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  • Linda Merlino

A Reason to Believe

Can I write about miracles? Believing? Would you turn the page? Or be curious? There is a bracelet that wraps around my rearview mirror; inexpensive, mostly plastic, priceless only in sentiment. Explained, it is a mini rosary with a guardian angel in the middle. Several years ago, I attended a church in Newtown Connecticut. My attendance in this church or any house of worship was infrequent. My conversations with God took place in private and usually early in the morning. On this occasion, Mother’s Day, I accompanied a friend to Saint Rose and during the course of Mass the priest asked every mother in the church to stand. Mothers, so many of us, rose from the pews. The priest spoke of the Lord’s gratitude. As he delivered his prayer several ushers began gifting us bracelets, the very one I keep in my car. The bracelets, and all the mothers received a special blessing. The brief ceremony was very moving, particularly for me as my mother had died and its symbol of protection reminded me of her. In truth, the heaviness of emotion lay deeper, because this was the parish of the Sandy Hook families who grieved the senseless loss of twenty of its children, and six adults murdered on December 14, 2012.

Solace can be found in unexpected places with mundane objects, or unexplained signs. That day the bracelet had given me and many others reassurance; a speck of hope and a reason to believe. I wore the bracelet on and off until the day I purchased a new car and decided to place it high on the mirror to keep us safe. A few more years elapsed. My children were parents and those children multiplied. One day something very extraordinary happened. The bracelet fell, not from a touch or an intention, but from something unseen. My oldest granddaughter had been crying and worried about her brother who cut his foot on broken glass. Her parents asked me to take her out while they sought medical help. Did the bracelet have the power of reassurance? I believed it did. Without hesitating I said the bracelet had given us a sign. This turned out to be true and more than just a coincidence. Since then, the bracelet has managed to slip onto the floor, a lap, or into a shoe, at least a half dozen times. The same message prevailed: everything will be okay.

Last month I drove through a popular car wash where vacuuming is free. The crunch and clatter of the bracelet being sucked into the massive vacuum system tested my story. Is this how it ends? I left a name, number, and a brief description with the young man in the office. His words were kind, but his eyes said not a chance. Two days later an unknown phone number rang through: dodging all the blocks and silencers.

“We’ve found your bracelet.”

“I’m coming. Thank you.” First there were a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts to pick up for the staff and a few calls to make. When I handed off the donuts at the car wash hungry smiles greeted me.

“The bracelet must be very special,” the young man said. “We don’t usually find missing items like this.”

I nodded, expressed my gratitude, and held tight to my lost and found. This story may be never ending. Be grateful, hug your family, tell them they are loved, have a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday and remember your reason to Believe.

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