Martha set the Friday Five this week at RevGals: five encounters in your life leading to unexpected results.
I will be brief as i am on my tablet and don't type fast here.
* I encountered a professor in my undergraduate days whose impact was enormous and many faceted. Perhaps the greatest was that he recommended me for a job in the Study Abroad office, From that, I built a career in international education.
* A former boyfriend influenced me tremendously in high school. He was a fairly radical individualist, and I learned much from him...to question authority, to appreciate darkness, to love turtles.
* My grandmother did not want to be embalmed nor to have strangers dress her after death. My female relatives and I did that work in the funeral home, observed by a staff member who clearly wasn't used to this sort of thing. Well, neither were any of us. Some of those present remember it with horror, but it marks an incredibly important point for me. It was the most sacred and tender scene I had ever experienced, until...
* My grandfather died three weeks after his wife. He was 89 and not particularly ill, but shortly after her funeral he got sick and went to the hospital. I dropped everything and flew back to be there. As it developed, I stayed with him in the hospital through his death. Being from out of town gave me total freedom to concentrate on him and not on quotidian duties. During that time, I had precious one on one time with him. I rescued him from the chaplain who came around and said things like, "it's all part of God's plan." And I was there as he died. I watched him doing essential and difficult work and was privileged to witness it. Since that time I have felt that hospice work was a calling, perhaps as a volunteer in my retirement.
* Searching around the Web one day in 2005, I found some women who were in ordained ministry and talking about it on blogs. From that gre RevGalBlogPals, which has been one of my primary communities since then. What a gift! Could I have ever imagined the friendships, travel, spiritual growth I would gain? I just thought I was buying a t shirt.