Sometimes serendipity smacks you in the face and there is no explanation for it. That is what happened to me tonight. I had dinner with two perfect strangers… Serendipitous strangers.
I checked into a hotel in Connecticut. In fact, the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in. It was a beautiful room with the feel of a retreat. I was in this hotel because it was near to the place I needed to be at the time. Near my stepmother as she was dying.
Stepmother is such a loaded term. A term filled with cultural uncertainty. A word that can span the spectrum of meaning: an evil stepmother? A Cinderella-esque situation? Or all the way to the opposite side: the almost unimaginable kind person who cared for a child/children not her own. I mean, who does that? And in real life? Maybe this is why it is so easy to embrace the evil stepmother image, because kind stepmother is too hard to imagine.
But I was lucky. Actually we were lucky to have her. She was an amazing stepmother and she cared for us part-time from about age 8 on. I fully admit this is the unimaginable scenario that is almost boring.
She passed away this morning, but I have no regrets. I told her I loved her and what she meant to me. I spent time with her while she was ill and saw her in these last days. She had suffered a lot.
Back at the inn I had stepped out for a breath of fresh air. The innkeeper saw me outside and asked how things had gone. After I explained, she invited me to join her and her friend for dinner- even if I just needed a good cry. Oh my was I surprised and I decided to join them.
It was a beautiful evening I will never forget with two intelligent, empathetic, accomplished women who were full of life, laughter and sound advice. My faith in this world was renewed and it was the perfect medicine.
So… Because this is a decorating blog and not the writer’s forum, grief counseling or parenting blog it has morphed into, I’m attaching some grainy iPhone photos of the inn. You should stay here. You should go to Connecticut and see the scenery and say hello to Pam the innkeeper who made Connecticut feel more like North Carolina because…
It. Is. Spectacular. Full stop.
© copyright 2015 Mariam d’Eustachio 2015.
8 responses to “Serendipity”
Mariam, I am so touched by this post on a lot of levels. How kind and caring of you to be available and present for your stepmother. I am a stepmother too and I lovingly sign my cards and emails with WSM. Understood my wonderful stepdaughter as “Wicked Step Mother”. I never imposed myself on my stepdaughter, kept it light and as a result, we have the sweetest relationship.I know if I were at the end of my life, my Courtney would be there as you were for your stepmother. God was with YOU and sent angels of comfort to your side. I love this post and wish like crazy to meet you one day. I love your very special mother, Margaret. Please tell her I love her and pray for her frequently whenever she comes to mind and heart. She does cause I can hear her words and wit often in my heart.
How can one be so lucky as to have two great moms? I am blessed. Thank you Barbara- I’m sure you know the step dynamic is difficult and yours is lucky too.
As your legion of friends are at a distance to rush t’o help, as we are wont to do in times of personal loss, we are comforted to know that there was a gesture of thoughtfulness of some balance to the immediacy of your stepmother’s passing; and in a setting of peaceful beauty. Thank you for letting us know. Love, PAT
Thanks Pat! You are always there for us and I appreciate everything you do for our little family.
Thank you for sharing this heart warming experience. The 1820 House has been our Home Away when we visit our son and grandchildren in CT.
What a treasure it is! I am glad to have found it.
Dear Mariam, I am touched and heartened that you took the time to write this blog post last night. I consider myself lucky to be one of your two serendipitous strangers. I enjoyed our time together so much that I was telling friends about you last night and shared your card with my friend who is into architectural salvage. You gave at least as much to us last night as we, hopefully, gave to you. Warm wishes, Carol
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Carol- anyone who reads this blog would tell you that I have not posted in a long time, but last night seemed so special, that I was inspired to write about it. It was truly a gift at a moment when I was feeling so down. Please stay in touch! And thank you both!