The Beauty of Coincidence

co·in·ci·dence  n.

1. The state or fact of occupying the same relative position or area in space.

2. A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.

The Backstory

Last post I introduced photographer, Jon Rowader, and wrote a poem to two of his images. The following week, I spent a few days helping my dad with my mom who suffers with Alzheimer’s.  He usually has a few projects for me while I am there. This time it was to help him clean out a closet. I battled the big spiders in the corners and casually opened an unmarked box, never dreaming what I was about to find. After my initial gasp, I dragged the box into the light and unpacked it.


The Coincidence

Here was the early life of Jon’s beautiful sister, Gretchen. All packed up into a long lost box. Trinkets, letters, photos, little girl jewelry, even an old baseball (not autographed.)

The Rest of the Story

Our home was a second home to Gretchen. She lived with us, vacationed with us, went to family parties with us, and eventually permanently moved in with us. Then, she went off to college, got married, had a great job, went through a divorce, and a long battle with depression/bulimia/anorexia. One January, we all travelled up north to my father’s cabin in the hills of Wisconsin. She informed us that she was moving and needed to get rid of her English Setters, Joe Caleb and Castle. My son, ten at the time, lit up, so Gretchen handed over the reigns (leash) of Joe Caleb to him and my parents adopted Castle.

In a way, Gretchen did move.

Into the arms of God.

A few short weeks later.

The Ugly Beautiful

The Ugly was Gretchen’s battle with depression. I can’t get into the details but she struggled fatally.

The beautiful is the memories we now have of her.

This past month I have been basking in the poetry of these memories, the beauty in coincidence, and finding the gift of Gretchen in my father’s closet.



No visual poetry this post.
Just the poetry of Gretchen, herself.


10 thoughts on “The Beauty of Coincidence

  1. How utterly delightful for you to have completed the circle in this way – a circle she herself must have anticipated. Giving away her dogs just prior to her death, the early years bundled together, everything coming back together in memory and time. Thank you for sharing this story. You will surely have many fine visual prompts for future poetic tributes to her.

Speak to me of thoughts unspoken.

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