The other day, as I was playing with Gia, I listened to a phone conversation my mom was having with a friend she met here while visiting us. As I listened to them talking, I thought of my own friend whom I have met here as well and I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I thought to myself: What are the chances of me meeting another Polish woman, here, in the middle of Orange County, California, who not only has a daughter close to Gia’s age, but also shares similar interests and experiences to mine? We are both single moms who are lucky enough to have our moms here helping us with our little girls. We not only get along but, in the relatively short time that we have known each other, we became almost like family.
That fatal night, after the garage door closed leaving behind my late husband and Sebastian, was the last day I called our house a home. That night the police drove me to the house of my wonderful, beloved friend whom I met many years ago at work and with whom I ended up staying for two months. I felt safe there and appreciated being able to become a part of her family, but the truth was, I could not stay there forever. One of my wonderful neighbors and a dear friend suggested that I check out an apartment complex in a nearby neighborhood in my old town of Aliso Viejo which, coincidentally, was also just few minutes away from my work. Honestly, I was unsure about the place at first however I realized that this was probably the best option for me considering my finances and poor mental state. I was just not ready to deal with finding a new place all on my own. As time passed, I agreed to consider moving into these apartment complexes.
What I didn’t realize is that God already had a plan for me and the move here was not coincidental after all. Soon after the move, I met a girl at the playground who told me about Maggie, another Polish single mom who had recently went through a tough break-up herself and had a daughter close to Gia’s age. I was also told that her mom, who babysat Maggie’s daughter, lived in these apartments as well. Soon after, I met Maggie. Now, looking back, I have to admit I don’t really know what I would have done without their presence in my life.
Following that faithful night I was surrounded by many wonderful friends and members of the community whose support really helped me through this most difficult time. However, whenever I looked at Gia, so lost and lonely without her beloved brother, my heart would shatter over and over again. I prayed to God to do something to soothe my little girl’s pain. He finally answered my prayers by sending us another wonderful little girl, Maya, to fill the empty space Sebastian left in our lives. Additionally, he gifted me with the most beautiful friendship and a new family, away from my own family. He also send someone for my mom, someone who would cheer her up and take away the bitterness that filled her world after the passing of Sebastian and my late husband.
I love seeing both Gia and Maya play together and the excitement on Gia’s face when she learns we are all going out together and she will be able to play with her best friend. I love when Gia comes to me, holding her little hand by her heart and with all seriousness says: Mommy, Maya is my best friend. I love seeing my mom, as she leaves happily in the morning to see her friend to chit-chat over a cup of coffee, while Gia is at the school. On the days when Gia is home, the Grandmas take the girls to the park for a picnic and some playtime. Seeing all of their excitement and happiness is priceless. As much as I try, I am unable to express through words the gratitude I feel for the friendship I share with Maggie. We laugh and cry together. We listen to each other as we talk about absolutely everything and anything, and then laugh and cry some more. Sometimes, I wonder what would have done if it weren’t for them…
Some may call it a lucky coincidence, however to me there is no such thing as a coincidence. By now, I have learned that everything really does happen for a reason. Some may call it synchronicity, others a miracle—to me, it does not matter what you will call it, all I know is that our friendship is one of the most beautiful and precious gifts I have received from God thus far.