Survival of Spirit

December, 2001

Dear Jennifer,

I was sorry to hear about the passing of your father, and about his poor treatment in the hospital.

My father died many years ago when I was a teen, but I just want to share with you that at all the times in my life when I have been the saddest, or the most desperate, or even in my happiness, he always finds some extraordinary way to communicate with me. Most of the time it is through dreams, but on some occasions when he hasn't been able to get through in dreams, he's found other ways.

I thought the following might cheer you.

Leigh's father, who I loved very much and who became sort of a father figure for me, died one early December day, a few years ago. It left me feeling despondent and I couldn't shake my blues.

A couple of weeks later, It was a few days before Xmas and Leigh and I were in a bookstore in California buying presents when a book on Marilyn Monroe caught my attention. This book was out of place, lying flat on some other books in the Children's Dept. I started leafing through it when a picture caught my eye. It had Humphrey Bogart in it and Gary Cooper and some other stars who I didn't recognize so I looked at the caption and started to read the names, then I saw it said "fascinated unidentified waiter" so I looked over at the picture again — and it was MY father. I was shocked and then delighted. I called Leigh over to look. He couldn't believe it either.

I started thinking about it. What are the odds that in a bookstore with five floors and tens of thousands of books in it, I would, at just the appropriate moment, find a book with my father's image in it? And in the children's dept., for his child. I interpreted that my father was telling me "Don't be so sad, silly, I am still around and so is your 'other' father. Be happy. Nothing is ever lost."

I'm crying again as I always do when I think of this happening. It made me so happy, it cheered me right away. It was one of life's magical mysteries that to the believer proves the survival of spirit.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Love,

Rhio


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