is too.

    Coincidence? Synchronicity? Or part of a bigger master plan that presents itself to us as an exercise in free will? You decide!


    • Yes, yes, yes! That’s what it is. Synchronicity (defined by Wikapedia as the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related). Thanks, Yvonne. And I’m sorry to hear about your friend. Having nursed parents and friends through terminal illnesses, I’ve seen the physical transformation one’s body goes thru. Perhaps your friend just wanted you to remember her how she was before her illness transformed her.

  2. Sometimes I believe in fate, and sometimes I think it’s simply pure coincidence, but probably because it’s too much work to try to figure out what fate was intending so I just chalk it up to coincidence. I’m lazy that way.

    And hurray for Yvonne for using the word “synchronicities.”

    Hope you sis is doing a little better.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  3. I do believe we connect with those who pass away. My daughter Kellie has made her presence known to us and so have my parents in many ways. But, the most amazing connection is the one I have with my great, great grandmother Mary Kirkpatrick. She is supposedly the first woman to have stories posted in a magazine.

    When I was writing my third story, I happen to finally go through the genealogy books my mother put together for us. I read through Mary’s stories and went stone cold when I read two of her sentences that werer verbatim to two of mine, in the same circumstances. Later I discovered her story was about her life. When we had a person who studies past lives speak at our SVR meeting I asked her if I could have inherited Mary’s memories. She said it is possible, but I probably inherited Mary. It could be she is a resident of my brain, but I if she is I am not complaining. It might be where I am getting my stories…

    • I’m sorry I missed that SVR meeting! I’m big time into past lives. I love the idea that your great grandmother is so much a part of you. Perhaps her soul reincarnated into you 🙂

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