There’s a thing going around Facebook right now where a person will give a certain number of random facts about themselves, and if you “Like” the post, they get to give you a number, and you do the same thing. I already did mine, but last night I read another friend’s, and in doing so, I had one of those rare — vanishingly rare, painfully rare, so rare we seek them out and hold onto them when we find them as evidence that there’s something greater than us in charge of it all — moments in which I had a sense that some part of the Universe had lined up the way it was supposed to.
This friend of mine was actually my best friend, many years ago, when I was in second grade. My family lived in Elkins, WV that year, while my father taught for a year at Davis & Elkins, a college in that town. We ended up only living there a single year, and I’ve always kind of wondered what things might have been like had we stayed. But anyway, I had this friend, a girl who lived down the street, and for some reason, she and I had a lot of fun together. And then we moved away, and that was that. I found her again a few years back on Facebook; it’s things like that which make me shake my head whenever I encounter a person who thinks that online networking is worthless.
Our teacher in second grade was a beautiful and kind woman named Sandy Pnakovich, whom I had actually sought out on Google some years back, hoping to find an e-mail address so I might drop her a line from a student she’d had in her class more than twenty years before, and whom she might not even remember. Sadly, all I found was her obituary; she died in hospice in 2002. Cancer, I assume.
Fast forward to last night, when my friend posted her “Random facts” on Facebook. I already knew that she still lived in Elkins and is a teacher in the same school district. What I did not know is that her classroom is Mrs. Pnakovich’s old one. There’s just something right about that. That’s the way a good movie ends, you know?