a God-incidence…

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My niece came toward me saying, “Thank you for coming!” and then embraced me in a hug. “Cori, I know there are no presents allowed,” I said, handing her a sealed envelope. “But I wanted to give you this…and there’s something inside the card, that’s not a “present” per se, but rather something I think you’re supposed to have…” I continued. She held the card for a moment and gave me a curious look, before ripping open the envelope and withdrawing the card inside. Taking a moment to read the card, she commented, “I like how you signed this too,” and then curiously looked at the opened, plain white envelope, I had placed inside.

*****

After school last Monday, my doll gave me a form from school to be filled with information in regards to her upcoming confirmation in April. One of the items the school needed was the date of her baptism. “Why do they need this? I’m sure the parish has it on file…” I complained to the doll. “Don’t you know it?” She asked. “It was either in April or May 2002,” I replied. “Can you call the parish office?” She asked. “I have the information somewhere upstairs, I just need to find it,” I replied and then set the form aside for later.

*****

Last Thursday, my older bro Bill called and invited us to attend his grandson’s baptism after 4 pm mass Saturday, at our church. Afterward, he was hosting a small celebration in his home. “Marsh, my wife tells me our older sisters have set the rules concerning baptisms for the next generation and they’ve determined we are not to have a big party and no presents are allowed. So, for the sake of keeping me out of the dog house with my wife, please bring your family and join us, but do not bring any presents,” he emphasized. Given that my brother’s children, (live out of town) would be “home” for the baptism, I happily thanked him for the invitation and the chance to see everyone, while also scheming for a way to slip my niece a present, when her mother wasn’t looking.

*****

Saturday morning, shortly after I awoke, I began looking in earnest for the baby calendar or the baptismal certificate I had tucked away somewhere in my bedroom. I opened my top dresser drawer and began rooting around in the back, under some clothing and pulled out a plain white envelope containing a small card with an illustration of an overflowing Irish shamrock plantar on the cover; which I read and smiled at the memory before setting it aside to continue looking. A short time later I found the doll’s baby calendar and spent the next hour happily reliving her first four months as well as finding the date I needed to complete the form.

*****

Reaching into the plain white envelope, Cori removed a small card with an illustration of an overflowing Irish shamrock planter on the cover. The only words inside the handwritten card said, “Congratulations on your new baby, Love, Busia”. Cori froze for a moment and then looked back at me for an explanation as tears began to fill her eyes. “Listen, I was looking for my doll’s baptismal date this morning and I came across this card your Busia (Maternal Grandmother) gave to me after one of the kids birth. I have no explanation why I still have this, in fact, I didn’t even know this existed until this morning. The only explanation I have is that your Busia used me to send you and PJ her love from Heaven,” I said and was instantly pulled back into another hug from my niece.

After a minute, Cori stepped back and said, “Aunt Marsha, there have been so many signs today showing me Grandma is here with us. The second reading at today’s mass (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13) was not only the same one read at my wedding but was also the one I read at her funeral. During mass I leaned over and whispered to my husband, “Well Grandma’s with us…” Now I have proof Busia was there too. Thank you so much!” She said hugging me once more, while tears continued to flow down her face. Then she said, “I need to go show this to my mom…” and disappeared out of the room.

******

Serendipity, providence, happenstance are just a few words one could use to adequately describe the events on Saturday. I was blessed with an incredible opportunity to be a conduit of love for a family. Frankly, if this isn’t what’s known as a God-incidence, then I don’t know what else could.

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