This evening, I had one of those moments when you realize just how small the world truly is.
I was speaking to Alex, the mother of one of my college essay students, and I said to her, “Your son says you’re from Kent, Connecticut. I happen to have a friend who grew up there.”
“What’s your friend’s name?”
“Sonny Crawford. But I’m guessing he’s much older than you are.”
“Tell me where this Sonny Crawford lives now.”
“Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts.”
She burst out laughing. “Oh, my God! Sonny’s mother and my grandmother were best friends. I think of Sonny’s parents as Uncle Bill and Aunt Jeal.”
“His little sister was one of my closest friends. We used to sneak up to Sonny’s room when he was off in Vietnam. He had all of these posters on the walls. I always thought of him as Pam’s cool big brother.”
I knew then that she indeed knew “our” Sonny Crawford, a Purple Heart Vietnam veteran. “He’s still pretty cool,” I said.
“I have two paintings in my house here that Sonny’s dad painted. Just ask him about Ranger Andy. That was my grandfather. He’ll know exactly who my family is.”
I promised I would. I have since texted Sonny, but it’s late on the east coast. It’ll be tomorrow before I hear back from him.
A few minutes after I hung up, Alex texted me photos of Sonny’s dad’s paintings. I simply couldn’t believe what a coincidence this all was.
I went up and told Ray. We both had a good laugh. Then I texted our kids. Sarah wrote back, “This is going to make Sonny smile.”
It has made us all smile.
Thank you, Elizabeth Dennehy, for referring Alex to me. Who knew she and I would end up knowing someone who is important to us both!
Below is a photo of Sonny listening carefully to a story from Luna when we visited them this past July in Massachusetts. I also included the paintings that Alex sent that were done by Sonny’s dad.
The song, “It’s a Small World After All,” will be circling in my head all night.
A small price to pay for such a lovely and unexpected gift.