The More, the Merrier
by M.L. Faunce
It's not a dream. Or even a dream job. But strange things have been happening since I went back to work after a brief retirement.
It seemed like everyone I met in my new workplace looked like someone I'd known before. I've always believed that we're all made in God's image but that we leave our own unique footprint on this earth. We all possess something singular, besides our DNA, that is ours alone. We have our own hue and cry. We have or own shape and scent and size, and we possess some special scope in our dreams and goals in this life. I believe that we can't be cloned or punched from a cookie cutter. That we exist as individuals, even in a world chock full of look-alikes.
My beliefs don't help me understand why all these new-found colleagues resembled people I'd known before. I do recall my Uncle George once saying, "you know you're getting old when everyone in restaurants and shops is younger than you." It's not exactly that, though he also said, "everyone has a twin in this world." He himself a twin.
Indeed, my new acquaintances either looked or sounded (or both) so much like close friends or old colleagues that they could have been twins. Some were older or younger versions, but there they were, parading through my new life, completely unaware of the weird connection I saw in them.
Learning their names scarcely helped. My breezy, upbeat secretary, Bernice Richbourg was the twin of my old friend and soul mate, Dee Longenbaugh from Juneau, in humor and inflection. A bright young intern was my former colleague, Glenn McLoughlin, in voice and manner. My mentor Katie Hurley took the voice and smile of a lady sitting next to me in a computer class. And on and on. You could never be alone in a crowd like this.
Strangeness didn't stop there.
The first time I walked down the hall toward my new office, I recognized a scent I couldn't deny or shake. The scent was that of the caring hospice I took my mother to a few years back. It was not the scent of death, though she passed on from this world in that cheerful room. The very specific clean scent of powder, unexpected in a totally new surrounding, powerfully persuaded me that time couldn't erase a memory - even one we may not know has been created.
I confided these strange happenings to a friend, who to my surprise found them not strange at all. "Your mother came back to visit you," Mary said matter of factly.
My Dad had an expression. "The more, the merrier," he'd say when anyone dropped by our home unexpected. For reasons I may never know, a lot of old friends dropped in on me as I began another of life's transitions. My mother also honored the occasion.
In time, the scent of spring swept through the office corridor from an open door, and my new colleagues took on their rightful personalities. Memories and thoughts of old friends found company with newfound friends.
"The more, the merrier," I thought.