There was a woman reading Life of Pi at the beach

For Blogapalooz-Hour ChicagoNow bloggers are given a topic and have one hour to write and publish a post about it. Tonight’s prompt is “Write about a time you experienced a remarkable coincidence or witnessed something unexplainable.”

There was a woman reading Life of Pi at the beach. She was our angel.

For years my friend Jay had taken his family to Edisto Beach, S.C. for a beach vacation each summer. When his kids grew up he started inviting friends to join him and his wife Bev for the vacation.

Jay would rent a large house, usually with four bedrooms and a pull out couch in the living room. Beds were assigned on a first to ask for them basis. The house was often full. Once some people slept in sleeping bags under the dining room table.

Going to Edisto was a relaxed vacation. There wasn’t much to do on the island. Perhaps there would be a day trip to Charleston or Savannah. Mostly though, we lounged on the beach, played board games, made and ate delicious food, drank wine or beer, and read.

We called the porch the “Christian Science Reading Room.” When people needed a break from the sun they would sit and read for hours. When you finished a book you would leave it out for others to read.

I loved going to Edisto every year.

Then Bev died.

The rest of us weren’t sure what would happen that next year, but Jay again invited us all to the beach. Bev’s birthday fell during our usual rental window, so he suggested that we all drink Bev’s favorite wine, Merlot, on that night in her honor.

But there was another memorializing of a sort for Bev at the beach that year.

That was the year the book Life of Pi came out. I brought it and read it. Then others in the house read it.

And someone else was reading it too.

We started to see a woman at the beach with long brown hair, a dark tan, and a green tank swimsuit. From behind she looked just like Bev. She sat on the beach and read Life of Pi.

I don’t believe any of us dared speak to her. That would have spoiled the magic (and to be honest, her face didn’t look much like Bev). But there she was, a daily reminder. As if Bev were still there with us. Under the same sun. By the same sea. Watching over us. And reading the same book.

Bev would have hated that book.

This coincidence probably isn’t that “remarkable” or “unexplainable,” but it made a group of friends smile after the loss of someone we cared about. I guess, now that I think of it, that is pretty remarkable.

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