I got to thinking about destiny…

Sometimes when you are so involved and in the depths of a relationship you forget how the magic began, how your heart stopped beating when you first laid eyes on the person who was going to engulf your heart and plague your mind. You forget that this person was meant to be in your life for a particular reason and the serendipitous manner of introduction was fated and not merely coincidental…. And somehow you have to believe that even if on that day when you met that significant other you decided not to go to that restaurant, or not go to that club or not ride the subway to get home – destiny would have played a hand and created an opportunity in the foreseeable future for you both to meet. Because you needed this person in your life just as much as they needed you, for whatever reason, but ultimately you serve a purpose, create a change and are part of each other’s journeys… you leave footprints on each other’s souls.

Three years ago I got really ill with ulcerative colitis. The doctor said that it was chronic and I was going to have to deal with it for my entire life, constant medication, constant check-ups and constantly controlling my diet and lifestyle… but “luckily it wasn’t cancer!”

I definitely did not feel lucky.

My illness took a turn for the worse and I was hospitalized in summer 2004. I was alone in New York when the doctor had told me to check myself into hospital with 105 degrees temperature, swollen intestines and tonsils. I was completely petrified and traumatized as you can but imagine. My mother flew down instantaneously and spent the next 6 days with me while I was hooked up to the IV and seeing thousands of different specialists. The only positive thing about my visit in hospital was that it forced me to go on that diet I was too lazy to do all summer! Hospitalization is the most effective way to lose weight Ladies and Gentlemen – who needs Canyon Ranch when you have Lennox Hill Hospital!

On day 6, I was allowed to leave the ward of colon patients and retreat back into the real world! While the nurses where extracting tubes that had been stuffed down my arms, my darling mother wanted to know where I wanted to go for my first proper meal – anywhere I desired. My entry into the real world could only happen somewhere fabulous, so I decided on Tribeca’s finest: my stomach could definitely handle a trendy, exclusive feast. Quintessentially, my mother’s life line, got us an early reservation, as they told the manager that one of their client’s daughters had just gotten out of hospital and desperately wanted to come. It’d funny how us sick people have such a blackmailing effect on peoples sense of compassion.

Hospital. Hotel. Shower. Change. Cab. Restaurant - was the order of the day! Alexa, Mum and I left behind the nightmares of the Upper East Side’s medical facilities to indulge in some black cod and bento boxes! We opened the heavy wooden doors to be greeted by the sensual aroma of miso and ponzu, but what was more overwhelming to our senses was the gentleman inviting us inside. Never have you seen 3 women of different generations simultaneously gasp at the same time and simply stare! The gentleman didn’t seem to notice (obviously he had received such dramatic reactions before) and in a suave bond like fashion led the “Levy party and patient” to a quiet table where we not be disturbed and I could sit and heal by being back in the real world.

Towards the end of our meal The Gentleman came to check on the patient (how I wished I had taken off all the bandages from my arms and put more make up to compliment my skinny hospital “look”! I kept thinking he was just being polite and was going to leave after a minute, but he kept up his charming demeanor and stayed chatting to the hospital clan. Having him in such close proximity made me realize how unique he really was… I realized I must have been staring so I plucked up the courage to ask him where he was from?

“ Do you mean genetically?”

“Well, yes I guess I do…”

“I am half Japanese, half Dutch. What about yourself? You also look ‘genetically interesting’”

I began to melt, but luckily this was an easy answer as it was one of the most frequent and overused statements uttered!

“I am half Indian, half Swiss”

(I wanted to sound even more “genetically interesting” and tell him I was born in Kenya, and my father also had some Hungarian Jew in him to spice things up– luckily I refrained and didn’t embarrass myself)

“So you are genetically interesting!”

I don’t even want to know the size of the plastered grin that had taken over my face! Luckily my smoother mother cut in and said that if he ever was in London he should contact her. She wrote down her email address and promptly began writing my email address; “My daughter lives in NYC, so here is her email address too!” I know my mother too well, and she was in full networking mode trying to get her poor little starving daughter hooked up at this delectable Restaurant, which also happened to be one of the hardest places to get reservations!

The next morning, I awoke to an email that changed my life, as I knew it:

“It's quite a compliment when a mother gives a man her daughter's number

- Esp. one as beautiful and "interesting" as you. Let me know when you'll be back in town. Perhaps we can have lunch.”

Nearly two years later, I realize that destiny definitely played a hand by putting us together because there were too many important lessons learnt and experiences shared with this “genetically interesting” man.