Beautiful saris great dress for coincidences

Do you believe in coincidences? I had one recently that involved both my old friend Beatriz, from Colombia, and my new friend Priya, from India. So it became their coincidence as well.
I happened to arrive too early at Cox Playhouse in Plano for a recent Sunday matinee, and saw a large group in the building next door at a festival of Indian dance, music and art. Suddenly I knew that four dresses hanging in my closet, never to be worn again, should go to Indian women.
These were once gorgeous saris, brought from Bombay by my sister, whose husband is Indian, later fashioned into beautiful American-style garments by a wonderful Dallas seamstress. Surely some of the women among those I saw would like them! So I went in…
In the great crowd milling around, I spotted one woman with a clipboard and said to her, “You must be official. Let me ask you something…” And I told her, very briefly, amid all the swirling activity, about my dresses, wondering if she or others she knew might be interested in having them. It was very noisy and she was very busy, so I just jotted down my name and phone number on a slip of paper; she took it and I left to see the play.
At home later, I thought, “That woman must think I’m crazy! She will never call!” But she did — two days later.
Priya lives in north Plano; I live in east Dallas; she agreed to meet me at my synagogue, Congregation Beth Torah, the following Shabbat morning after services to pick up the dresses.
She was thrilled with them. I pointed out the labels sewn in each, with the name of the creative seamstress who had become my friend. But Beatriz had left Dallas long ago to return to her native country; sadly, we had had very sporadic contact afterward, and for the past several years none at all. Priya left; I went home. The very next morning, I had an email from Beatriz!
My return post detailed what I’d done with the dresses. In the distant past, I’d actually worn the first sari as a sari, but although an Indian friend had made me the necessary petticoat and “choli,” that also-necessary little half-blouse, and shown me how to wrap the skirt, I was not comfortable enough to wear it ever again. So Beatriz created from this a long dress with matching stole that I wore to the wedding of my sister’s daughter, where many women, most attired in saris themselves, admired it effusively. I wore two others for the bar mitzvah celebrations of my late husband’s two nephews; I wore the fourth on our festive last shipboard night as Fred and I ended a northern Alaska tour with a cruise into U.S. waters.
Then all four hung in my closet for much too long. I didn’t want either to sell them or to give them to a charity clothing drive; I thought they belonged where the fine materials would be recognized and the exquisite workmanship most truly appreciated.
Beatriz responded: “You did the right thing. God was watching!” When I called Priya to tell her that I had heard from Beatriz, and had gotten her “blessing” on where the dresses had gone, she also said, “God was watching!”
I do not have to put my similar reaction into words; it’s enough that Beatriz and I have agreed to resume closer contact, and that Priya, whose visit to Beth Torah was her first to a Jewish house of worship, has asked me to visit her Hindu temple. Which of course I will do.
I’m not the first one who ever said this, but I’ve suspected it for a long time, and now I’m totally convinced: There is no such thing as a coincidence. What we call coincidences are times when God has chosen, for whatever the reason, to remain anonymous.

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