Archive for the ‘General’ Category

“A Father, A Son and a Couple of Nickels”   1 comment

A Father, A Son and a Couple of Nickels by Terri J. Kallio

A Father, A Son and a Couple of Nickels
Terri J. Kallio


“A Father, A Son and a Couple of Nickels”
by Terri J. Kallio

Years ago, Darrell had gone to meet a friend for a beer at a local pub. His friend’s son had been killed in a car accident the night of graduation and in spite of the months that had passed the pain in his heart was like a wound that would not heal. A stranger who was sitting close enough to hear the conversation suddenly walked over to their table and ask if he could sit with them as he had a story to share. I think both men were surprised by him just sitting down uninvited.

He began to tell a story about his son and how when he was little they loved to fish and camp. Even through his teenage years they had remained very close. He told of how they had been filling out applications for college and soon his son would leave and be on his own. He told of how excited he was for the new adventure he would be taking, but, how difficult it was to let go. Then, on the last day of school how he kept hollering up the stairs for his son to hurry and get ready. When he didn’t seem to be making any effort to get up, how he had stormed up the stairs all the while yelling – “Come on son, you can’t miss the last day of school!” But, when he flung open the door he realized that something was dreadfully wrong. His son lay there in his bed, sweat running down his brow, unable to move and barely able to make a sound above a whisper. He didn’t know what to do, he grabbed for the phone to call 911, everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Although it appeared his wife was running up the stairs it seemed like she would never arrive. The paramedics came and whisked him up quickly, and rushed him to the hospital. He started to follow them down the stairs when something told him to go back and get his lucky nickel. Now this was no ordinary nickle. It had saved his life by deflecting a bullet while he served in Vietnam. It was a story his son had asked to be told many times.
The stranger stopped for a moment and took a few deep breaths and a long swig of his beer. Darrell and his friend were listening so intently that they had not realized that their own beers had gotten warm. They ordered another round and the stranger, who seemed quiet exhausted now, began again.
Once he and his wife arrived at the hospital an attendant quickly brought them to their sons room. It felt as though they were doing nothing to help their son, and yet, there were doctors, nurses and technicians running in and out of the room. “Oh my God, please help my son!” He told of how he stood on one side of the bed holding his hand and his wife
on the other with fearful tears streaming down her cheeks. The news from the doctor would not be good. He said he felt as if he were in a dream when the doctor said his son had a brain aneurysm and his only chance would be surgery. Even then there would be only a 10% chance
he would survive.
“How can this be?”
“Today is his last day of school, he is going to college this fall – how can this be?”
“ This is my baby, my only son, how can this be?”
Swallowing hard now to hold back his tears; he told of how his son pulled him down closer to him so that he could whisper in his ear:
“Dad, did you bring your lucky nickel?”
He said he couldn’t believe his sons question and really, what had made him go back for it just a short while before.
“Yes, son, I have it in my pocket.”
“Dad, you must give them permission to do the surgery, it’s my only chance.”
A few more tears ran down the strangers face as he looked at them and said: “How do you choose the fate of your own child when the odds are 10 in a 100 that he’ll survive?” He paused for a long time before he was able to continue and then he said;
“I did the only thing I could do – I turned it over to God.”
He then told them of how he and his wife only had a brief time with their son before he was wheeled off for surgery. He said he took his lucky nickel out of his pocket and placed it in his sons hand, but, that his son refused to take it and told him to hold on to it for him for luck. Then he said the oddest thing:
“Dad, if I don’t make it I’ll send you a sign from heaven that I’m ok.”
“The funeral for my son was sad”, he said.
“The church was filled to capacity with his family and friends.”
“But, I just could not understand why God would take my beautiful
He said that when all the people had left for home that night he went into his sons room. He had not been able to bring himself to go in since the day he was taken to the hospital. He told of how the pain in his heart had brought him to his knees and how he cried out: “God why? Why?” While there on his knees, suddenly a sense of peace seemed to wash his soul and that’s when he felt it. Something was beginning to dig into his right knee. As he reached down to find what it was he discovered it was a nickel. At first he said he didn’t really think about it, but, as he pushed himself up from the bed – huh, another nickel? Without thinking he picked it up and put it in his pocket, but, as he turned out the light and walked into the hall something shiny caught his eye. Yes, he said, another nickel. He said, as his sons last words came back to him, that he looked up towards heaven and said: “Thank you son for letting me know you’re ok.”
Darrell and his friend just sat there in amazement at the strangers story. He said that every so often he will be talking with someone reminiscing about a special memory involving his son and by golly if a couple nickels won’t show up that day. He told that once when he and his wife were on vacation in Italy, they were taking a break sitting on a park
bench. He said his wife commented that she had always hoped that the three of them could take this trip together. He told then that for some reason they both looked down at the same time and wouldn’t you know it, sitting on the ground were 3 nickels, in Italy no less. Darrell and his friend sat in silence. Then just as suddenly as the man had joined them, he stood up, put his hand on Darrell’s friends shoulder and said: “You know, my friend, they are never really that far from you when they remain in your heart.” With that he was gone, almost as if he had never been there. They both turned around to see where he had gone but, he was no where to be seen.
The guys finished up their beers and went out to their vehicles. A strange thing happened when Darrell opened the door to the truck, you may have guessed. Laying on the seat were two nickels. Darrell said it gave him the chills.
I will never forget Darrell telling me this story. It was as if he were mesmerized by it and you could have heard a pin drop in our home as I listened. I’ve thought of that story many times over the last 3 months since
Darrell died.
I hope you will forgive my terrible punctuation as I told this story. And I hope I’ve told it as well as it was told to me.
So, next time you come across a couple nickels in an unexpected place, I hope you’ll remember this story and know that every thing’s ok. I know I will.
Originally published February 27, 2010 from my blog – The Next Chapter – Page 2010



Posted September 19, 2014 by Terri Kallio/Site Coordinator in General, Uncategorized

Baseball and Dandelions   2 comments

One of my favorite memories is of my Grandson when he played T-Ball. If you ever watched these little guys and gals play T-Ball you have some idea of how fun they are and yet they don’t seem to really get the whole concept of the game. Well on this particular Saturday morning I was sitting across from 3rd base which my Grandson now danced on. Without warning he runs over towards the pitchers mound where he has spotted a flower (a dandelion by any other name) – Everyone is screaming for him to get back on his base but, nothing is going to deter him from his destination. He picks the flower and part way back he stops. Of course the coach is yelling, his folks are yelling but, my sweetheart stands his ground. Chin up, one hand on his hip and the other gently holding his prize. He simply states loud and clear to all – “THIS IS FOR MY GRANDMA!” – Yep, that Grandma was me – it was a precious gift from a pure heart. (picture of Ty Cobb is public domain)

Baseball & Dandelions by Terri J. Kallio

Baseball & Dandelions
Terri J. Kallio

Posted July 24, 2014 by Terri Kallio/Site Coordinator in General

Up-date   1 comment

It seems that life has so many unexpected twists and turns that it’s difficult to keep up.  In between the continual running I’ve been trying to increase my knowledge and abilities for photo design as well as my videography work.  Fortunately there are so many fabulous tutorials online to learn from.  I’m thinking what I really need to do is set up two monitors to make learning a little easier.  I normally watch the entire tutorial first and then I try to do the technique myself but, switching back and forth as I do each step really slows the process down.  My plan is to be able to incorporate these designs into my self published genealogy books and also use them for my family history slide shows.  Here are a few of my latest designs – the first is my most recent “fantasy” photo design that I did from a photograph by Brittany Harville of her daughter and husband on a recent trip they took.  It’s a time consuming project of cutting out the original background and creating an entirely new picture.  I wanted to create a vision of how she might dream about the day she spent with her father.  There are 8 layers to this photograph  – 4 of which are in the background which is creating a dream like image.

"Rosie's Dream"

“Rosie’s Dream”
Fantasy Photo – Terri J. Kallio
Photographer – Brittany Harville


The next picture is one I did for of my Dad which depicts different  important events in his life.  I chose the American flag background to honor his 21 years in the U.S. Air Force.  I had this printed on canvas.


"A Life of Excellence" Creative Design by  Terri J. Kallio

“A Life of Excellence”
Creative Design by
Terri J. Kallio


Something I did just for the fun of trying the technique.  The photograph is a world perspective view of a city in Germany.  I actually did the design backwards as the buildings should be on the outside of the circle, however, I ended up liking it just the way it was.

Schwerin world

Kallio Terri signature sparkle

Posted August 17, 2013 by Terri Kallio/Site Coordinator in General

A new year, a new adventure!   6 comments

“Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow a vision.  But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.  Look well, therefore, to this day.”  (Sanskrit Proverb)


I’ve never been one for making new year resolutions. I think it just ends up being a premeditated guilt trip for the things that are not followed through. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a vision or plan for the future, after all we all have things we want to accomplish in the future, but rather to set your sights on the things you can actually do each day.

I’ve been blogging for a few years. My previous blogs have centered around genealogy. Although I love sharing the stories of my family and will continue to here, I wanted a fresh start with a new format and for this blog to include a wider range of topics. So if you are a blog reader you will find a variety of articles, videos, and my own personal thoughts on life. 

The title of my blog – “I’ll be seeing you,” comes from my aversion to saying goodbye to people I love.

 So I’ll be seeing you …..