Three. The Triad—heaven-human-earth; past-present-future—the number three is significant as a prime number in mathematics, the spatial dimensions of science, the Holy Trinity of Christianity. For me, the number three represents the third day in October of my son’s birth and the third anniversary of his death. And it also became a gift.
The number three became a spiritual shout-out from my son in the days leading to the anniversary date. It started with a mystery on a calendar. A recurring annual appointment that appeared for the THIRD day of the week, every year in August for the indefinite future. The subject of the appointment, just one word: Tony. How the appointment appeared on the calendar can’t be explained, nor can the pattern of the appointment. Several days later, a reminder on someone else’s phone for the same appointment!
As dawn approached on the anniversary date, message after message poured in via Facebook post, email, and text from friends and family who woke up in the middle of the night, precisely at THREE o’clock local time in California, Florida, New York, and multiple locations in Tennessee. Miles away, someone else on vacation sent a thinking-of-you-text with a reminder of a song that she called her Tony Song: THREE Little Birds by Bob Marley.
Beyond coincidence, it felt like a crescendo of goodwill enveloping me. That I didn’t receive my own “THREE” message was appropriate because hearing from others let me know that I am not alone on this journey.