One of the most memorable events in my life was the first time I ever got the roses. It happened the night after C.R.C. was baptized. I described it in the first letter I wrote pertaining to Emmitsburg on December 8, 1998:After we both completed the required baptismal classes, I stopped at the church office and C.R.C.’s baptism was scheduled and did take place on October 3, 1998 the anniversary of Saint Therese’s original feast day.
The next night, October 4 after the few guest, Danny and Elaine left to go back home to Richmond I sat down to relax for a few minutes. I felt as if a thousand pounds of burden had been taken off of my shoulders. I sat down on the sofa and re-read every word of the Rite of Baptism and when I finished I placed it for safe keeping in a book about Saint Therese. The page I just happened to open to was a full page photo of Therese. The photo looks as if the photographer is looking down on her and she is looking up at you. This sounds crazy but for a split second it seemed to me as if we had just made eye to eye contact. It sent a shiver up my spine. I placed the book back on its shelf. A few minutes later I went outside. When I got outside it was very breezy and you could just see the moon behind some fast moving, wispy clouds. SUDDENLY the scent of roses filled the air and after about 10 or 15 seconds it went away and was replaced with the usual smell of a near-by dairy farm. A few seconds later another blast of the rose fragrance was all around me and lasted for about the same amount of time. The aroma was exactly as if someone had just picked a handful of fresh roses and held it right under your nose. There was no question in my mind then and never will be as to where it came from or who sent it. I instantly knew!! This may sound nutty to you but it is very real to me. I will go to my grave knowing that the roses came from heaven.When I got up this morning I remembered that it was 5 years ago today that this happened. It makes me as happy today thinking about it as when it originally happened. The details of that night are as vivid and clear in my mind as the instant it happened. I knew then and I know now that this event was out of the ordinary.
I also very vividly remember the next day, October 5, 1998 feeling sad that the preparations for C.R.C.’s baptism were over. I enjoyed and felt good about making things right when suddenly I heard a voice boom within my head that said “No, this is just the beginning” It was so loud and clear that it startled me. I looked behind me but nobody was there. Since that time something similar has happened on several occasions. It happened on July 29, 2002 when the voice said “No trip to Emmitsburg is wasted” and again on Ash Wednesday 2003 when it said “No, you have to be the one who wants to come”
I spent the morning doing some things around the house and working on a web page that I will be using to sell off some, if not all of my Civil War collection. When I finished working on the web page I remembered that I wanted to get a hair cut before going to the 6 PM mass because Mark Schuler had called earlier in the week and asked me to substitute as Eucharistic minister for him. I pulled out of the drive way and at that very instant I felt the peaceful feeling that caused me to glance at my watch. The time was 1:33.
I drove to town and parked at "Parish Church" and walked over and got a haircut at Polly’s, after the haircut I was walking back to my truck when suddenly the urge to pray the rosary struck me. I glanced at my watch and it said XX:XX:13. I went in church prayed the Glorious mysteries and glanced at my watch when I finished and was leaving. It said XX:XX:13.
Later in the afternoon C.R.C. and I went back to "Parish Church" and went to confession. During my confession I revealed who C.R.C.’s attacker was by revealing what elected office her husband is seeking. After I came out of confession C.R.C. went in. He came out and prayed his penance, when he finished we left and when we started the car the time on the dash was 5:13.
C.R.C. and I drove home and picked up S.C.C. and drove back to "Parish Church" for the 6 PM mass. When we walked in the church a lady stopped me and asked if I could help wash the chalices after mass. I told her that I would help.
Mass started and I was Eucharistic minister of the "Parish Church". During the hymn after communion I started thinking about it being 5 years ago today that I first smelled the roses. Thinking about it gave me a very peaceful feeling and I looked up and a halo of light formed around the head of St. Joseph. It was bright. I knew to glance at my watch and it said XX:XX:33.
After mass I helped clean the chalices with Ed D. I never saw the lady who originally asked me to help her do it. Fr. ____ came in while Ed and I were doing this and I gave him a update on Bob G’s condition. When I finished I returned to the car and we pulled out of the parking lot at 7:13.
C.R.C. went out to eat with my mother and sister and I was going to go pick him up about an hour later at John’s restaurant. S.C.C. and I rode home and I sat at the kitchen table and caught up the daily journal that I keep. My sister called and said she would drive C.R.C. home. I hung up and completed the journal entry. The time was 8:13.
I decided that I would ride to St. Joseph’s and complete the rosary. I drove to Emmitsburg and arrived at St. Joseph’s at 10:33. The odometer switched to 33 at the very instant I arrived. I prayed the 3 remaining mysteries of the rosary. When I finished I returned to my truck and when I started it the time on the dash was 11:13.
I started driving home and about 2 minutes later I was pulled over by the police. The police officer said he pulled me over because I have a burned out head light. He wrote me a warning ticked that does not carry any fine or court appearance. I was detained on the side of the road for about 10 minutes or so. I drove home and pulled in my drive way at 1:33.
Oct. 8, 2003