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12 May 2006

Pay attention to synchronicity

Daddybarbershopcropped_3My father died at age 53. I know this won't come as a big surprise if you've been reading 37days for a while.

But you might not know that today, May 12, is the 26th anniversary of that awful day in 1980. Sometimes it passes wordlessly, but it is always in the background, always.

As I left the house today on one of my Child Chauffeur Trips Around Town, I found a package in the mail basket on our front porch. I love to get mail; have I ever mentioned that?

The package felt like a book.

“What have I ordered?” I thought to myself. It must be a book about firetrucks that I bought for Tess’ third birthday, coming up soon. But as I ripped open the mailing envelope, I was unprepared for what I found: an advance copy of TV journalist Tim Russert's new book, Wisdom of Our Fathers, with a note inscribed inside: "To Patricia, your Dad on page 192! Best always, Tim Russert."

Wisdompict A year ago, after the success of his book about his own dad, Tim Russert put out a call for stories about fathers. I submitted a wee little essay about Daddy for consideration. It was a story that emerged from an essay I had first written here on 37days.

From the 60,000 letters and emails Russert received with Daddy stories, as I opened to page 192 today, I found out that my story about Daddy's too-soon, too-young death was chosen to be included. My essay, "The Salute," is a tribute to a small-town barber who was so much more than that.

I pay attention to synchronicities; this seems like one, doesn't it?

Imagine my surprise, in this windy spring day and clear sun on our front porch, opening that package from my green rocking chair, finding that book, seeing that inscription, reading my story—and then, suddenly, with a deep shock and then a wide smile, realizing that it arrived on May 12th, the anniversary of the very day he died.

Patterns, sense, synchronicities.

For you, Daddy.


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Very cool Patti! Congratulations. And I thought Synchronicity was just a great album by the Police! :)

My father passed away in March after a long life, but there is synchronicity just the same. I look forward to reading "The Salute." Thank you for sharing about him.

Thank you for dropping your mask and telling your daughter's story. Many sons and daughters will read Tim's book and be thankful you did. I am one of them.

I got chills reading this one.
Synchronicity: My father died in 1988. I kept his watch in my desk drawer for ten years - it hadn't worked in all those years but just opening up my drawer and seeing it every day gave me a good feeling.
When my mother died in 1997, I noticed that the watch had started ticking again!!! It stopped a couple of days later, but I got the message.

oooh! i LOVE stories like this one. synchronicity is such a powerful reminder of all there is that we can't begin to understand with our minds. a gentle push to stay open to magic... thanks so much for sharing. and THANK YOU so much for your comment on my blog. i felt so honoured that you'd come and read and left your encouraging words. thank you!

Amazing! I wasn't planning to buy Russert's book, but now I definitely will. Many congratulations.

I was just reading a (bit goofy) interview with Russert in the NY Times Magazine (online) where he mentioned this book...and now, a few minutes later, to read your post... What a wonderful story, Patti! Surely your Dad is smiling wherever he is.

"BRILLIANT!" (regardless of what Kurt Vonnegut thinks!!!)

Ooh, goosebumpy.
Congrats on it getting selected for an even wider readership.

How wonderful to have a lasting tribute to your father in this book, how amazing for it to arrive in the post on this particular day. I got goosebumps just reading this.

Having been in your father's barber chair back in the day.....your words brought back my memories of those times so vividly. What a fitting tribute to your dad, Miss P. Thanks.

thanks to all of you for your good wishes and thoughts! goosebumps all around! it's moments like those that make me think that life is, perhaps, less arbitrary than we think sometimes...or at the very least, arbitrary in a meaningful way!

Thank you for your post. I happened across it today - on my 53rd birthday.

Dear Patti,

I know how much having your essay about your dad in Tim's book meant to you. I just saw on CNN via the web that Tim died this afternoon of a heart attack. I appreciated his presence amid mainstream news and the humanity with which he did his job. I can imagine his death may touch you as it shifts some of the bits of narrative about your past. Know that I am thinking of you along this thread of connection.


I just heard of the passing of Tim Russert this afternoon, and had remembered your post on him. He, along with your father, seemed like such decent people who loved their families, and died far too young. I am going out later to purchase his book, and I anxiously await the arrival of yours. I greatly enjoy the thoughtfulness of what you have to say.

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