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What are the odds? The thought made me smile, and then I did the math in my head. Bill was in the Air Force when I was very young — four, five, six, and seven years old.

My heart began to thump, and my mind raced. I realized that I may have met Bill all those years ago — Billy from Texas; Billy who piloted planes; Billy who often flew off to California; Billy who left one day after an argument and never returned; Billy, my seemingly imaginary friend that I talked about all the time when I was a young girl; Billy, the father of my future husband. Could it be that I actually met Bill, and my mind used his image as a model for an invisible playmate?

When we met Bill in person last March, I asked, “Did you ever fly in or out of Robins Air Force Base?" “Yes,” he answered. “A few times.” “Do you remember meeting a man named Herman Lanier? He was my dad.” Bill didn’t remember meeting my father, but then again, the chance encounter would have been 50+ years ago. A lot of life has happened since then.

All of this speculation makes for a really good story. An extraordinary coincidence? Maybe. Divine intervention crafted to foreshadow a chapter in my own destiny? Perhaps. We’ll never know, of course.

Whatever the case, this revelation suggests that the universe has a great sense of humor and the realms of dreams and reality may be closer than we understand. Perhaps, in some inexplicable way, our brains know what’s to come. I’ve pondered this a lot recently, and I’ll be pondering this for a long time.

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