Serendipity means discovering something valuable and unexpected when you’re looking for something else. According to today’s edition of The Writer’s Almanac, the word was first coined on this day in 1754. Corn Flakes, chocolate chip cookies, viagra, and penicillin are all products of serendipity. Julius Comroe, (1911-1984) a teacher and researcher who began his medical career as a surgeon and developed the Cardiovascular Research Institute, is quoted by the almanac as saying, “Serendipity is looking in a haystack for a needle and discovering a farmer’s daughter.”

Ten years ago when I subscribed to Newsreel, a cassette magazine now available for download in a recorded format, I was looking for information and ideas from other blind and visually impaired listeners. I found a husband. On this day in 2006, sometime between six and seven in the evening, Bill suffered his first stroke. Thus began six of the most difficult and rewarding years of my life. Around every corner, surprises wait when you least expect to find them.


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at

2 thoughts on “Serendipity”

  1. Serendipity and fate have a few things in common. One is unexpected, and the other is unannounced. Six years, and every minute leading up to today.


    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    Vivian Green



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