Even though I write a column about the small and large mysteries of life, I am always amazed when miraculous things happen. 

The big miracles like being cured of cancer obviously take my breath away, but it is the small “coincidences” in life that really fascinate me. Take for example the story below.

Years ago, I shared the story called “Chaos Theory”.  It tells of the time when a skunk got into our home and sprayed everything in it.  It was unimaginably horrible, and we lost all our soft furniture.  Things like our couches, chairs, curtains, and blankets along with our master bed all had to be thrown away.  

Being left without furniture and no bed was a hardship and insurance did not cover anything related to a skunk attack in our home.  However, we were very grateful to a friend of ours, Larry, who gave us a queen size mattress to use while we pieced back together our life.

The Blessing of a Mattress…

The queen mattress served us well and when we could afford a new one we bought a king size bed that also accommodated our 160 pound English Mastiff dog who had grown accustomed to sleeping with us. 

When we were done with the mattress, we called Larry and thanked him for the use of it and told him that we were finally able to buy a new bed for ourselves and no longer needed the one he lent us.

He promptly told us to keep the mattress and said maybe one day you can pay it forward.  With those words we put the mattress in storage and never gave it another thought.  That was several years ago. 

Since then, we only saw Larry a handful of times, as he had moved out of the area. Larry was not forgotten, but the mattress was a distant memory. 

Paying it Forward…

Which brings me to last week when I was helping a young lady move into an apartment. This would be her first place out on her own and she needed everything.  

A few friends of mine put our minds together and all offered up some items to donate to her. 

One person had a TV, another had nightstands and yet another said they had a full-size bed.  

The day came to move her into her new place, and we all went to gather up our things only to find out that the friend who was donating the bed ran into a snag.  Her husband had already given the bed away. 

I called my husband in a panic when all of a sudden, he remembered the queen size bed our friend Larry had given us all those years ago. 

Yes! Of course, we will pay it forward just like Larry asked us to do.  With a sigh of relief, I hung up the phone and here is where the story gets crazy. 

It Gets Crazy

Larry Moore and Ella

Just as I hung up the phone, I see a male figure walking into my office.  The light behind him blocked my vision from making out who it was, but within a blink or two, and much to my surprise, it was Larry. 

“Oh my goodness,” I exclaimed.  “What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in two years.  What brings you to Greeneville and to my office?” 

He never did tell me why he was visiting his old stomping ground, but he did say that he couldn’t be in Greeneville without stopping in and saying hello.  

It was such a joy to catch up with an old friend and it wasn’t until he was leaving that I remembered to tell him about the


The same mattress he gave John and I to use in our time of need.  The same bed he told us to keep until we found someone in need. The exact mattress that we were finally retrieving from storage. The very mattress that would now be used to help someone else have a peaceful nights sleep.   


We had not seen Larry in two years and it was seven years since we received the mattress, yet on the very day we are finally paying it forward, Larry randomly shows up in my office.  

It’s almost like there is nothing random at all. Life is mysterious.

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