Book No. 31 -The Secret Lives of People in Love

21 Feb

As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate things like fate, coincidence, and serendipitous events. I have also come to realize how strong the power of memory can be in our lives. Are our lives determined by fate or do we make our own fates? Do you believe in coincidence or is it possible that nothing in this world happens by accident? Or maybe everything in this world is a tiny museum of accidental occurrences? Do you believe in the power of memories? Do you believe that people are still with you even after they have passed on? All of these topics are things that frequent my mind on a daily basis. Simon Van Booy writes The Secret Lives of People in Love with all of these questions in mind and all of these themes are present in the short stories written in this book. One of my favorite stories in the book is about a young boy who had lost his mother. After her death, he lived in a house with his father, but they never spoke to each other and their lives had become empty. On the one year anniversary of his mothers death, the little boy went out to his mothers favorite hidden spot in the park so he could be alone and miss her. When he arrived at this spot however, there was an indian man sitting on the bench his mother always sat at. The two began to talk and the little boy told the indian man all about his mother, and the indian man decided to devote his whole day to showing the little boy that his mother was not really gone. She was still there, with him, in him, watching over him. So, they went to his mothers favorite restaurant and went to many other places that his mother loved, and the indian man taught the boy that with the power of memories, his mother would never truly be gone. The little boy was left with only one item of his mothers for safe keeping, and that was her favorite sweater. He just couldn’t let it go, but after spending the day with the indian man he realized he saw his mother everywhere and felt her in everything. So, he gave the sweater to a homeless man who really needed it. It is a beautiful, beautiful story! I have a really cool story that happened to me. Well, I think it’s cool. My grandmother passed away 7 years ago and everyone in my family went to visit her grave fairly frequently. Well, I was in San Antonio one weekend and my sister and I drove to the cemetery to visit her. It was a beautiful day and as my sister and I sat at her grave, crying and missing her, a peaceful quiet swept the cemetery. Nobody else was around, no birds, no squirrels, just silence. And all of a sudden we heard singing. We looked around in search of the voice, but there was not a soul around. The singing continued, it came from nowhere, but it was there. We looked at each other and we knew, it was our grandma. She was telling us that she was there with us, watching over us — and we could feel her presence as if she were actually there in human form. It was a beautiful moment for us. Some of you may not believe things like this can happen, but I believe they can, and often we get signs from the universe when we need them most. Another example of this is when I was driving back to Oklahoma from Houston after a holiday and my mind was going crazy thinking about the past and boyfriends and friends who had caused me so much pain and confusion. And all of a sudden I looked up and there was a bill board there, completely white with 11 black bold letters written on it. It said, FORGIVE THEM. I kid you not, this actually happened.

Another pivotal moment in my life is when I was dating a guy, my first real relationship. He wasn’t the best guy and it wasn’t a good relationship, but I still dated him for a couple of years. One night me and him went out with two of our best friends on a double date, and on the car ride back home we all sat in perfect silence.. as if we all had the same thing on our mind. I was sitting in the car, looking out the window, asking myself if I was happy in this relationship. Then all of a sudden, this song came on the radio.


“And maybe it’s time to change and leave it all behind. I’ve never been one to walk alone, I’ve always been scared to try. So why does it feel so wrong to reach for something more.. to wanna live a better life. What am I waiting for? Cause nothing stays the same. Maybe it’s time to change.”

And in that moment, it felt like everybody in the car was absorbing each and every single word of this song. And I knew exactly what I needed to do. I broke up with him 3 months later and instead of getting back together with him like I always have in the past, it was over for good.

It’s amazing that signs like these come to us in our darkest moments, moments of grief, despair and confusion. It’s like the universe knows what we need and when we need it, and it sends us signs to help us get through. Have any of you had similar experiences?? If you have, please comment below because I really would love to hear them!

This book explores the lives of many different people, some who are swayed by fate, some who are living lonely lives, and Van Booy also brings to light in this book, the beauty and darkness of vulnerability.

One of my favorite questions to ask people is, “Do you believe in fate?” I’m always curious as to what guides people through life. I personally do believe in fate, but I also believe that the choices we make help determine our fate. There are no mistakes in life. There are only choices. And the choices you make will shape your life.

This book is chillingly beautiful, haunting even, and it leaves you pondering over the meaning of life. Is everything in this life predetermined or is life just one big road with a lot of accidents?

What do you believe?


Taylor Jordan



One Response to “Book No. 31 -The Secret Lives of People in Love”

  1. D February 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    I enjoyed it, but what you call the universe , I call GOD. Continue to think , experience and learn and I get the feeling that you will learn that what you have experienced is truly GOD.I too have a few strange things that have happened to me since my mom died. We’ll discuss over Margaritas.

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