Imagine checking your emails and seeing one from yourself.

A similar thing happened to me in September of 2015; I opened my blog one morning to find a comment written on a post by “Lois Roelofs.”

Imagine my surprise. How could that be? I had not written myself. I opened up the comment and read:

Hi, Lois! My name is Lois Roelofs also! I have been following your site, and I can SO relate to your articles. I have been a nurse for nearly 40 years now in MN, and worked in geriatrics most of these years. I have loved so many wonderful, wise, adorable patients, as well as …. others🙂 We cannot change the aging process, but we can choose to be one of those wonderful, wise, adorable patients that future nurses will love🙂

What a fun surprise! I’d known this “Lois” existed because when Caring Lessons came out, I had Googled my name and found, in funeral notices, that a “Lois Roelofs” played the organ in a church from the denomination of my childhood.

A coincidence? I think not! Same name, same profession, possibly the same ethnicity, same church background. I wrote her back, and we started trying to figure if our husbands were related.

Shortly after, my husband and I made a trip back to his hometown in Minnesota, and I did some mystery sleuthing. Upon return, I wrote Lois back:

…this is what I found out from Marv’s sister in Prinsburg. She had the Roelof Roelofs genealogy book: Roelof and Helen had three sons: Garritt, Hendrick, and Evert Jan. I found you and Tim on p.124 and Marv and I are on p.132. Marv’s lineage is from Roelof / Evert / Henry / Louis / Marv. So I figure our husbands are fourth or fifth cousins or whatever you would call that. Tim is from Garrit’s line.

img_1113My new friend hadn’t known the book existed; she wanted copies. No problem. We started planning when we could meet in person; it took almost a year, but shortly after our move to South Dakota, we drove to their home in northern Minnesota.

Those of you who are nurses know we nurses have a natural affinity for each other. Add to that two people with the same name, same ethnicity, same church background and you have instant alchemy!

I told Lois I would like to blog about this happy occurrence in our lives. She agreed. Then I asked, “How did you find me in the first place?” She responded:

Well, I stumbled on your blog one night when I could not sleep.  I simply typed my name in to see what is out there about ME, and I found my name existed in a person in Chicago, and she had a blog called, Ramblings of a Retired Nurse!  You can imagine that I REALLY could not get to sleep after seeing that, and not being able to tell anyone about that till Tim woke up in the morning!!!

A very fun way to meet a new friend!