This I Believe

Janet - Tampa, Florida
Entered on June 13, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65


Bashert is a word from the Yiddish language that means, “something is meant to be.” Yiddish, a language that combines many words from Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Slavic, Romance languages as well as some English, is great for saying an entire expression with one word. I believe that significant events of my life may be very strongly influenced by what is “bashert.”

As a child, I was hospitalized twice. First, for a fractured arm. The second was for a heart operation. The television series’ Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, The Nurses, and General Hospital were all in their heyday. Those old TV shows and the “Sue Barton, Student Nurse”series filled the many hours I spent recuperating. My career choice has been in health care. Since 1979, I have been a physician assistant. One may say that my broken arm and my congenital heart defect were bashert.

Moving the clock forward to about 1970, I had another bashert incident. A childhood friend and I went to Europe for a great deal…$199.00 round trip. One of the cities we visited was Amsterdam. Every evening, we’d go out and return along the same path.

One night, I decided that we should go across the street to look in shop windows. My friend protested but she agreed. While window shopping, a VW rounded the corner of where we would have been if we didn’t cross the street, and proceeded to roll over on to the sidewalk. The occupants of the car got out, full of shattered glass but no one was hurt. We ran back across the street to offer our help. If we would have not gone to check out the stores, we may have been crushed.

Other basherts have happened to me resulting in the way my life has developed. That same friend, who traveled with me to Europe, moved to San Diego. After completing my training, I arranged a visit. On the recommendation of my instructors, I followed job leads and landed a position at a clinic and research center. It was there where I met my husband, who was on a research rotation for his surgical residency program. This relationship ultimately (which included several years of infertility treatment) led to the birth of my twin sons who, what I truly feel, is the reason for my existence. They will be able to give so much back to society than I was ever able to do because of all that has been developed during my lifetime. They are incredibly intelligent, talented in the musical arts and extremely kind and idealistic, wanting to make this world a better place.

One of my patients calls some of these bashert events “synchronicity”. Within this last year, my supervising physician and I became close to an older woman who had metastatic breast cancer. We did what we could to make her as comfortable as possible but her disease had the upper hand. She died in December of last year. Her radiation oncologist told me she died in her sleep. She was a member of the congregation I belong to and I stopped by to find out where the family was sitting shiva, a time to pay respect for those who have died. I unknowingly, walked into her memorial service. That was bashert.

The expression of “things happen for a reason” also falls under the framework of bashert. All of us are here for some reason…Possibly, there is a master planner who has figured out what needs to happen for humanity and we were not invited to the planning session. Destiny can be the answer to looking back at one’s life and accounting for what has occurred. Basherts are the little things that seem like there is just too much of a coincidence to account for a reasonable explanation. There is no explanation. It’s bashert.