While there are 7,404,976,783 people in this world, I wholeheartedly believe that a handful of them were put here just for me. And the same goes for all of you. These individuals are the ones that we feel connected to on the deepest possible level. The ones that think the exact thoughts at the same moment we do. The ones that have shared eerily similar experiences to ours. The ones that just get us and make us feel at home with all of our thoughts, dreams, fears, feelings and humor no matter how odd or bizarre they may be. Some people call these special ones soulmates or kindred spirits. Regardless of their name, these are the people that make our lives truly meaningful.
I have been fortunate enough to have already encountered a handful of these spiritual connections. Many of these individuals have come and gone in my life. And although I may have wanted most of them to remain by my side forever, I am glad that I was able to experience these connections regardless of how long or short our time was together. These people have given me some of my most cherished memories and made me feel special beyond words. I love that I am experiencing one of these connections as we speak, but it’s even cooler to witness my daughter have her first.
Millie Sanborn is the great-grandmother to my daughter, Emerson. Millie and Emmy are birds of a feather. We jokingly call my Grandmother, “the bag lady,” for her reputation of having hundreds of items shoved into bags around her apartment. At five years old, Emmy has already developed quite the name for herself over stashing crap into bags. Plastic bags. Ziploc Bags. Brown bags. You name the bag and Emerson has crammed 30 Shopkins or 15 princess figures into it. Each time a family member finds one, we smile and mouth the name, “Millie.”
Both of our girls have a fondness for arts and crafts. Millie has always loved to attend the holiday fairs around Gloucester and has knitted hats for countless newborns for over twenty years. Emmy spends hours each week gluing odds and ends onto paper to make the perfect figure or scene. Just last night, Emmy used various colors of strings to create the perfect Batwoman. Our ladies are always the loudest singers in the room. While Emmy’s stage is usually our kitchen or living room, Millie has been known to let tunes fly in Church, even brightening funerals by belting out the chosen hymn. Both are true masters of speaking without a filter. I can no longer count the amount of times their bluntness has blown my mind.
Yet what has stunned me even more is how deeply these two are connected. Between the hours of two and three in the morning on November 7th, Millie struggled to breathe. The ambulance and fire department arrived on the scene in Lanesville to check on my grandmother. Ironically, at the same time in downtown Gloucester, Emmy was battling the chills and a high fever that culminated with her covering her dear mother in throw up. I am an optimist by nature, but I admittedly feared the worst. What if our Millie passed away before Emmy had the chance to get one more Sunday visit to Gram’s in?
Millie is 92 years old and many have shared that they have witnessed her to be very confused or lost. But let me tell you, each and every single time I bring Emmy to Grammie’s house on Sunday, Millie’s mind is as sharp as a tack. In fact, I have yet to witness my grandmother bring anything except her A game. After every Brierwood Street visit, my mother always asks, “How was Grammie today?” My response is always the same, “She was great.” And when these two girls are together, they both always are.
I turned to the Universe to ask for help. “Please let Emmy and Millie be together again.” As always, the Universe delivered. At mid-morning on November the 8th, Emmy jumped up out of a deep sleep covered in sweat. Her fever had broken. At almost the exact same moment, my mother who was by my Grandmother’s bedside in the ICU at Addison Gilbert Hospital, texted me to reveal that Millie was doing better. Coincidence? Not a chance. These two are cut from the same cloth.
Lori Sanborn was born in Gloucester and returned to live permanently in our seaside community three years ago. She has been a public educator for 12 years, and is currently the Assistant Principal of Swampscott Middle School. Lori is most proud of her role as mother to her children, Emerson and Ryder.