A Gift Proves Love May Be Destiny

I moved in with the love of my life. Was it God's plan all along?

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This Fourth of July weekend (and the last month, if you've noticed my lack of blog entries recently) was busy—I moved into a new apartment with my girlfriend, Nicole. I've written about her before.

She's the love of my life—and yes, I will be making it official before too long. Nicole and I met through a series of coincidences that would be incredibly unlikely without some force causing them to happen, but that's a story for another day. Today, I want to talk about the housewarming gift I got from Nicole's dad this weekend, a gift he got for me years before he'd even heard my name...

The day Nicole and I met, we talked about the Yankees. It was their last season in their old stadium, the "House that Ruth Built," and in the restaurant where we sat, the first game of a day-night doubleheader between the Yanks and Tampa Bay, was playing on television. Nicole was happy I was a fan. Much later, she told me that was an important factor when she considered dating me. "My dad wouldn't like me dating anyone who isn't," she said.

Nicole's dad, Ira, is a mortgage broker, but as I've come to know, he'd much rather be bench coach for the Yankees. The 50th anniversary of his first Yankees game is coming up this Friday, and he'll be sitting in the exact seat number and section he sat in back then. How does he remember which seat he was in? He's kept the ticket stub for all this time.

Many years ago, a colleague of his was leaving the mortgage company and packing up his office. The only thing left unpacked was a framed photo on the wall. It was a picture of Sparky Lyle, a Cy Young award-winning lefthanded reliever who spent the bulk of his playing days with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. Sparky had signed the photo on the bottom, addressing Ira's colleague by name.

"You're not taking that?" Ira asked, incredulously.

"You want it?" his colleague offered. He was a Red Sox fan, and the fact that Sparky was pictured in his Yankees uniform didn't sit well with him.

"Sure!" Ira said. He jumped at the chance to have a signed photo from a Yankees legend who had helped the team win two World Series. Sure, it was signed to someone else, but to Ira, it didn't matter.

Ira told me that story this weekend, after the movers had gone and Nicole and I were sorting through our belongings in our new apartment. "When I first learned who was dating my daughter, that photo popped into my mind," he said. "But by now, I know for sure you're meant to have it." He then presented me with a wrapped gift. I tore it open. Inside was the signed photo of Sparky Lyle:


sparky autograph

To Adam, Best Wishes, Sparky Lyle

To Adam, Best Wishes, Sparky Lyle. A personalized autograph with my name, picked up by Nicole's dad years before I'd even met her. The perfect housewarming gift—a sign only confirming what I already knew...that I was meant for Nicole (and her family) all along.

What signs have you received that confirmed you were meant to meet someone? Leave your story in the comments below or send an email to [email protected].

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