There are no coincidences in this world.
I spent this past Friday night in a Bikur Cholim apartment near the hospital that my mother in law had been admitted to.
These apartments are run by caring, generous, selfless women and the organizations that they represent.
The setup was one apartment for men, one for women, with 4-5 bedrooms and 2-3 beds per room. When I went to bed Friday night, I was the sole occupant of my room. When I awoke Shabbos morning, not only was every bed taken, but there were women sleeping on the living room couch and the living room floor.....
At 1 am a women stumble exhausted into the empty bed which remained in my room. She had obviously not had the warning which I had on Friday (since my mother in law had been admitted in the middle of the night on Thursday) and had no belongings with her. We got to talking and she asked me "Who are you here for?". I responded that I was here for my mother in law who has had Parkinson's Disease for the past 35 years.
"THIRTY FIVE years?!? Really?" Her voice took on a tone of urgency as rapid-fire questions ensued. She then revealed to me that her own husband was admitted to the Emergency Room only hours earlier. After his immediate injuries were tended to, she was hit with an unexpected additional diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. She was without a doctor, without the benefit of her support network and faced with this devastating news.
This poor woman, all alone, frightened, exhausted, charting foreign waters "just happened" to fall into the bed next to somebody with experience and support to share. We spoke for quite a while...