As some of you know, Jim and I were married in Jamaica, in a gazebo, overlooking the ocean. Not long after that, we were swimming in the warm, turquoise water. There was a platform, for sunbathers, floating out in the deep water, and Jim and I were lying on our bellies, talking, when he suddenly pointed to his left hand. "My ring!!", he exclaimed. "It fell off while we were swimming!" We had been married less than a week, and his ring was gone? I couldn't believe our rotten luck.
He rushed over to the place where the resort had snorkels and masks that everyone could use. The guy was closing, but Jim pleaded with him, explaining about the ring, so he let us have them. I have no idea how long we swam around, searching the ocean floor, which was covered with seaweed, but it felt like forever. It was going to be getting dark soon. I was losing hope, when I had a flashback to an experience I had six years earlier...
Driving back to the apartment I shared with two other girls, all attending graduate school, I heard an ad on the radio. A certain airline was selling tickets to Europe cheap. I had always dreamed of going to Europe someday, and with the money I had inherited from my grandfather, I could afford it. Sort of. I'd have to do it "on the cheap", but I could go. When I got home that night I told my roommate, "I think we should go to Europe". She laughed until she realized I was serious. I somehow convinced her.
On the day I was remembering, we had done a lot of sight seeing. We had a wonderful travel book with details about everything - must sees, great restaurants, local treasures, places to get a bargain, etc. We stopped somewhere for me to take a picture, and I realized in horror that my camera was missing! It wasn't even mine! It was my mom's and she had loaned it to me for the trip.
My friend and I searched a few places, but didn't find it. I was near tears when she said, "Hey, I remember reading something about a saint that you are supposed to pray to when something is lost - St. Anthony". As we stood there like crazy people, praying on a cobblestone street in Venice, I had a vision - my camera sitting on the counter at the gelati stand! St. Anthony came to my rescue!
I looked over at Jim, looking desperately for any glimmer of gold on the huge ocean floor, and I started to pray, "St. Anthony please hear my prayer..." Seconds later, (no kidding), Jim sprung out of the water - holding the ring!! And that was the moment that I converted to Catholicism. (Not really) I did write a poem in his honor, though. Here's part of it...
...Anthony, why are you
so good to me?
I don't go to church
or pray faithfully.
Don't go to confession
I sin, and I curse.
I don't think I've
memorized one Bible verse...
Now, I may not be perfect,
I'm a sinner for sure.
I'm not famous, or noble,
haven't discovered a cure.
But St. Anthony must see
something good in me,
because I've been worthy
of not one miracle, but three!*
*Besides the camera, and the ring, there was one other thing I lost that he helped me find. I only ask him for help when I've lost something major. If I ever completely lose my mind, for instance, he'll be the first one I go to for help).