“The Wink” …The power of coincidence to change our destiny! Jo Latino

Through a chain of events… that at the time were not very pleasant… my husband and I found ourselves sitting in a young attorney’s office. I mean who in their right mind calls an attorney unless you are facing legal problems?  I thought I had “randomly” picked Joe’s name out of hundreds of attorneys in our town but…as always…. there was a bigger plan in play.  When we stepped into this young man’s office Anthony jokingly said “Ok I guess we are on the clock so I am gonna talk fast!”

Why then, did we “waste time and money” talking about a book this young man was reading?  Joe apologetically continued   “I do not know why I am even telling you guys about this book!” He excitedly shared how through a series of “coincidences” he found himself reading a book called  “When God winks at you…How the power of coincidence guides your life”.  I sat smiling and nodding… encouraging his conversation…thinking how often I found myself in this place. I knew it was a predestined  moment… arranged by a force that quite frankly… I still cannot explain or fathom.

I know, I know, many people feel uncomfortable when you mention the G word. I understand and respect that. Many people have been hurt by people forcing their version of God on them. So I tread softly and respectfully in that area when I write.  However, let me say this, whatever… whomever you believe in…you must know there is a magnificent force prevailing at all times in our lives. That force that spins planets and churns tides is also at work in you! Amazing huh?

I could not wait to get the book in my hands and ordered one for a friend whose mantra is “Remember there are no coincidences in life”.  Anthony and I read a story daily while we are doing exchanges for his dialysis. We have marveled at the fact that as we read the book…the more “winks” we recall and see in our own lives. So I began to document these incidents as we discuss these stories daily. It has been great fun.  What is interesting to me is that every story in the book…EVERY SINGLE ONE…tells how those the author wrote about were in a tight, sometimes hopeless situation.  BUT they were always seeking guidance…that was the key. In each story the main character reached a point of SURRENDERING the situation into the hands of a power greater than themselves and that is WHEN the Magic begins!!!

Last week two families, very close to us, are facing putting their homes on the market because of financial situations. I wrote each of them a letter of encouragement, sharing some of the challenging situations Anthony and I have faced. Instead of retyping the stories I shared again…I decided to copy the letter I sent for you to read. I do hope someone reading this blog will find encouragement through these words.

After all that is WHY we walk through these seasons…so we might shed light …comfort and healing ….to others : )  I encourage you to share (in the comments below) your OWN “Wink Stories” I love to read what you share and know for a fact how much your input means to other readers.

December 28, 2009

Dearest Mark and Sis,

So sorry I didn’t get to visit with you when you called on Christmas Day. I had just gotten everything on the table for an early Christmas Lunch. We ate early because Drex had to open “Fedora” on  Christmas Night. He says it is a busy night because kids are sick of being stuck with their parents,  they all come out to have a break! Do they really think we are not sick of them?

I have thought about both of you off and on for days.  I prayed, I thought, and kept asking myself if I might be able to encourage you in some way. I have learned… the hard way… that people really do not want or NEED my advice or insight…so please receive this with the intention of my heart…simply as encouragement.

Anthony told me you have decided it is (or might be) time to put your home on the market. I can only imagine all the feelings of attachment you have to your home. In fact… I do too…we spent many happy moments there with you in Mill Valley.

But when I think back on our visits there, I really do not think about the house, just the memories. Those treasured moments would have been just as wonderful celebrated in a straw hut!!!

You know, its funny, I have never had an attachment to a house before I moved into the one we have now. I think the reason is, because this house became a home for me. I think it is the first place I truly ever felt was mine! Everything else just seemed like temporary housing until we finally settled in here. What is funny is we lived in some beautiful homes…but nothing seemed right… until I “felt” right within…in my own skin!

Some mornings when I have my mediation time and sit looking out at the pond… I find myself secretly asking God to let us stay here forever …

But I know how life has worked in the past, so I know when or IF the time comes, I will accept it and surrender…at least I hope I will.  I just do not like that feeling of tension and frustration I get when I go against what is supposed to be happening…letting it go… just feels better than all that anxiety of wanting to hold on.

Mark, you have only visited here in the winter months so you cannot get the full picture of the beauty of this area. The springs are lush, the fall brings those beautiful autumn colors; I know you both experienced and perhaps even missed, when you moved from NY to California. But you know, sometimes the winter months are the most beautiful to me because I know winter has its purpose.

I was wondering if right now, with all you have going on, you might feel you are in a “winter” season of life.

I look back over my life and recall all the “winters” that seemed so unfair, so bitter, cold, and harsh. I felt I had to push myself to even get out of bed in the morning and wondered what /where/how/why this “season” had to happen and most of all when would it pass!!!

At the time it felt so uncomfortable… but as they say hindsight is 20/20… every single winter brought something even better and more suitable for us after it passed. Because spring ALWAYS follows winter…lots of new growth and beauty. I thought I would tell you about a couple of our “winters” to encourage you.

Remember when we almost bought that house in Lake Tahoe? Mark we were working for you at the factory then.  We fell in love with the house in Tahoe; we thought it would be great to live closer to all of our kids in California….. We even mailed in a down payment before we went up to sign the papers. We had it all planned out to perfection…but God had a better plan for us.

What was odd was… when we got back to Tahoe…a few things happened to make me wonder IF we had made the right choice. Some of the things in the house were not as we remembered. It was almost like I heard myself say “hey wait a minute…slow down”

I had a coffee one morning at a local coffee shop to get the feel of the town. A couple of people started a conversation with me; I mentioned that we were moving there and every single person told me why they WOULDN’T move there. I was not even asking… so something inside me just went hmm…something is up here.

I can usually tell when life is holding me back…it is almost like I feel there are all these big stop signs or detours flashing in front of me…and most of all I feel it in my body. I feel tight, worried, and frustrated.

So we go back to the house to meet the realtor…are ready to sign the papers…and she says she never got our check in the mail. Again… I went hmm.

The final clincher was that neither Anthony nor I had a check with us. Even if we do not carry a checkbook we ALWAYS carry an emergency check in our billfolds. But no, not that day! We went back to the hotel and talked. I mean really talked about how we both were feeling…and both of us had reservations.

Mark, remember how you had that folder stuck to the door at the office for outgoing mail? I told Anthony on the way back to the hotel…I just bet that check is stuck in the bottom of that envelope. And it was!!! The mailman came every single day for weeks and never picked up that piece of mail! We got the message loud and clear J

Another horrible “winter” was when Anthony and I separated. That was a dreadful time in my life. I mean I don’t know if you even know I had a breakdown…which I always say was really a breakthrough wearing a disguise. So we wind up moving here to ….Missouri…. so I can live near my sister and then SHE MOVES!!!

However, Anthony is convinced if we had not moved here, where the medical care is so incredible…  I mean our St Johns Hospital … is really well known throughout the nation for its superior medical care.

Anthony had been to numerous doctors in Las Vegas but no one even noticed his kidneys were failing! Our doctor here IS the guy for Anthony. I am convinced that God hand picked him for Anthony. If you could see the care Anthony gets and see the bond these two share, it was worth the damn breakdown to get here.

Several months ago; just out of curiosity…I looked up the value of our former home in LV. We would have LOST money big time, plus with all the fees living in that retirement community; we might have been in big financial trouble today. God used unpleasant circumstances to get us to a better place!

We love Missouri. We love our home. We love the doctors and people here. There is no doubt in my mind this place was specially selected for us! BUT it took a lot of hard times to get us exactly where we needed to be.

And the best thing? When I left Anthony for that period it totally changed our relationship. I am convinced if I had not left Las Vegas we would not have made it in our marriage. Because now I realize… it would not mattered WHERE we lived …or HOW we lived …if we were not truly connected and on the same page.

We had lost something and I did not know how to get it back…but when I left I knew I was facing the fact… that we were at an impasse. And you know (by reading my book)   I met my therapist here, and again, she was top-quality. Meeting her changed me and US forever.  YEAH!!!

Ok one more winter story…I mean I could go on forever and ever…but this is a big one too. The day Drex told me Lisa was pregnant and they were not going to get married. I mean I had not ever planned to say that I had an ILLEGITIMATE GRANDSON!!! I did NOT plan that for sure.

I was so furious with Drex. I ranted for weeks…I mean I was angry…big time. What idiot does not use protection these days?

I have to tell you I am SO very VERY thankful my son was an idiot. I am so thankful he did not use common sense and good judgment. I mean really… Devin was even born on my 50th Birthday…could God ever have given me a better “gotcha” wink  than that one?

I remember telling Drex in my most furious Southern way, “I aint babysittin’ that kid, he is YOUR responsibility, don’t expect ME to take care of him”.

Well, now I am the nuttiest, most foolish Grandma that ever lived. We can hardly wait for Friday afternoon to roll around because Devin is coming to spend the night!!! Yippee!!! He has spent the night with us once a week since he was 2 weeks old.

I can’t tell you what that little boy has meant to Anthony…he is Anthony’s constant shadow. So aware of Anthony’s health situation… He rushes to help him out of the car and down the stairs. The other day Anthony was having trouble getting his belt through the back loops …and in a flash… there was his little “assistant” helping him.

He tells Anthony all the time that one of his friends at school has a Grandpa that has lived to be over 100 so “You can too Toto!” One day when they were getting into this deep conversation  about heaven…Devin said “Ya know Toto, I am not afraid to go to heaven now, cause I know when I get there you and Prezzie (our old dog) will be waiting for me!”

My mother always says, “Only God would plan for a little boy born in the Ozarks to have an Italian Grandpa from Brooklyn, NY !   People always tell Drex that Devin is so smart; it is like talking with a little old man. Drex tells them that is because his best bud is an 80 year old man!

Yes, I know things may look bleak to you right now. But I just encourage you to let things fall where they want to fall AND NEED TO FALL. We all talk about God/the Universe/Higher Power in glowing terms when things fall the way we want them to.

But I just bet down the road you are going to have your own story to tell. I know it is tough when you are in the middle of it …but there is a plan… and you will know it when you see it!

I love you both very much. We are praying and trusting in every step you are taking. I always say “You will know in your know-er” what to do. There is a blueprint handed down from heaven for EVERY challenge that comes our way!