A Family-ful of Coincidence

When the angels whisper, we call it “coincidence”.

I heard Gabriel’s horn!

Grandfather Arthur Mallinson

Grandfather Arthur Mallinson

An English woman living in Japan, Jaq of Jinkspots, and I connected on Face Book.  When I saw her picture, I gasped.  She resembled the maternal side of my family – the ones who had come from England.  I asked about her heritage and explained the incredible resemblance.

Consequently, old feelings loomed.  Once again I wanted to connect with maternal cousins – especially Uncle Tom’s children.  I loved every minute spent with their father.  Uncle Tom, the youngest of the family, used to come for visits with Mom – the eldest.  Both Tom and Mother were educators which contributed to the visits being punctuated with vitality, laughter and fascinating intellect.  I’d ask about his children, but since they were all adults busy with their own lives AND since FB didn’t yet exist, he apparently didn’t find opportunity to mention my interest in their lives.

Three weeks ago, I found one cousin – A. – on Face Book.  I wrote her a message, but received no response.  I felt slightly rejected and decided to see if I could find her sister – M.  I did!  I looked at available photos of M., but decided to put it on hold.

Meanwhile, back on FB, I noticed an obscure “flag” off to one side.  I clicked on it.  Claudia, a non-FB-friend, had written a message in May – three months earlier.  It began:

“Hi there. I can’t write this to you on the page, but hope you’ll get this. What you wrote on Karen’s page was lovely … I thought I was doing well with the news of her death, but I find with each really great story, I’m reduced to tears. She was my doctor for many years…”

Karen, a 50-something doctor on our island, had died suddenly and Claudia needed to share her grief from England where she currently lives.

To see if I would recognize Claudia, I went to her wall to find a possible photo.  While there, I noticed she’d received a comment from my cousin M.!  At first I didn’t believe it – except there was the identical profile photo I’d just seen.  It was more than a nudge to get on with the connection.

Meanwhile, I responded to Claudia about Dr. Karen’s Celebration of Life.  As an afterthought, I added:

Grandmother Mabel (Quimbey) Mallinson R.N.

Grandmother Mabel (Quimby) Mallinson R.N.

“On a totally different note, I went to your FB to “place” you. As I went through available profile photos (and I found one that helped the penny drop. I DO recognize you!), I saw a comment from M…. She is my cousin from a side of my family with whom I’ve just recently tried to connect. …  Did you connect with her through the art world?”

On August 27th, Claudia replied:

“WHAT A SMALL WORLD!!!!! I have yet to meet M., but know her through a friend – L. It just seemed the right thing to do (friending each other) as we share views and share concerns for our mutual friend. Very amazing that you and I could easily have met through that connection too.”

I was giving myself time to muster courage to contact M.  On August 30th, I was gob-smacked.  I received a FB message from M. :

“Hi A. – Claudia forwarded (me) part of your comment to her. I was so surprised. I knew Dorothy had had daughters, but I guess I assumed that you guys really didn’t know who we were. My mom said that you or your sister were at Dad’s memorial, but I wasn’t all there, as you can imagine.
It’s nice to reconnect.”

M. and I have now exchanged our sibling information giving clues about what has kept us busy all these years.  Amazing to think we are just beginning to discover one another.

A. sent a friend request, but we have not connected yet.

A. and M. are very talented, creative and diverse sisters who carry the looks of my mother’s family to such a degree, it seems I have part of my mother with me again.

I can hardly wait to discover who has all the delectable and unique family traits that will likely throw us into hysterics!

The Mallinson Kids - Tom, Jessie, Bob, Dorothy (Standing from youngest to oldest)

The Mallinson “Kids” Reunion – Tom, Jessie, Bob, Dorothy (Standing from youngest to oldest) – 1980s

It’s close to 90 years since Grandma and Grandpa Mallinson have been together in one place with all of their offspring – such as they are in this post.  Grandma died in 1925; Grandpa in 1957.  All of their “kids” in the above photo have also passed on – each having at least lived into their 80s.

Imagine having to go through Japan, a Doctor’s death and England to bring the Arthur Mallinson family under one roof and discover the next generation only 30 miles away – just across a briny channel.

Can’t wait to see if these cousins know anything about our other rellies in the Thousand Islands in Ontario.

26 thoughts on “A Family-ful of Coincidence

    • I wonder now how my mother felt with our family being so much more involved with our father’s side of the family. Perhaps the reason my mother wanted to follow my husband and me to the West Coast had lots to do with being closer to her siblings. And she did spend more time with them. I glad about that!

  1. I hear often about the seven degrees of separation. It seems your connection to Claudia and her connection to ‘M’ brings it into focus again. The internet has definitely made the world a smaller place.I’m so glad you’re establishing links with relatives again. Ancestry.com has proved kind to me in that respect. xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Thank you, David. Perhaps I’ll use that link to track down the “rellies” from the 1000 Islands. If only I’d listened better when I was younger and had my parents around!

  2. Dear Amy,

    This is a fascinating story. More so from the wonderful way you have narrated it. Have you paused to wonder, ” Who would you be without this story?”

    Reading your post, what resonated for me was how an unrelated and low probability incident led you to wanting to connect with ‘out of sight, out of mind’ folks. Incredible is it not how, as we go through life, disparate touch points sometimes coalesce and come together to point us towards new directions? is this something our brain conjures up or could there be some higher consciousness playing a part? I remain unsure…….

    My current post too explores some of the interesting aspects of Connectedness and I would love to have your comment in the context of what you have written here.


    Great post!


    • More and more, Shakti, I see how we are far busier co-creating than we realize. Over 35 years ago when I first visited this island as a career woman, I stood on the bow of the ferry coming into the harbour, tears running down my face while soaking the island’s beauty and thinking, “If only I could do some kind of work that would allow me to live here.” My husband and I moved here the next year. Without me having to write one resume or make one application, I did contract work for 30 years throughout the province and this island has been my home. The work projects all came to me – sometimes I wondered if I was capable enough to do them. Thankfully, I took one step at a time and it bloomed.

      So Shakti, I will be reviewing your question as I go outside to chop my winter wood. I don’t like answering your questions quickly! ❤ At this point, I keep wanting to turn the question around: "What would the story be without me being who I am?"

      We are created to create. It's constant whether or not we choose to see our power to do so. Whether creating the Pietà, a solution to a broken pipe or a new post for our blog – it's magnificently underway. Our thoughts show us our creation – our work is to listen.

      Love to your family and you, Shakti. Have you adjusted to the hundreds of little losses from the fire. I do hope the sting is gone.

      • Hi Amy,

        Loved your comment.

        So does it mean that the Universe moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform? Your experience of moving to the island seems to suggest that….

        Thank you for remembering and asking about the fire. Well it was a gas line explosion really. I suppose one needs to move on. Move on from aspects in our lives which no longer serve. We have tried to do that and along the way, have succeeded in some measure to remove those myriad of attachments. We try to be in the present, live in the moment. I suppose this has supported us to no longer “think” of our losses, what could have been.



        P.S. Is it not a wee bit early for chopping the winter wood? We still remain in summer….

        • Even wood has a personality, Shakti. Depends when it was cut. My wood supplier, in an attempt to be helpful, was bringing me wood that had been (fallen) left too long – could be years – and had become “punk” – which is a stage before rotting. It burned very quickly and gave off little heat.

          I asked for wood with efficient burning quality, ideally wood cut a year ago. He had none so chopped down a tree in May. When I received it last week, it was still wet. It’s hard to chop and difficult to ignite. Again, wet wood gives off less heat. Plus it builds creosote in the chimney.

          So, to manage the situation, I’ll use the supply of wood left over from last year while the new wood dries.

          If this was long-winded and you know all about wood, please forgive me. I’m picturing you in Oman! 😀

    • I know the one you mean…it eludes me at the moment, as well. Does it elude me or is my mother’s voice taking over? She used to say, “Sit with a Canadian long enough and you’ll discover mutual friends.” That may have been a Canadian Prairie thing. But now it applies to this island life. Most of us walk around with stories of people and we’re amazed when we put a face to the person in the story. “Ohhhh! Him!”

  3. Love your phrase, “when the angels whisper…” So true! Are there really coincidences? Or is it just life working itself out? Glad you heard the horn! ~ Sheila

    • It’s all synchronicity methinks, Sheila. It’s happening more and more. It’s speeding up AND people are waking up to it more and more. It’s exciting and validating. I had a friend years ago who loved to work life backwards. He drove people bananas: “If I hadn’t taken that turn…” “If that person hadn’t given the wrong directions…” He’d go on and on. We’d throw things at him, but maybe he was on a higher frequency than all the rest of us! 😀

    • Makes me think of your connection with your Kenyan friend – and you share her with us so we can learn about another culture. Love this grassroots perspective we’re given. We are simply not very different!

    • What a surprise, Tammy. I never considered other Mallinsons popping up. Waawhooo! This makes me wonder…perhaps our family could take mother’s rendition of the Mallinson family tree and put it on the Web. I’ll have to talk to my niece – except it would be her daughter who is the techie. Hmmm….

  4. I cannot believe it, so incredible. It is amazing how the connections fall into place. Technology is definitely moving us forward. Sometimes I wonder what it will be like when my grand girls are my age?????

    • Whatever we think it’s going to be, we’ve proven how we fall short of what actually happens. No one predicted the Internet’s influence and transformation. As one futurist said, whatever is our wildest dream of what it will be like in 10 years, it’s actually going to be many times more. And a far superior design of a nature we could not imagine.

      I like that, too. A lot!

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