Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Bit Of Coinkadinkly Serendipititousnous

This is a tale of life and paths not taken, paths taken, and how those paths may cross in the most delightful way.
It is about Emma (left beauty) and Corinne (right beauty).
It is completely true.
In 1988, I faced one of those life decisions, do I stay in the National Park Service, or do I take a teaching job offered to me in the west coast Florida county where Mrs. FC and I owned land.
Meanwhile, across the state in that west coast county, a teacher was facing a similar life decision. Should she stay in her teaching position at the very high school she graduated from, or should she take a year off to take care of an ailing mom and help with a family business.
For me, the decision was a tough one. I'd spent so much time chasing a permanent ranger position. I had a brand new baby, Kate to think about as well as Mrs. FC. My decision was not made any easier by the school principal's admonition that, "The teacher you are replacing is only taking a year's leave to take care of her mother, if she decides to come back after that and there's no other position, I would have to let you go."
Across the state, the hometown teacher, much beloved by staff and students, made her own tough decision and left her teaching position to care for her family. Her decision created the teaching vacancy offered to me.
On the beach at St. Augustine, I made my decision to leave the NPS. Somewhere, during the two week notice time and my exit, we found out a baby was on the way (Emma). I packed my bags.
A short while later, in that west coast rural county, the hometown school teacher found out she was expecting (Corinne).
I settled into my new role as teacher and Emma arrived in March.
The hometown teacher settled into her new role as caregiver and Corinne arrived in August of that year.
Years passed.
Emma came home from elementary school talking about her friend, "Corinne".
Corinne went home from the same school talking about her friend, "Emma".
Through birthday parties, sleepovers, and the connections of a small rural community, we got to know Corinne's wonderful family and they ours.
The girls made it through middle school as best buddies.
High school the same.
There's a true lifelong friendship here. A pair of pals who support each other during tough times and celebrate each other's victories with no trace of envy or pettiness.
They set goals. They met them. They raised them. They met those.
They took every challenging class the high school offered, then early enrollment college classes while still in highschool.
They both earned the Florida Bright Futures 100% scholarship.
They both earned the $10,000 dollar Presidential Scholarship to the University of South Florida. They will be "roomies" there in the fall.
Corinne is the Valedictorian for the class of 2007.
Emma is the Salutatorian for the class of 2007.
Perhaps most important of all, they are best friends in the truest sense of the phrase.
Paths ...
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15 comments:

threecollie said...

Wow, I repeat my CONGRATULATIONS, this time all caps. That is an awesome accomplishment for both girls!

pissed off patricia said...

Oh those two girls are among the luckiest people on earth. That sort of friendship is worth more than all the gold on earth.

Pretty damned amazing story. I love stories with happy endings and that was about as happy as it gets.

Congratulations to everyone! Hugs to the young ladies and a pat on the back to the parents for making the right decision way back then.

How will you ever get that big smile off your face? Why would you want to? :)

Deb said...

What an amazing story. It was well worth the excruciating wait after you teased us in the morning about it! Congratulations to Emma and Corinne--and to their worthy parents.

robin andrea said...

Now there are two girls who are going to rock the world. Look at those faces. Their connection is beautiful and profound. What a wonderful story, FC.

Cathy S. said...

Sweet story,sweet memories, sweet faces. Best wishes to them both. If they ever need a hand down in the Tampa Bay area you can call on us for aid. (And by the way, I have two very handsome and intelligent sons....one of whom is going into the NPS)

The MacBean Gene said...

You are so richly blessed by your fine family and friends. Sometimes the decisions which seem most questionable turn out to be the best. And I am also glad that someone in your family has the good sense to stay away from
U of F and attend USF. Now it my hope the rest of the family realizes the Bulls are the best.

Laura said...

FC that is WONDERFUL news!!!! Congrats to Emma and Corinne, their hard work and perseverance has definitely paid off.
Isn't it amazing the way the decisions we make at various times in our lives can affect the lives of a whole other group of people years and years later. Great story!

thingfish23 said...

How many examples of fine-ness are there in this post? Hm.

Two kids excelling in school with the dutiful assistance of each other and (presumably) their parents - check.

Two adults trading in careers of service to do, well, more service - one to family, one to community - check.

As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I'm curious, though. When did the parents actually learn about the connection? Was it when the girls went home talking about one-another as their new friend(s)? Inquiring minds want to know.

roger said...

ok. that was a good tease. a tough decision for you back then. i'd say it all worked out well. it is most satisfying to see our kids form friendships that are supportive and fun.

kathy a said...

what a lovely story! many congratulations to both your girls!! [yes, corrine is yours, too -- obviously part of the family.]

Floridacracker said...

ThreeCollie,
Thanks! I wish I had been as focused in high school as these two.

POP,
You are so right, and yes, I am keeping this smile awhile :)

Deb,
I know I shouldn't tease, but I had no time and had to say something! Thanks.

Robin,
I believe they will. Funny how things work out!

Cathy S,
That is very kind of you. I'll keep that in mind. I'll pass on the two sons info too ;)

Mac,
That be treason sir! Not to me, but somehow the Gator Nut wife is going to have to adjust a little :)

Laura,
It is astounding how the paths may cross or not. The butterfly effect I guess.

Thingfish,
An excellent question. When I arrived on my teaching job, school had been in session for the time of my two week notice. Corinne's mom had stayed on to get the kids started until I could get there. We met for one day as I observed her classes, and then she was gone. Neither Emma or Corinne had been born at that point. We didn't really meet again, exept in passing, until her sons entered my classes.
I did not know Corinne was her daughter the first time grade school Emma mentioned her new friend. I made the connection later.

roger,
those are the tough ones ... especially knowing you can't go back.

Kathy A,
Very perceptive. Both families share these daughters I think.

Cuz Rebecca said...

Oh I am so happy for Corinne and Emma!! Their hard work has paid off and it will continue to do so. Congrats also to both sets of parents! The Lord works in mysterious ways!
-Rebecca

Amanda said...

This is an amazing story! Corinne is my cousin and I know Emma through her! I love both of them dearly!! My Aunt Adamarie is also great! I have been around both of them a lot and I have loved every minute of it! Although me and Corinne are only 6 weeks apart, I'm a junior this year because of the September 1st deadline. I never had thought about going to USF, but since Corinne and Emma made the decision to go there, I will be going next Friday to look at the campus. That is how amazing they both are. Whenever they are somewhere, you want to be there too right there with them!! Thank you for sharing this story!! Quite a coincidence.

Brice & Holly Barr said...

We are so very proud of Corinne and Emma! Congratulations - Way to go! This is truly a unique story of the friendship and big dreams of two talented small town girls. Holly, as a teenager, was a babysitter for them before they were of school age. They were way ahead of the rest then and this news comes as no surprise. Corinne is one of the many bright cousins in Brice's family and she and Emma share with Brice the love of the ocean and scuba diving. We were very fortunate to enjoy them in Key West aboard the Double Down. We can only hope that we will get one more visit from Corinne and Emma while they are still in high school-

Floridacracker said...

Rebecca,
There hard work really has paid off! Good to hear from you. You were a pretty super student too!

Amanda,
Thanks for commenting! You're right, your Aunt Ada Marie is great! How neat if you wind up down at USF too!

Brice and Holly,
Oh, now I feel really old since you guys were teens when I started teaching. :)
They are two amazing young ladies!
Of course, if Emma comes down to Key West, she may have to take her Daddy this time!