This is a message to my Mom. Let me tell you a story you already know. You died when I was only 15. You did not hug & kiss me much, but you were always there. Always there until you were not. I did not get to say goodbye to you at the hospital. But I did hold your cold hand for a few moments while you laid in the casket. You looked beautiful in your light blue suit and a smidge of lipstick. No more pain I thought. Just peace. I was happy for that. I had seen your radiation burned chest and mastectomy scar the year before. I was attuned to your pain in your hip. Your verbal groans when changing positions and your gait told me a story no one else seemed to notice or talk about. 40 plus years later I am trying to get out of pain myself.
I was at a yoga studio taking restorative classes during the summer of 2018 and in walks a Force of Nature. I would learn her name was Nancy. Your name. You do not hear that name too much anymore. As soon as I heard it, I knew it was a wink from you and God. It took months of casual conversation with Nancy before one day she signed in for class after me. She asked, “Is your last name Coleman?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “that was my Maiden name.” Then class started. OMG!!, she was born Nancy Coleman and my Mom became Nancy Coleman when she married. I had to ask her what her middle name was, but I already knew what it was… Jane. I still needed to confirm. I didn’t catch her after class, so I texted her the question. Hours went by before I got the answer… Jane. So, my Mom’s married name was Nancy Jane Coleman and I just met someone at a small yoga studio in North Phoenix whose name at birth was Nancy Jane Coleman. Was that a coincidence? No. Was that a God thing? Yes! Yes, indeed it was and is. But now I needed to tell Nancy. How would I tell her? What words would I say? Stringing words together especially when nervous was and is not easy for me due to the brain injury.
A couple days later I caught up with Nancy after class in the parking lot. She was in a hurry to get somewhere but made some time. I told her that she was born Nancy Jane Coleman, but my Mom became Nancy Jane Coleman when she got married. I got her attention. I told her that my Mom died of Metastatic Breast Cancer when I was 15. I nervously continued. I never told anyone this… but in my heart… I feel like I missed out on knowing her as an adult. Only God knew this and now you are here.
Instead of a restraining order filed against me, Nancy gave me a big hug saying, “Praise God!” We became good friends over the following months. I not only made a new friend, but a spiritual one at that. About 6 months later I joined her church and even joined her in the Prayer Ministry. I learned a whole new way of expressing myself spiritually. We talk or Facetime often. Our health challenges have taken us down different paths, but we are only a phone call away!
Both Nancy and me love telling our story. We both have told our families of our new “relative.” I do know that Nancy is not my Mom! We consider ourselves sisters!
And for all those doubters out there thinking that “Coleman” is a common last name, here is something else to ponder. Nancy has a brother born Charles Michael Coleman, but has gone by Mike Coleman his whole life. My Dad was born Michael Patrick Coleman and went by Mike Coleman his whole life.