Yesterday I woke up with a heaviness on my heart. Which happens from time to time, especially to us hypersensitive types. πŸ˜‰

So to shake things up, I went to a Nia class at Urban Yoga.

Afterward, a woman approached me and asked if I was related to the Fernando Schaffenburg. Apparently she’d heard my name when I came in the studio and just had to confirm if I had any relation to the ex-ballet master at TCU. When I said that indeed we were related and he was my dad, a smile beamed across her face and she began recounting her memories of him from college.

Since my dad passed away and I moved back to my home town, I relish every time I come in contact with someone who knew him because in that moment, he’s alive again. And between the sparkle in her eye and how elated she was to connect with me, I was moved to tears.

As the conversation went on, she began to weep as well, revealing that her husband had passed away just a year ago. And that today was a very special day because it marked the day they met 40 years ago outside of Colby Hall on TCU’s campus.

As she recounted their meeting and marriage, it sounded like a story book romance. And I began to weep for her.

So there we stood. Together. In communion. Having been complete strangers just moments before but now deeply connected through our loss.

Having witnessed our conversation, our Nia teacher leaned over and said, You were meant to meet. You needed each other today. And it was true.

I hadn’t been to Nia in over two months and instead of dashing off after class, I lingered. For no good reason at first, but now I know why. I wasn’t even aware that I needed to release any grief or that someone near me might need support through their process, but something greater than me knew better.

Life wants to give us what we need. But first we must be willing to open up and let it lead us where it wants to take us.

Being completely open and honest about our feelings can connect us to others in profound ways. And that connection is what heals us. Knowing we’re not alone. Allowing our sorrow to come forth. Acknowledging the past but remembering that life is right here, right now. And standing strong in the reality that we’re exactly where we’re meant to be.

So how about you? Ever had a chance encounter with a stranger that profoundly affected your life?