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.

Wink. Wink.

Dr. Nancy (Jane Coleman)
Greer-Williams and Me

My Mom, Nancy Jane Coleman

Dr. Charles Michael Coleman

My Dad, Michael Patrick Coleman

I did not create these four images

I encourage everyone to reach out to get to know someone that doesn’t look like you. Someone that grew up in another region, religion or has chosen a different path in life. Its kind of like an archaeologist dig… not sure what you’ll find but the journey will be an adventure!