...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

There really are only 300 people in the world...
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...the rest is done with mirrors.

Remember Fatima, the woman I met at the Seattle nursing facility where Stu was? I think I wrote about her once, about bumping into her after he had died. I ] had not seen her for quite a while. Fatima visited her son, who was comatose or close to it, every day. We became friends because of her openness, her friendliness, her kindness. We hugged, shared food, she prayed for Stu, i thanked her and learned from her.

So okay, so late in the evening on Thursday, i went up onto the roof to water the remains of my garden (tomato plants look awful but there are still ripening tomatoes!) because Friday was forecast as hot. I sat in the evening breeze with a book for a while, and after waterng, headed to the elevator. As I went thataway on the roof, I saw a bit of downtown Seattle, which was getting hit by some late rays of sunset. It looked like whatever buidling that was was on fire, or was a firecracker or rocket about to explode. I told two women who were sitting having a bite to eat, and we all stopped and stared.

We began talking and I stayed, what, like 45 minutes? One woman moved into the building about 7 months ago; her friend lives nearby in subsidized housing. The first woman was dressed casually in clothes that are average for a hot Seattle day. Her friend was in hijab.

During the course of that conversation, which covered the usual getting to know you stuff, I learned that both women were Muslim, both originally from outside the US. We talked about our late husbands, and I told them about Stu,and visiting him, and how important he was to me. A few minutes later, the two of them were talking about a mutual friend-both referring to her as a sister. As I listened, I got just a weensy bit shocked and amazed. They talked about their friend who visited her son everyday. The friend they knew from the local mosque where they worship. The Muslim woman who is originally from India then lived in Thailand. She now lives in the US. I stuttered an apology for interrupting, and stammered out how I really honestly did not expect that every Muslim woman knew every other Muslim woman in Seattle, but please did I hear you say "Fatima"? "Yes, do you know her?" "I think so." and within a minute or two it became clear that yes, this was "my" Fatima.

I live several miles north of the facility Stu was recovering in. The mosque is one of several in Seattle. It is very well-attended, and probably means a lot to the many Muslim families who live in my neighborhood.

But, but, but damn, there was no way that this should have worked. "Oh hi, you're Muslim. Do you know my friend Fatima? She is Muslim too." We would have been horrified at the dumb cluelessness of anyone ever saying that. It was, most definitely, the same person whose friendliness was clearly shared by these two friends of hers.

Go figure.

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