Category Archives: Miracles

The Day I Met Gracie

The experience was somewhat atypical but provided a lesson that was truly unique.

I met Gracie a couple of years ago. A chance encounter lasting only a few moments, it quickly became an auspicious one that I will never forget. Gracie approached me first, unafraid and
appearing to ask a silent question. Her eyes met mine and clearly seemed to say to me, “Is it okay?” My answer was almost automatic as I respectfully honored her politeness with a friendly and affirmative nod of approval. She seemed satisfied with my reply and quite grateful that I had acknowledged her as someone I was happy to know.

Turning her head away as though she was being pulled toward the next item on her agenda, Gracie circled my outstretched legs and made her way over to my wife’s reaching hand. The weather was kind to us that day, another perfect afternoon in San Diego. We relaxed in the shade of a huge tree alongside the harbor, watching boat after boat drifting along with the breeze. Every conceivable necessity had been neatly taken care of, and my wife Debbie and I were comfortably propped in our beach chairs, aware of little more than the invariable passing of time.

All at once I noticed that Gracie must have stumbled on a new best friend! I was delighted by how taken she was with Debbie, the manner in which she expressed a mutual awareness with us about everything that was going on at that moment. Gracie seemed to love just being near Debbie. After another moment we both looked up as Gracie’s owner, a man perhaps in his late sixties, stood near and apologized to us for her boldness. Debbie and I told him not to be concerned, that she really was a dear friend. He explained her restlessness resulted from having been left more or less alone for the past month, during which time he was recovering from a heart attack.

The kind man appeared very sad. He told us he suffered the mild heart attack immediately following the death of his wife and, after he had recovered much of his health again, he began taking Gracie for short walks as he and his wife had done before. Following a moment of silence he said goodbye and resumed his walk, beckoning Gracie to follow. She bounced along here and there, happily following the nice man who had so graciously told us his story. And after another moment, the two disappeared among the other people passing by.

Before we lost sight of them, though, I looked at Debbie and said, “She’s here. His wife is with Gracie.”

Debbie replied, “I know—they’re together now.”

Miracles Happen Everyday!

About one year ago, my wife, Debbie, decided to take her niece, Kim, who was visiting from the northeast, on a drive to the coast of Southern California. Besides doing some shopping, they also planned to spread Girls at beach1some ashes, the remains of Kim’s mother who had died months earlier, upon the waves of Laguna Beach. Linda was my wife’s elder sister. She was found alone at her home, unconscious due to a sudden stroke. She died a few days later.

The drive along the coast highway took them through a series of picturesque, beach communities. The mood was peaceful, the journey relaxing as well as scenic. At one point, though, they found themselves waiting at an intersection for a stoplight to change. The cross street to the right was an immediate climb up a steep hill and to the left a short descent leading down to the beach. Everything seemed perfectly normal.

They were stopped in the right hand lane next to one car to their immediate left and another in an adjacent left turn lane. As soon as the traffic light changed from red to green, both of the cars to the left of Debbie and Kim proceeded into the intersection. But Debbie’s car would not move forward. No matter how hard she pressed on the accelerator, the car wouldn’t budge. Something was preventing it from moving forward.

All at once, a large, black SUV appeared, barreling into the intersection downhill from the right. The driver of the SUV never slowed, appearing to have either been distracted or lost the ability to brake. The SUV struck the side of the car that had been waiting beside Debbie and Kim, forcing it sideways to then smash into the car waiting to make its left turn. As they witness the trauma of the accident unfold before them, their car was released, and Debbie and Kim were allowed to proceed on their way.

My wife drives a small, economy car, most of which lies well below the bumper of a typical SUV. If they had been allowed to continue unhindered, Kim would have most certainly lost her life, as the SUV would have struck her at eye level first. As they drove way, both Debbie and Kim knew immediately that the power guiding their lives had revealed itself to them directly.


Afterward, while perusing the boutiques of Laguna Beach, Debbie and Kim met a woman who ran a tiny shop downtown. She introduced herself and then shocked both of them by informing them that they were there to spread ashes at the beach! Taken aback by such a surprising comment, they both thought to themselves, How did she know? How did she know? When I heard this, I knew I needed to find out more.

Months later, I went to meet the woman who ran the tiny shop. I really wanted to find out what she could tell me about me! But I found nothing unusual about her and instead went away considering the day to be quite uneventful. I forgot all about her until a week later when I noticed a small business card sitting on the counter in our kitchen. It was a card my wife had taken from the tiny shop owned by the mysterious woman.

The night before I found the business card, and after struggling for many months, I had finally come up with the book’s title, The Primal Contradiction. And as I looked down at the business card, I realized the name on the card was derived from the same words I had chosen for my title. The mysterious woman from Laguna Beach was the one who actually gave me the title for my book.