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April 08, 2024

Tales No Taller Than Ourselves

By Sand Pilarski

Spiritual Intervention

as told to Sand Pilarski - atgreenmars@hotmail.com

The year was 1980, and we had just moved out of a miserable duplex rental with strange and stingy landlords. We'd put down, six months before, a key deposit of fifty dollars. (That was a lot of money in those days.) The new place, another duplex, but a nice one with a friendly landlord, had two bedrooms, one bath, and -- a doorway to stairs to the attic off the bigger bedroom. Inside that doorway was a tiny closet with a couple coat hooks and a bar to hang clothes.

The baby was only three, and moving was exhausting, because we had to do it all ourselves, though the new landlord helped us get the heavy stuff in. We could only afford to rent a small truck to move, and had to make a several trips, just enough confusion to lose the keys to the previous rental. We looked everywhere, in every box, through all the packing newspapers, in every coat (it was autumn, and cold) -- nothing. I felt sick to my stomach about the loss of fifty dollars just because of my carelessness.

We were out of the old place for a couple days , and the old landlords had already called to threaten to keep the deposit if they didn't get the keys back. I was so tired from trying to unpack and organize, that when Baby lay down for a nap, I was ready, too. Before I fell asleep, I said a little prayer to Saint Anthony, and asked him to ask God to help me find my keys.

In case you don't know about saints, they are people who have died but because of their dedication to goodness, continue to help people by pestering God to help us. I can't remember why St. Anthony was supposed to be good for helping find lost things, but that's what I heard.

I slept soundly, and dreamed about being asleep. In the dream I woke up. I dreamed I went to the attic/closet door, and there, in the pocket of a coat, were the keys I'd been searching for. I awoke with a start! I got up, went to the closet, and opened it. There was no coat, only a pair of pants. I searched the pockets, but all of them were empty. But I picked up the pants, and there on the hook was an old purse I hadn't used in ages.

I thought, oh, what the heck, and fished around in the purse.

And came up with a set of keys, including the keys to the old place.

I swear I didn't put them there, but someone did. I swear I didn't know the purse had been hung there. The purse I used every day was downstairs in the kitchen.

Thank you, God, I said, and thank you, St. Anthony.


Article © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
Published on 2002-07-13
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