16 August 2006


Yesterday was the third anniversary of my grandmother’s death. Far from being a sad occasion, though, Kim and I turned it into a happy remembrance – we had a picnic lunch at the Botanical Gardens, under the tree my family dedicated to her (and my grandfather’s) memory. It was an absolutely perfect day, low 80s, sunny with a nice breeze. One of those days where you could spend all day lounging on the blanket in the shade …

Then, as I drove home from work, the strangest thing happened. I was listening to the radio, and the announcer came on to give away two tickets to see Evanescence in Milwaukee in October. Tenth caller wins. I didn’t have my phone up front with me, but just on a total whim, I grabbed it out of my bag in back and dialed. Busy. Damn. Hit “End.” Hit “Talk” to redial. “CONGRATULATIONS YOU WIN!” “What? Are you serious?”

It was totally surreal. I have never won anything on the radio – instead, I get the busy signal every time I try! He took down all my info, explained how it will work once they get the tickets in house, and even gave me a first-name/last-name/hometown callout on the air. (About 8:45 last night on 95.1FM by the way, didja hear it?) How cool is that?

But here’s the kicker: I don’t believe in coincidence. Three years ago, during the week following her death, my family spent days cleaning out Nana’s house in Huntley. On one of those days, I needed some down time, alone, so I headed up to Borders in Crystal Lake. While there, I bought a CD: Fallen, by Evanescence. Then, on our first family vacation without Nana several months later, the band was playing in a Tahoe casino near where we were staying. When I made an iPod mix for Kim with music from our years together, I chose “My Immortal” to symbolize that part of our life: the acoustic version is still one of the most haunting melodies I have ever heard.

After her memorial service, one of Nana’s friends told us about these feelings Nana used to get. Sort of like the “I’m not getting on that plane and then it crashes” types of feelings. Like somehow she was connected to the universe on a sort of higher level than the rest of the world. All I can think is that last night, three years after her passing, she is still somehow connected to our lives every day, and wanted to be sure we knew it.

Happy b-day! Today is Matt Kelly’s birthday, he of the “I’m gonna’ win the ‘cross worlds as a junior and then do some other stuff before coming back to the sport and becoming a pro …” way of doing things. Happy birthday!


1 comment:

Rebecca said...

You are so right about "coincidences". I have had way too much science education and been instructed for too long in things theological to have any patience for the concept of "coincidence". I am sorry for your loss (as it were), but I truly believe in the whole "they watch us from beyond" idea. I have had (and continue to get) a million of those same feelings from when Grandma Kopsell died as well as more recently from Mom. Enjoy the concert! And *definitely* consider it a gift from your Nana. Someday you'll get to thank her for it in person, but hopefully that time is a long way away!

Much Love to you both from Cleveland,