Coincidence? Or synchronicity?



Last April I did write about synchronicity.

I can not define the difference between coincidence and  synchronicity.

I know for sure that to me coincidence is much easier to write than synchronicity.

So this is a true story about coincidence.

I swear to you this story happened as I am telling you, the only thing is I have changed some names to protect the privacy of people involved.


This story happended over 30 yrs ago. I was still maried to my now ex-husband Frits van Laar (real name).

Frits has an older brother called Durk and a younger sister called Margriet. Margriet is/was married to a man called Hank Koop and so she was known as Margriet Koop.

Frits and I did live in an appartment in a village called Alphen a/d Rijn, in a street called Preludeweg. All streets in that neighbourhood have names related to music and/or composers.


My ex husband did grow up in a small village in the province of Drenthe at the other side of my country. His older brother Durk still lived there. His younger sister, Margriet, at that time, lived in Naples, Italy, with her husband Hank.


On a saturday morning the telephone rang and I picked it up.

A man said: “You do not know me, but I am Colonel B and I do bring you the greetings of your sister in law Margriet and het husband Hank “.

Then he told me that he had participated in a NATO-manoeuvre at a sea near Naples and that it was a custom to invite for the last two evenings  for dinner all dutch people living nearby. Colonel B was flown hme the night before, one day before the manoeuvre ended, but he had participated in the dinner the evening before that saturday. He told me he had a very boring partner at table and so he started to listen to the conversation between a young Lieutenant Rood and what turned out to be my sister in law Margriet.

At one point the Lieutenant said: ” If I hear it correctly you come from Drenthe”. Where are you from?”

“Yes indeed, but I do come from a small village, so maybe you have never heard of it. I lived in Diever.”.

“Certainly I know about Diever. At college I had a friend from Diever. Do you happen to know a guy called Frits van Laar? ”


Margriet nearly choked from laughing while saying: He is my brother! “.

“Tell me where he lives please, I like to contact him”, the Lieutenant said and grapped paper and a pencil.
My sister in law said: “Preludeweg 62 at”

“Alphen a.d. Rijn”, chimed the Colonel.

“Yes indeed, how do you know?”

“I did not know, but I am living in Alphen a d Rijn, in that neighbourhood and the Preludeweg is not more than 100 metres away from my home.

Well, if you see my brother, please say hello to him”, my sister in law joked, because, well, there were some 70.000 people living in that village at that time.


“So, the Colonel said, I arrived home this morning, my family is still asleep, I have sleeped on board of the plane and so I thought, lets give that Frits the greetings of his sister “. He also told me that the coming evening my sister in law and her husband would attend the second and last dinner aboard the ship before it would sail back to Dutch waters.


I thanked him for his kindness, had a good story to tell to Frits when he awoke and we decided to call Margriet and Hank to wish them a wonderfull evening and a nice diner.

As you understand they were happily surprised.


By the way the young Lieutenant never did contact Frits.


Ypu think now this story has ended?

No , many many more coincidences did follow.

Take a cuppa and enjoy.


A few weeks later we went to visit Durk and Ada, Frits’ older brother and his wife. And ofcourse we told them this story. Much to our surprise halfway through the story Ada yelled ‘stop!’, she rose from the settee, went out through the gardendoor and disappeared through a small gap in the hedge to the garden of the neighbours.

When she returned she would not say anything, except that she had to do some checking. She asked us to continue the story and so we did. When we had finished she told us: “The name Rood of that young lieutenant did sound so familiair to me, so I checked it out. Indeed the maidenname of the neighbour is Rood. The young lieutenant is her brother.”


A big coincidence, is it not?

But there is more to come:


About a year later the telephone rang. It was a guy, Jan,  who  also was raised in Diever, like Frits, but he also went to the same university as Frits and I did. Now he contacted us because to certain family-related circumstances he and his wife had to move house to Alphen a/d Rijn. They would like to swap houses and he did find some houses that could be perfect. They did not have the time to visit all those houses, so he asked us to tell him about the circumstances in the neighbourhoods those houses were in. We told him and Jan said that when they would have moved we would be invited to a housewarmingparty ( 0f four persons only).

So a few months later on an evening we went to their ‘new’ home for coffee and some drinks.

At some point (later) that evening the toppic became ‘coincidence’ and because Jan grew up in Diever and also knew Margriet and Durk, we told him the above story.

From the beginning we could see he was very amused, laughter in his eyes, but he would not tell what was the joke… untill we had finished the story and than he said: ‘Now you may guess with whom I swapped houses? Indeed, with Colonel B. ! ”


As said, this is a story that truly happened. It is the most strange story about related coincidences I know.

After all these years I do still wonder about it.


Have you seen some strange coincidences in your life?


2 thoughts on “Coincidence? Or synchronicity?

  1. Inderdaad Peter, net als wat je ook al aangeeft bij de blog my small country. Theosophisten geloven dat mensen – voordat ze ver genoeg gevorderd zijn om individueel te reincarneren – in groepen van 200 personen reïncarneren. Niet dat ze alle 200 ongeveer gelijk geboren worden, maar dat die 200 elkaar wel in elk leven tegenkomen. Meer in de zin van in dit leven is A de zoon van B, in een vorig leven was A de schoolmeester van B, in een nog eerder leven was B de schoonmoeder van A etc. En dat dus met zo’n 200 mensen die elkaars leven op een wezenlijke manier beïnvloeden.


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