Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How a chance encounter changed the way I look at everything

FortuneKeeper was at an outdoor holiday festival
and I was giddy until...

One of the really fun things that we do at FortuneKeeper is the occasional outdoor fair where the smell of smoking hot food and the silliness of the people who are there for some food, drink, entertainment and some holiday shopping is really fun for us. Even an occasional downpour does not put a damper on a good street fair. 

As you can imagine we bring lots of FortuneKeeper merchandise and fill our booth with all of our images, ranging from Buddhas to NYC subway stairs. This encounter that I am finally ready to share happened during holiday 2012 at the Union Square Holiday Market. Now I must tell you that Union Square is a blast. The people who walk down the aisles are really fantastic. Here is a picture that I took of happy FortuneKeeper customer. We had so much fun that she became a friend. Really, you can meet people anywhere. I once met a now great friend at a bus stop!

So one day it was rather busy and I was working with a few other people and I spotted a young woman who could not have been more than twenty years old. She was looking at our display and I sensed she was nervous, not shy. I am rather outgoing so I approached her and asked if I could help her. She asked me if she bought 20 FortuneKeepers if I could give her a small discount. She asked in a way that made me feel these were not office gifts or stocking stuffers. The Pisces in me sensed that she was here for some reason other than the traditional gift purchase. I asked her if she was OK and she hesitated. She stood silently and then she told me that her 23 year old sister had died in a car accident the prior week and that the family was getting together to honor her and that everyone was going to get a FortuneKeeper to put in a few special words or pictures to share with the family. 

We spent the next hour together, just the two of us looking at all of the images and the stories associated with them. We talked about her sister and she told me the images that she would have liked best. We both cried and it was such a moving experience that I think about it every day. When she was ready to leave we hugged and I told her that she was a beautiful young woman. 

About an hour later she returned. She had been wearing a necklace that was handmade in her home state in the western part of the country. She took it off and put it on me. All she said was "you are a beautiful person" and she left.

In times of joy and in times of grief we get "gifts" that forever change us and stay close to our hearts.