A man I know wished to be a fighter pilot. He took flying lessons straight after medical school and wanted to get into the airforce. He learnt to fly. In between flying lessons and slogging it out at the hospital as the new young resident, he met an exceptional young woman. He fell more and more in love with her every day, but didn't know where it would lead, or even if she felt the same way.
The day before his flying exam when he was to finally earn his wings, she invited him to be her date at her brother's wedding. She told him she loved him too. He woke up the next morning and drove straight to her house to join her for the day - and ever after. And his flying instructor never heard from him again. He never told my mother what he had missed that day, and he only told me years and years later.
That one second's worth of 'I love you too', over some old phone line in my grandmother's house, and that tremendous leap of faith that only my father could have made, had made my life possible. It made my sister's life possible. It brought us into the lives of our friends and families. And it saved the lives of all those lives who were saved by my father's hands. And therefore brought happiness and grace to the lives of their friends, and families. And so on, rippling ever outward.
I think about that off and on, and feel all the strength, and all the fragility, of the things which make up destinies. And a lot, a lot, a lot, of love and gratitude.