Tag Archives: Amazing coincidences

The cover mom and the babysitter – a “small world” story

Our June issue went in the mail this week but before we say goodbye to May I have one more story to share about this month’s cover mom, Anadee Flint of Phoenix.

Anadee won our Mother’s Day cover contest after submitting an essay about how she is “building a better family” following her husband Brandon’s brain cancer diagnosis and the subsequent months of treatment and emotional adjustments they all have endured (he is currently in good health).

I wasn’t able to attend the cover shoot, which I typically would enjoy as an opportunity to connect with the family and learn a bit more about their lives. But shortly after the May magazine came out, I emailed Anadee to thank her for her inspiring essay and let her know that her other prizes as our winner (tickets to LEGOLAND California and lodging at the Sheraton Carlton Resort & Spa along with a $250 gift certificate from Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace) were on their way.

I wasn’t expecting to hear back from her and I definitely wasn’t expecting to hear that she and I share a common life thread.

“One of my good friends is Amy Johnson,” she wrote. “She told me she used to babysit for you and spoke very highly of your family and your dedication to make your magazine a success.”

She was Amy James then, a tall, leggy teenager with gorgeous auburn curls and boundless energy. She and her younger brother Andy both watched my two sons when they were small and my affection for them and their family endures.

Amy grew up, went to college, started a career (she is a detective for the City of Mesa). She got married, had a baby. That’s when she first reconnected with me and we’ve exchanged periodic emails since then. She told me when she was pregnant with her second child, a son, who was born in September 2007. (“I may have a 21-year-old college graduate but I do still remember what it’s like to be pregnant during the Phoenix summer!” I sympathetically wrote back.)

The next October I was working our booth at Boo at the Zoo and who walked up but Amy — with both of her children! It was wonderful to see her in person and hug her warmly, full of gratitude for her place in my family history.

You can imagine my surprise when I heard that Anadee and Amy are friends. Just one more example of the small world we inhabit in this very large Valley.

Anadee also sent some photos her mom took at our cover shoot. Thank you, Anadee!

How a cover model prepares: breakfast and a hot roller for some curl.

A little comfort before the big shoot.

Big brother Jackson (5) explores the park as he waits.

Photographer Daniel Friedman sets up his lighting.

Art Director Michelle-Renee Adams tells Jackson how the reflectors work.

Almost ready: Dan checks his exposure as Anadee smooths Piper's hair.

One more test shot...

...and just one of the great photos Dan shot that day.

Missing the scoop but getting the story

In May 2012, RAISING ARIZONA KIDS launched a new website platform. Find this story here.

What are the odds?

Calendar & Directories Editor Mala Blomquist calls it the “Six Degrees of Mary Holden.” Almost any time one of us mentions the name of someone we’ve talked to, Mary’s got some sort of connection.

Assistant Editor Mary L. Holden.

Mary is Six Degrees of Separation personified — packed into a tiny frame with a fierce intellect, a compassionate heart and the networking skills of a politician.

It doesn’t hurt that she was born and raised in Phoenix, so her institutional memory goes deep.

Last weekend, Mary took her daughter Annie, a freshman at the University of Washington (who was home for spring break) to San Diego to visit her godmother, Margaret McLaughlin, and some friends from UW who also live there.

In the middle of one visit, Mary happened to mention the story she wrote for this month’s magazine: “Casting a Light on the Shadow of Abuse.” She mentioned the name of the physician/researcher who had done groundbreaking work that is helping medical professionals understand and respond to the long-term implications of child abuse.

At that moment, Mary felt Annie’s godmother’s hand on her shoulder.

“Dr. Felitti? Dr. Vincent Felitti?” McLaughlin asked.

It turns out that Felitti had diagnosed McLaughlin with hemochromatosis (a disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to break down iron) in the early 1990s. He treated her condition and she even participated in one of the studies Felitti did on genetic indicators for the disease.

“She spoke very highly of Dr. Felliti and in fact credited him for saving her life,” Mary said. “Some might say that it’s a small world. Some might say that this is just an interesting coincidence. But I think this connection is truly fascinating, and I love it when things like this happen.”

Mary sent a copy of our April issue to Dr. Felliti with a personal letter recounting the coincidence. “I am very honored to have helped spread the news of the ACE study,” she wrote, ” and I deeply thank you for saving the life of my daughter’s godmother.” — Karen