In my book, “Pathfinding: Seven Principles for Positive Living,” I present the fruits of my quest, a daughter’s quest, for selfhood and awakening. I include teachings, stories and lessons from my father, alav ha-shalom, which are highlighted in the book.
My father was a disciplinarian and nurturer all in one. He brought out the seeker in me and taught me to always do the right thing and stand up for my beliefs.
The following amazing father-daughter “miracle” is recounted in the book – and I am still amazed today by this miraculous “coincidence”.
“Many years ago, I was living in the Boston area, and my daughter Laura was about three years old. Our steady babysitter was a family friend. One day I let her borrow my car to run an errand. She came from a large family, and when she stopped at her house, one of her older brothers ‘took’ the car.
“I spent the whole next day on the phone with the police, frantically trying to locate my car. In desperation, I called my father, who was working in New York City. He reassured me that no matter how things turned out, everything was going to be okay.
“The day after we spoke, in the late afternoon, my father called me and said, ‘You are not going to believe what I’m about to tell you. Today, instead of walking my usual route to the parking lot, I walked down a different street and there was your car on this side street in the middle of downtown Manhattan.’ This was a ‘one in a million shot,’ to use my father’s words at the time, and I was stunned but also thrilled that my father found my car. “He immediately called the police. When the officers got there, they decided to remove the distributor so no one could start the car. My father took the distributor with him and called me as soon as he got home. Since my father worked in New York City, he said he would go back the next morning to make arrangements to get my car back to my home in the Boston area.
“The next morning, when my father went to the street where the car had been parked, the car was gone. When he called to tell me the bad news, I told him the good news! My babysitter’s older brother, after taking my car on a joyride, realized his mistake and returned it to me in Boston. She told me later how panicked he was when he realized the distributor was missing.
“We eventually got it all worked out, but what makes this story so amazing is that my father was able to find my car 250 miles from home in a city of tens of millions of people. The chances of coincidentally finding his daughter’s stolen car were miraculous.”
I believe God was at work here, fueled by prayer and the power of a father’s love for his daughter and the deep connection between them.
Happy Father’s Day to all of our fathers, past, present and future.
PATRICIA RASKIN hosts “The Patricia Raskin Show” on Saturdays at 3 p.m. on WPRO, 630 AM/99.7 FM, and on Mondays at 2 p.m. on voiceamerica.com. Raskin is a board member of Providence’s Temple Emanu-El.