January 24, 2012

When I was a young boy of 11 or so growing up in our little house in Jersey City with my 6 younger brothers and sisters, there would soon be seven, I used to steal dimes from my mother’s bureau.  I did it so I could buy a candy bar or a bottle of soda or maybe just to have them in my pocket.

Now some 60 years later I’m finding dimes on sidewalks or in the gutter near my car or in driveways……I look down and there’s a dime.  At first I thought nothing of it but then thoughts of my thieving past started to come up…..and thoughts of Mom who died 4 years ago……..and more dimes appeared.  Now I don’t mean to say that these silvery discs appear every day or that there have been very many of them, maybe 10 or so over the past couple of months but I love it and I know that it’s Mom telling me that she’s OK and that she knew I was taking those dimes all those years ago.

We had very little money in those days but never went hungry and had every educational advantage one could imagine.  Maybe Mom knew about those missing coins and replenished the supply when it ran low.

Faith wise I think of myself as an agnatheist, a word that I may have invented although I doubt it because “spell check” hasn’t yet underlined it.  I don’t believe in a god per se but I do believe in some continuous consciousness going on around us and somehow I believe that Mom and Dad and Susan and Paul and others are aware and spiritually alive.  It makes me feel good and to think about Mom when I see a dime sparkling up at me from the ground.


Posted January 26, 2012


Oh, Phil — I just love these (all too infrequent) posts of yours. They bring back great memories of your family, and (yes) especially your Mom, who I still think of as the archetype of a “good mother”.

By the way, agnatheist is just a combination of agnostic and atheist (sort of a stage closer to agnosticism, it appears to me….). And it must be catching, ‘cause despite over 14 years of Catholic and later Jesuit education (not to mention the endless Sundays spent in “catechism school”), I would characterize myself that way, too.

Hugs, and a belated Happy New Year, across the years and miles,

Kathleen Norton-Schock
aka Kathy Norton

Moving sentiments & elegantly expressed. I feel sure that your Mom is connecting.Please write more often.
We’re out of touch too long.
My love to all,

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