I NEARLY DIDN’T EXIST

Yes, I nearly didn’t exist.

Three separate incidents from the past could have made my birth an impossibility.

One incident involved something that happened to a grandmother . One involved a decision made by a grandfather. The other involved the timing of a voyage. Had any one of these situations turned out differently, it would have meant I would not be here to tell about them.

I nearly didn't exist

Grandma and Grandad Stephenson

I don’t know the story around this particular incident, but I remember being told years ago that my grandmother, when she was young, was thought to have died. She was in her coffin when suddenly she opened her eyes. That was before the days of embalming in England. It’s scary to think of someone being buried alive. How horrible had she gained consciousness after being interred. I wouldn’t even want to imagine what it would be like. But fortunately the coffin lid was still open. Although it must have been a little disconcerting to the family and others standing around the coffin, I’m certainly grateful to the Lord that He had other plans for her that involved me all these years later. Otherwise I wouldn’t even exist today.

I nearly didn't exist

The Usher Family

Next, a decision made by my grandfather to emigrate. Initially he had chosen to take his wife and daughter  to Australia. Now that would certainly have meant I would not have existed had he followed through with that plan since my mother met my father here in Canada. But at the last minute my grandfather spoke with a friend who was coming to Canada and decided to accompany him. Again, I’m so thankful that his plans were changed. He came to Canada, to Brantford Ontario, and prepared to bring my grandmother and their baby daughter (my mother’s sister) here.

Then my father’s family decided to come to Canada in 1912. My father was between 7 and 8 years old. They were booked on a ship which sailed either just before or just after the Titanic. And we all know what happened to that ship. Had they been booked on it I would not have existed. So close. But the Lord obviously had a reason for me to be born, to exist. He has a plan and I’m grateful that He spared my family. They came to Hamilton Ontario but later moved to Brantford.

The postcard below is one my grandfather Usher sent from Canada to my grandmother who was still in England. The date on the back, 1908, is visible in the top right corner. The writing, though faded, is still visible: Dear Ada this is an Indian Postcard From Your Jess.

I nearly didn't exist

Indian Postcard

I nearly didn't exist

Back of Postcard

Everything was being orchestrated for my parents to meet on a blind date at a mutual friend’s home. I suppose you could say that this was a forth incident that, had one decided not to go to that party, would have meant I would not exist today.

I nearly didn't exist

My Parents' Wedding

To the left is a photo of my parents’ wedding. This was again part of the Lord’s orchestration in the creation of my life in 1945, 13 years after they were married. And that is the history of how I came to exist. And as I look back on my own life I can see how the Lord has orchestrated it just as carefully and intricately as my ancestors’ lives. One decision here, one incident there and my life could have been drastically different than it turned out to be. We may wonder “what if” but I’m satisfied that I am what the Lord wants me to be (except for some adjustments here and there) and exactly where He wants me to be. Though there was a great possibility that I may not have existed, there was an even greater one that I was meant to exist.

And thus ends my story for today. I hope you have enjoyed it. Please leave a comment before you leave. And do drop by again.

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22 thoughts on “I NEARLY DIDN’T EXIST

  1. Diane,
    isn’t life a masterful play,
    a one way ticket to Dreamland,
    a nightmare and an ecstasy,
    an unknown wonder?

    I’m truly glad that the Fates and the Furies were on your side,
    and that you made it here to enjoy the eternal show!

    Bright Blessings,
    Diane T.

    • It’s good to see you stopped by again. And thank you for the comment and the little ditty. I’m glad I made it here, too! There are days when I have wondered, though. But life is good and God is good and I’m happy.

  2. This is just what I am hoping people will see when they look up their family histories through genealogical research or just via intergenerational contact…thus, my website/blog focus. What they will see, is not a “natural order” to things, but God’s perfect order and design…they will see the absolute Truth.

    Thank you for this post. If I link to it in a future post of my own, I hope you won’t mind.

    We are blessed that you “exist” and that you are a wonderful sister in Christ.

    Cathryn

    • Thank you so much for dropping by, Cathryn. I would be honored if you linked my blog to yours. And I’m so glad you left a comment. I look forward to the comments. I hope you will stop by again

  3. Just as the stars have been created and upheld in their paths by the Word of God, so He also knows all of our days – and our paths – before any of them actually happen (Psalm 139:16). How big is our Father! Thanks for that insightful reminder to all of us, Diane…

    Lester

    • Thanks for the comment, Lester. Grandma was a spunky little thing. She weighed all of about 95 pounds and maybe came up to my shoulder. It’s hard to remember now as she died (really died) when I was 16 and she was nearly 89. When she was around 85 she fell and broke her hip. Within a year she was, I won’t say walking, because it was faster than normal but not jogging, without even a cane. She crocheted all her life and I would love to know how many tablecloths, afghans and bedspreads she made. I have one of her bedspreads and a tablecloth with wide crocheted edging. I should post a photo of them sometime. And I’m sure glad she busted up that funeral!

  4. Love your story about your Grandma! We hear about these things happening but you actually have it as part of your family history. How old was she at the time of the coffin incident?

    • Thanks for visiting, Elaine. I’m afraid I can’t answer that question. I don’t recall anyone actually saying, but I think it was probably before she was married and that, I think, was around 20 years of age. I’m only estimating because she was around 89 when she died and they had been married approximately 69 years.

  5. His ways are so amazing if we take the time to look hard enough. I met my husband within two weeks of moving to another state for an unexpected job offer. Turns out, he would be an abusive addict who eventually left his family after 17 years of marriage, but I can have no regrets because without him, I would not have the children I have today, perfectly chosen for me.

    • Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I do believe we were meant to be. God has a plan for us and if we cooperate with Him, it will work out as He has planned.

      I checked out your site and left a comment and also followed.

      Have a wonderful day (or night).

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