When I was a boy I was always amazed by what a heavy sleeper my Grandma was. I knew this mainly because her bedroom was right next to the one my brother and I shared. When I would wake up in the morning I would hear her steady snoring echoing through the thin walls. She rarely if ever got up during the night and when she napped in her chair the television and record player never woke her up.

It seemed a strange coincidence then that during the middle of one night she would suddenly awake the moment that frayed wiring in her room caught fire. Her screams awoke my brother who then rushed through the house waking up the rest of the family. The house was made of old, dry timbers and the fire raced through it in a matter of minutes. Smoke filled every room. None of us could see anything. We were all filled with fear and confusion. Still, thanks to my Grandma waking up at just that moment we all made it out safely. My Mom even found our small dog cowering at her feet and picked him up just as we ran out the front door.

Doris Lessing once said that "Coincidences are Godís way of remaining anonymous." I fully believe that to be true. Without the coincidence of my Grandma waking up at just the right second that fire would have cost us our lives as well as our home. Without that coincidence my Grandma, Mom, and Dad would never have touched the lives they did over the years that followed. Without it my brother would never have become a teacher and I would never have written a word. Without it my brothers and I would never have raised seven wonderful children. Without it all the love, learning, and joy my family has shared with others would have been lost.

The next time a coincidence blesses your life then embrace it for the gift from God that it is. We are all watched over with so much love. May we make our lives a gift of love as well.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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