Are chance encounters really by chance or are they sent to us to brighten our lives, adding hope and maybe even love? A couple of weeks ago I ran into this lovely trio while taking a walk with my husband down Eighth Avenue, through Times Square. I couldn’t resist asking for their story which began with: We just got married!  From Bologna, Italy, Meryem and Giulio met about 14 years ago. At the time, @meryemjidrissi88 was working for @SavetheChildren and approaching people on the street to raise funds. When she stopped @giulioserafini1704 he recalls: “It took me about 30 seconds to understand & decide that we had to be together for a much longer time than a simple fund raising chat.” After this very first encounter, not even knowing her telephone number, Giulio started to look for her in the city center every afternoon after his work day, hoping to encounter her again while she was working. A very few times he found her location, which changed daily, and asked her out for a coffee or ice cream several times — while she regularly declined his offer. Finally, on the very last day before Summer vacations were to begin, she accepted a date and their story began. They dated, then lived together for many years before becoming officially engaged in 2017. Then in 2019, Meryem had to move to Stuttgart (Germany) for her job. At that point, the couple set a 2020 wedding date. They decided to get married in NYC as they had visited it several times and had beautiful memories & love for the City. Flights were purchased in February 2020 but soon travel restrictions were in place which forced them to wait another 2 years. On December 2021 Baby Nora was born, making their life even more rich and wondrous!  Now, fast forward to the present: On the day I met this lovely trio, they were happily glowing and “feeling more complete” because they had just gotten married a couple of hours earlier!  As Giulio says, “Each day is challenging, yes, but we are so close to each other and so delighted by Baby Nora that we really happy!”

Wonder-full encounters are everywhere! Go find them!