Since I began writing this blog, I have been on a journey through my colorful past. I search for photos to post that pertain to my particular story. I run across others that are meaningful and bring back memories of those I have lost touch with over the years.
One such photo was the man who was not my father walking me down a leaf strewn path on September 28,1996. There, waiting on the banks of the Perkiomen Creek was my future husband, Pete. It was an outside wedding at the now shuttered Gypsy Rose Restaurant.
On a whim, I put his name into Facebook and began yet another search for him. I looked for him off and on since we moved to Arizona in the fall of 1997. I knew he and his wife moved back to Sweden, but nothing more.
This time, several Facebook profiles came up. Although I saw few photos, one in particular caught my eye. There was something about one man’s confident stance that appeared familiar. On March 15th, I send a friend request and a message via Messenger. I have done this before trying to contact other long-lost friends with minimal luck.
On April 1st, Jan, my dear friend and the greatest male mentor I have known, responded to my message. I am overjoyed he is once again a presence in my life, albeit long distance. He and his wife Benita spend their summers in Sweden and their winters in Spain. How perfect; a good life for a good man. He and Benita deserve nothing but the best.
Jan had an enduring effect in my professional and personal life. He taught me how to treat others with the greatest respect. He was an avid listener. He was kind, yet firm. He did not sway from any issue. He showed incredible empathy for those among our team when they suffered the loss of a loved one. He was my boss, but he was also my friend. We formed a lasting bond. I could listen to him speak for hours. He is one of the wisest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.
In my career I have been a manager, district manager, director, vice president. When faced with a difficult situation or decision, I would ask myself, “What would Jan do? How would Jan react to this development?” Even in his absence, he has been the guiding force in helping me to be a better leader and a better person for over 20 years.
One day after I wrote the “Crow and I” a story about miracles, I experienced one, although I did help a bit. From my perspective, un pequeño milagro (small miracle).
At last, Jan has returned to my life.
There are some people you meet for a specific life purpose. Once they fulfill this purpose, they or you move on and you never hear from them again. Others are woven into the threads of your soul, and remain a part of you forever. Jan is the latter. I am blessed to have a few of those people in my life.
In one of our exchanges over our delight at finding one another again, Jan made a profound statement.
“Friends in the universe will sooner or later find each other.”