Last week, I had a very strange and cool thing happen… I was at a concert when I received a message on Facebook from a woman named Cat. She had bought a handmade bowl at an estate sale a little over a week ago and she had gotten curious about the history of the bowl. She googled the artist’s name and my grandfather’s obituary as well as my blog, “Honey Bucket”, came up in the search. When she realized that this might be my grandfather’s work, she reached out to me. She was very sweet and wanted to connect with me because there was a chance that this could be my grandfather’s piece. There were some VERY interesting similarities. The first and last name were the same, the handwriting interchanged between upper and lower case letters (just like my grandfather’s printed handwriting). The “t’s” in particular were VERY similar to my grandfather’s handwriting across the board… not to mention, this piece was found less than 2 months after my grandfather had passed. Even more interesting… the word “Sycamore” was written on the bottom of this bowl. Also, my grandfather had been a collector of coins for as long as I could remember and in the bottom of this bowl was a mold of a buffalo nickel that was adhered to the inside. In my grandfather’s obituary, it had also mentioned that he had done some woodworking and coppersmithing as hobbies.
As I was trying to solve this mystery, I started going through some samples of my grandfather’s writing to compare the handwriting… and although somewhat inconsistent, I did notice that my grandfather’s handwriting had changed significantly over time… I also realized that my grandfather had lived at a “Sycamore” address at some point. Additionally, the date on the bottom of the bowl was around the same time that my grandfather had first started getting sick. With all of these similarities , I was convinced that this was my grandfather’s bowl, but it did seem to be a little more advanced work than I ever remembered him doing. When I couldn’t 100% confirm that it was something he had made, I spent some time searching online. I eventually came across a man with the same name on Facebook that had the same name, location that this piece was found and also did woodworking. I sent Cat (the lady that contacted me about this bowl) the links that I had found and I decided to reach out to this man that shared so many similarities with my grandfather (if for no other reason than to tell him about this situation). It took some digging, but I eventually reached the correct person and he did confirm that it was his work and his handwriting (not my grandfather’s). I did learn that this man decided to put the coin inside the bowl because he thought it looked elegant. 🙂
I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that we discovered that it wasn’t my grandfather’s work… but as Cat and I have continued to talk over the course of these past few days, I felt connected to her in a very genuine way. I very much appreciate the interesting timing of all of this and that a total stranger connected with the words that I written about my grandfather enough to take the time to track me down and reach out… which is why I wanted to connect with this other man as well. We all agree that this was a very unusual COINcidence, but it’s still special in its own way. Ironically (or in just a very meant to be way), I had my grandfather on my mind a lot on this particular day that this happened just a couple of hours before Cat contacted me… and I know in my heart that my grandfather is watching over me and knows that I think of him often… Even though this was shown to me in the most unusual way, I definitely feel as though this confirmed that my grandfather appreciates the direction I am allowing myself to go with my writing… and that this was his way of letting me know that he appreciates my willingness to continue sharing my thoughts and the memories that I had lovingly shared about him with others.
Also, the red bird even came up again (if you remember from the “Honey Bucket” blog, the red bird is a symbol reminds me of my great-grandmother). In a picture on this man’s Facebook page, there was a red bird inside a bird house he had made, and I felt that seeing that picture was very meant to be as well. This man who shares my grandfather’s name appreciated the fact that I reached out to him, and it was nice to know that my words and the relationship with my grandfather had touched multiple lives in this situation.
Sometimes, things don’t go as a planned. Sometimes, we receive beautiful messages in ways that we never expected. Although I’m convinced that this was my grandfather’s idea of messing with me a little bit, I also think it was his way of helping me to continue allowing our relationship to live on in a meaningful way. Also, Cat and I later realized that not only does she live about 45 minutes from my best friend, but we actually have 12 different 2-degrees of separation (even though we live over 700 miles apart)… and regardless of whether this had ended up being something that my grandfather had made or not… this situation truly connected me with someone in a very meant to be way that I might not have ever had the chance to connect with otherwise… and for that, I am extremely grateful.
Thank you for the random adventure, Papa Stan… and thank you to Cat for recognizing that my grandfather and I had a special connection! I can’t wait to hopefully meet you in the not-so-distant future!
The handwriting on the bowl:
My grandfather’s handwriting: