May 20 11:50 AM

Coincidence or not, a welcome gift

January 11, 2017
Sometimes there is a synchronicity in life that is hard to ignore and even harder to explain.

My dad comes to me me in a dream last night. I am not saying I dreamed of him, because that doesn't quite describe it. It's more the former—he comes to me in the dream—and I know it's a visit, albeit a temporary one.

In the dream, I'm going about the business of meeting other family members for a banquet of some sort. A celebration over a meal—which is what we do. This time it's at a restaurant, and while I'm in the parking lot, my dad appears.

He looks much like he did when he was in his 60s...he's wearing his motorcycle jacket over a casual, collared shirt. Beneath the leather cap that goes with the jacket, his hair is mostly black, flecked with a little bit of gray.

He has his glasses on, as he did most of the time after he reached the age of 50 or so. Like my own experience, in life my dad often ruminated on how much he took his perfect, blueprint-reading 20/20 eyesight for granted. Once he experienced 'vecchi occhi'—Italian for 'old eyes,' and had to rely on glasses for the closeup work he so loved, he realized just how blessed he'd been for so many years. Ditto for yours truly, who never had to don a set of specs except while on the Sporty until the age of 52.

My dad looks good in the dream. Happy, "tickled," even. "Tickled" was one of his favorite words. He used it often when the goodness of life surprised him. He tells me he's happy—and busy—too.

Part of me wants to wake up and write this down—the experience, the words he says, but the other part knows that if I want the conversation to continue, I best lay still and stay in the dream.

I ask my Dad how he thinks I'm doing. He gets quite serious all the sudden. Not bad-serious or sad-serious, just serious in that he has something important to say.

"I think you need to travel more. There is so much to see and you need to see it while you can," he says.

He begins to name off the places he thinks I need to visit. None of them sound familiar to me at first, but I have a vague "knowing" of what he means.

Then he says he has to go. Of course I don't want him to. And just like he appeared—materializing out of the atmosphere—he disappears back to where he belongs now.

I continue on in the dream to the restaurant, where I'm greeted by a friendly, familiar face and directed to a back room where the rest of my family awaits. I wake up.

The dream is so poignant, the visit so real, the message so unexpected, but clear, that I can't NOT believe it's true. Throughout the morning, it's with me. It lifts me up and bolsters me. I'm happy and feeling blessed by it. I share it with my sister during our usual morning chat. She, too, is happy and amazed.

I get to the office and open the dreaded email folder. I was out sick for a day-and-a-half last week so there's much catching up to do and I'm dreading it. Determined to tackle the tasks at hand one by one, I quickly shed the emails that aren't relevant, and open those that have to get through the system. The first is Iris's column...I'm stunned.

"Oh, January! You open new roads before us, lead us forth into familiar and unknown paths. Heavenly bodies shift above us..." she writes.


Cherish what we have while we're healthy. For everything has a life span," she continues. "In his poem Song of the Open Road, Walt Whitman says, "I whimper no more, postpone no more...."

Iris goes on to write about an Italian father, "with a name to be proud of," whose daughter he depicted in a painting that inspired...

Coincidence? Maybe. Probably. Synchronicity? No doubt. Beyond earthly experience or understanding? Yes! Blessedly, yes!

Email Catherine at

Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.
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