Ghost Gifts

The week before my birthday, I looked up and said, Mom, I’m expecting that $20 you always put in a birthday card for me to appear somewhere. I know it will.

I told my friend Ruth about that and missing my mother-in-law.

Ruth sent a check for $100. Inside her birthday card was another little card saying “$20 of this is from your mom” [paraphrased].

Every year I’d buy something with the twenty, then show Mom what ‘she got me.’ I took the twenty to the hardware store where I’d priced the smallest Swiss Army knife – the one with the toothpick, tweezers and scissors. Telling the cashier the story brought tears to my eyes. In my car, I released a wave of grief, crying hard for a few seconds.

Ruth didn’t think the $20 was really from Mom. It was, because the story about her influenced Ruth to fulfill the promise. Call it God or ghosts or what you will, we cannot always explain and prove why a thing happens. But what needs to happen usually does.

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