Miracle or coincidence?

I have no faith.
No belief in an afterlife.
This is it. As good as it gets.
I do not feel the need to argue over it,
nor to tell others with strong faith,
that they are wrong.
Who knows maybe they are not.

I grew up as a Catholic,
and attended mass and was educated by nuns.small_272074532
My mum has strong faith,
not the type who pushes it on others,
but a quiet knowing that Jesus is there for her.

She is not impressed by my lack of faith,
but does not question it.
I think, like my husband, she believes,
the day will come when I am suddenly inspired.

Sometimes I think it must be nice to believe,
to imagine a whole new life waiting for you.
But no amount of wishing,
will change the fact that I don’t buy it.

However there have been happenings in my life,
that I cannot explain.
Some may call them miracles.
others moments of amazing coincidence,
which at times have caused me to debate,
divine intervention, coincidence or fate?

One of the most memorable of these relates to my Mum and Dad.
For those of you new to this blog,
my Dad died of motor neuron disease in his early fifties.
When he was very ill but still able to move,
he had written an article,
for the motor neurone disease magazine,
about living with MND.
In it he spoke about how hard it was to burden your family,
and how much easier he felt it was,
to be the person affected and not the carer.

Writing that article took weeks,
as he was typing on one of the very old typewriters,
where you had to really push down on the keys.
His hands worked independent to his brain,
jumping every-which way,
and he did not have the strength to press the keys.
He titled it “The light of one small candle”.

Naturally after he died,
our grief was enormous.small__2119400017
But for my Mum it must have been unbearable.
I do not think any of us really appreciated,
what it was like for her.
She lost her partner, her best friend, her future.

Nine months after my Dad died,
she faced her first wedding anniversary without him.
It was a Sunday.
She headed off to Mass and we all tried to ignore,
the obvious signs that she had been crying.
Our hearts ached for her,
but we could do nothing to make the pain any less.
When she returned home,
we did the usual things.
The kettle was boiled and the papers opened.

That is when it happened.
Miracle or fate?
There in the middle of one of the papers,
was a column written by a well known “celebrity” priest.
This day, my mums first wedding anniversary without my dad,
the priest had not written an article,
but published one he had been given by a friend of his.
It was titled “The light of one small candle”.
My Dads article printed in full!

So on what had been such a hard morning,
my dad came to visit one last time.
We read his words,
telling us how much he loved us.
Telling us he was okay with dying.
Wishing us all the best for our futures.
In his words we could hear his lovely voice again.
He had come to spend one last anniversary with my mum.

We could never have known,
that when he had typed that article the previous year,
putting such effort into every word,
that he would have been writing to all of us one year hence,
but in particular to his wife, on their special day.
Despite my lack of faith,
I have never forgotten that day.
Coincidence or miracle I do not know,
but it was a wonderful bittersweet moment.
One I still cherish.

photo credit: khalilshah via photopin cc

photo credit: pizzodisevo, slowly i will recover via photopin cc

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40 thoughts on “Miracle or coincidence?

  1. I don’t know why I always have it in my mind that you’re so much older than me, I think we’re about the same age! That blows to lose your dad so young, I didn’t realize he was only in his early 50’s. All the men in my family have died in their 40s or 50s except for my own dad. He’s 63 and doing just fine. Every year is a miracle to him.

    I’m not sure if I’m a believer, but I’m certainly a hoper. I hope there’s something awesome after death, but who knows? Jesus wouldn’t tell me last time we were together.

    1. Ah no I’m only a young one but had my kids when it was barely legal!!!! I did search that post for clues when you met him but you both just got distracted. I think my dad dying so young pushed me into kids much earlier, that and a glass of wine! However it is great now to be relatively young and on the other side of parenting!

  2. I call it the “magic of life.” I am not a “believer” but appreciate the beauty in each passing day and moment. Living in the moment, not a bad place to be. Eyes wide open.

  3. My mother was a catholic but being educated by nuns turned her against the religion. She stopped attending Mass and remained catholic in name only. When the doctors pronounced her death sentence, however, she asked for a priest to administer the Last Rites. Having rejected religion most of her adult life, she returned to it at the end and seemed to gain some comfort in her faith and the promise of an after-life

    I have never believed in an after-life. It just seems like wishful thinking to me. My wife was not a religious woman, either, but during the last few months of her life it gave her some comfort to believe there was something after death and that we would meet again

    After her death, it would have helped ease the pain if I could bring myself to believe as she did but however much I want to believe that there is something after this life and we will be together again some day, I just can’t get over my scepticism

    This is another great thought-provoking post. Given my lack of belief in an after-life, I naturally think your da’s letter being published on that day especially is just coincidence – but it does make you stop and think, doesn’t it ?

    1. It has often made me think. But like you I then say Naah! However I always feel my Dad beside me, even though I don’t think he is in a “heaven”. In fact I believe in my Dad but not a God, so that makes no sense at all. Maybe its just easier to live in the moment.

      1. I think believing in an afterlife is a dangerous/evil philosophy.

        If you accept that this life is all there is and there is no ‘second chance’ then perhaps you will be motivated to do your best to treat others well in this life and right wrongs when you can

        Belief in an afterlife is, I think, a dangerous/evil philosophy open to abuse

        The promise of an afterlife has, I think, too often been used as a means of social control.

        The meek shall inherit the earth?

        Easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle . . . etc

        The Church has always allied itself with political powers to exercise social control of the masses. For example, want to stop feudal subjects rising up against oppressive landlords or folk ripped from their homes in Africa and sold as slaves in America from rising up against their masters? Teach them Christianity. Teach them to ‘turn the other cheek’ etc. Their reward will be in heaven. In other words, accept the status quo. Endure the wrongs inflicted upon you and others in this life because it will all be better in the next

        Yeah, right !

  4. I’m a person that believe things are just coincidence, entropy…random happenings, but every now and then certain things, like this write up, makes you wonder…nice post,

    1. Anyone who is sure and never wonders is missing out. Always question. I love to wonder through life, and I suspect reading you blog and in particular you poems, you question often.

  5. I’m not particularly religious, but I do believe in an afterlife and reincarnation (but that’s another story). I prefer to believe that the story being published was a miracle, a sign to comfort your grieving hearts. Isn’t it better than dismissing it as pure coincidence?

  6. Very well written, thoughtful and thought-provoking post – as often from you, tric. I am amazed and impressed. I happen to be a rational human being (and a scientist too.) I do believe that no ending can be final, but many a times just beginnings in disguise – going by the scientific principles as applied to events. There is almost always a continuity. Furthermore, I also think that human mind and science are not yet capable of seeing the truth in its totality. So seeing the demise as the end is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean. Miracles do happen. Thanks for sharing this delicate experience so eloquently.

    1. I love this comment. Our lack of knowledge at present points us in two directions, to believe or dismiss. Time will tell. In fact your explanation gives comfort as it says maybe but we need to know more. Great comment. Thanks

      1. Sometimes I have to stop myself from trying too hard to figure stuff out. It’s kind of a nice place to be in when I stop. I never found a connection in church, but when I looked inside for healing..I found something.
        Your posts continue to inspire me. 🙂

  7. Oh my, so glad I saw Mocha’s mention of this post. Tric, I am crying for many reasons, not the least of which that this morning I was feeling very much without hope and cried all morning in fact and this story touched that place where hope lives, a place I was hoping to smother earlier. Whether you believe in miracles or coincidence really is of very little consequence. This is a glorious story of love, genuine love. And whether we thank God or the priest or the newspaper for the way it happened, it was a moment – one of those rare moments. I personally believe in miracles wholeheartedly. I can recognize coincidences, too. However, this one… well, I would have to put it in my miracle column. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I am really sorry to hear you were so sad. Your comment made me think of a poem I knew as a child. I can’t remember it now but it tells of giving a smile away and someone giving it back to you. I am glad my post helped. I love your blog and am delighted you read and enjoyed this piece.

    1. Thank you. It was a post that seems to have touched a lot of people, believer or not. Whatever the truth, it was a special day. Delighted to have you reading.

  8. I do not like to call myself a believer, but a Knower. Yes, there are things I still believe and don’t know, but it is what i know that keeps me going. It is at times like that- when your father’s article appeared- that we know. I pray to know every day, to live life abundantly…just as you have expressed in your posts.

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