I'm not ordinarily a believer in soul mates and fate and all of that jazz. But I want all of those things to exist, the way I want heaven to exist. I'm happy to report — for all of my fellow closeted hopeless romantics — this story straight out of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, doesn't require that we try very hard to believe in purpose and destiny.
In 1988, Jourdan Barovick was a 10-year-old girl on a family trip at Sesame Place amusement park who was standing in a bathing suit alongside her mom, waiting for her turn on a water slide. Lo and behold, who should saunter past the Barovick family's home video camera? Her future husband and the father of her three children: Ryan Spencer, who was a 13-year-old boy rocking those huge, '80s glasses we were all forced to wear.
Fast forward 16 years, and Jourdan and Ryan found themselves on a blind date which eventually led to marriage and their lovely family. One evening, the couple was watching old family videos when they came across the Sesame Place tape and realized Ryan was totally hogging up Jourdan's spotlight in that one scene. They were skeptical and kept rewinding the tape over and over again, but sure enough, their paths had crossed way, way, way before they were ever a thought in each other's heads.
How cool is that?
Obviously, there is such a thing as a coincidence, but if a sweet little sign like that one drops on your lap and reaffirms the idea that you were meant to be, you'd have to be nuts not to take it and run.
The Spencers grew up just 45 minutes from each other and say it's possible they were in the same place at the same time on other occasions, but who knows? People go their entire lives never meeting a woman or man who lives around the corner from them. It often feels like the people who enter our lives are there for a reason. We need them. They need us. We were meant to learn from one another, make each laugh or maybe create one or three amazing children together. Perhaps even the people we loathe in our lives are there for a crucial reason: to challenge us to rise above and be better humans.
Believing in soul mates certainly makes life a lot more fun and exciting.
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