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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I know I have said that I don't believe in life after death or, more accurately, I don't know what happens to us after we die. That said, I want to recount what happened three days after my father died on June 9, 2002. In New York, after my father's funeral, my sister asked for a sign that my father was okay, and she felt that she had received such a sign. (When the family had returned from the funeral service, my sister went up to the hallway bathroom and found that the clock had stopped. She asked my father to set the clock working again and, when she returned twenty or so minutes later, it had.) When my sister recounted what she had observed, I wanted a sign, too.

I was waiting in the front yard for my mate so we could go out to dinner. In an area in the front yard where I had been weeding was an object that looked vaguely like a coin, but it was too caked with dirt to know for sure what it was. I picked it up and could tell from its shape that it was, in fact, a coin. I took it immediately into the house and ran hot water over it to wash away the dirt. I managed to scrape off enough dirt to see that it was a quarter. I looked at the date, as I do whenever I find a coin on the street or sidewalk, and burst into tears: the date was the year of my birth, 1954. In that instant, I knew my father would be okay... and that I would be, too.

Father's Day
birds he imitated
at the cemetery

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