A Story of Serendipity.
This should have really been the first blog post I wrote. Forgive me for the much belated story of how I both met my wife and fell in love with Mexico (and visa versa!).
This story starts when I was 23 years old. I had just finished university, got myself a job and had a few bucks in the bank. Being from Canada and having endured many harsh winters, I had always dreamed of a tropical vacation someplace warm in the winter. So, I enlisted a group of my friends and planned a vacation to Mexico. For a group of young single men, there was no other choice but Cancun.
We arrived to the warm humid air. Something that I wasn’t accustomed to if February in Canada. We were so excited, the party started at the airport with a few beers at the welcome bar. This was followed by more beer on the bus ride to the hotel. When we arrived, seeing the ocean for the first time in my life was a dream. I’d never seen that colour of blue before. The blue ocean’s contrast with soft, white sand made for a view that left a young man from a small town in Ontario in awe.
After a beautiful day on the beach, swimming and sun tanning, we decided to explore the nightlife that Cancun is famous for. We stopped at all the hippest clubs back in the day. Daddy’O, Daddy Rock, La Boom, and ended up at small bar for the $10 US all you can drink special. We did. By the time we arrived back at the hotel we were are all having a great time and completely intoxicated. It was about 4am in the morning and we decided to go out on the deck of the hotel and watch the ocean by moonlight.
Picture this: there is a wooden deck that extended from the top of sea wall out over the beach below. The sea wall is about 25 feet high, and the deck is suspended above the beach by giant wooden timbers. Often in Mexico, things are built without a huge regard for safety. The way down to the beach from the upper deck of the hotel was through a hole cut in the floor with some rickety wooden stairs leading down to the beach. There was no railing, or guardrails, just simply a hole in the floor.
Now, imagine a group of drunken partiers on the deck. I think you can see where this is going.
We were all in a great mood and just loving being in Cancun. My buddy raised his arms up to give me a high five. I took a step backwards to raise my hands for a good slap. Unfortunately, when I stepped backwards, there was nothing there. I stepped into the open hole in the floor and went straight down. Somehow, even in my drunken state, I was able to use my cat-like reflexes to turn myself around in the air, enabling my face to take most of the impact of the fall. Secondarily, the side of my rib cage hit the next stair. It knocked the wind out of me along with my senses for a few moments. I came to my senses a few moments later looking up through the hole in the deck. I had fallen about 15 feet and my friends were encircling the hole above me. I remember hearing “hey, you OK, man?” I think my reply was, “I’m going to bed.” That’s where I went.
Waking up the next morning, sore, barely able to breath, my rib cage felt like I had a knife inserted in it. Looking into the bathroom mirror I noticed I had a huge blood blister across the side of my face extending from my chin up to my ear. You know, the kind where the blood pools purple under the skin. I had various bruises and scratches on my elbows and knees as well. I’m not even going to mention the fact that on top of all this, my head was pounding with a hangover. Anyway, we were in Cancun and I wasn’t going to spend the day feeling sorry for myself. So, I decided to go down to the beach.
I curled up under one of the shade palapas and tried to get some sleep. When the rest of my friends arrived they started talking about how unsafe the hole in the floor was that I fell through. That someone should tell the management of the hotel. That I should sue the hotel because I so seriously injured myself falling down the hole. They created a huge fuss. They called the management over to explain to them what happened. My attitude was that while the hole in the floor maybe wasn’t the best design, I had just come from the $10 all you can drink. And if falling was anyone’s fault, it was my own for being so intoxicated. After a conversation with the management of the hotel my friends encouraged me to sue the hotel. There’s no way I would, not only would I lose, but how would you even file a lawsuit in Mexico?
Now, fast forward a couple of years later. A good friend of mine was going out with a girl from Mexico and had said she had a friend that was on exchange and studying at McMaster University and she was also from Mexico. He suggested why don’t I come along with them and meet her. Being single at the time, I thought it was a great idea.
This was the night I was introduced to my future wife. We spent the night talking and finally the conversation turned to how much I enjoyed my trip to Mexico and that I went to Cancun. She told me that her Dad owned a hotel in Cancun. When she told me the name of the hotel, coincidentally, it was the same hotel I stayed at when I fell down the stairs. I stopped right in my tracks and couldn’t stop laughing. She did the same when I told her the story.
So, my claim to fame: while I didn’t sue the hotel. I married the owners daughter instead.
You never really know how things are going to turn out, or what message the universe is trying to tell you. Keep an open heart and look for the signs. Even a bad experience can be the precursor to something wonderful. I think it’s called serendipity.