My First Rosary Phenomenon

As I approached Lincoln, Illinois, about 30 miles up the road from Springfield, a small partial rainbow developed. With my mother and Cathy on my mind I felt pleased with myself but had the lingering concern that I may not have actually helped Cathy with her sexual harassment case. Focusing more on her case than the Rosary, I remembered some of my most successful civil rights cases from the past and how satisfying they had been for me and the clients, some with seven figure settlements. But, that was over 20 years ago. Still, helping people in these circumstances seemed the right thing to do—then and now. Unfortunately, I remembered these cases have gotten much more difficult after a succession of Republican presidents have appointed so many Republican judges to the Federal Courts. As a result, these Courts have become much more conservative in their rulings and are no longer a favorite forum for plaintiff ’s lawyers and their contingent fee clients—especially civil rights case clients.

While driving past Lincoln I began to figure out what I could do for Cathy and how I could do it. The state courts remain a viable forum, especially in the Democratic controlled counties of Illinois. The rainbow reappeared, but much bigger this time—almost half an arch. All of a sudden I heard my Guardian Angel Marilyn speaking to me—“Do this Harry, it’s the right thing to do. You can get the creep doing this stuff out of the system where he may harm other women and young girls.”

By now I’m really getting interested in this case and the nuances of civil rights litigation. I also became mindful that rainbows are considered good omens and shouted out loud—“Marilyn, I hear you and I’m working on it. I’ll do it if I can.”

Further up the road, as I reached Bloomington, the State Farm Insurance Company’s home city, the rainbow appeared again. This time it was a three-quarter arch and even more spectacular. I kept thinking, praying and driving at 70 mph.

By the time I got to the other side of Bloomington, I yelled, “Ok Marilyn, I’ll do it—I’ve got it all figured out and we can win. This guy is gone!” At this point the rainbow reappeared in its full glory as a rare double rainbow, one being the mirror image of the other but fainter in its intensity.

I have never seen anything as beautiful and magnificent as that rainbow. Words cannot describe it, but I’ll try. A dozen cars had stopped along the expressway with people standing out of their cars to take pictures. Some had spread blankets and were sitting on the wet grass—next to the expressway! A few had folding chairs and coolers.

Driving on, in awe I slowed down and embraced what was in front of me as it stretched from the horizon on its Eastern base to the Western base in front of me. It was gigantic. No artist or camera could capture the beauty of this rainbow with its effervescence of misty yet bold colors blending one into another. Nothing human or mechanical could capture its beauty and the emotional experience this color spectrum projected. It was a quintessential spiritual moment, a prism of my wife’s soul reflected in a rainbow. This was most certainly God’s work, almost beyond human comprehension—far beyond any human creation.

As I forged ahead driving up the highway in what was now a light mist I drove directly into the West base of this rainbow, but it didn’t feel like driving. I was suspended and drifting in perfect silence on a breeze. There was no pot of gold. Instead I entered an ever more priceless spiritual experience. I was drifting in a time warp. My car was instantly filled with all the brilliant and subtly blending colors of the rainbow, but scattered helter-skelter flitting around on and off like fireflies and then fading like sparks from a fireworks display. They were in the car engulfing me with a euphoric awareness of the joy and goodness of life itself. They were bouncing off the windshield and hood of my car like multi-colored cherry blossoms in the breeze, but soft as snowflakes and eminently more beautiful. They floated like butterflies as they drifted away and melted into even more bursts of color and texture. It was a chaos of magnificent color— instantly changing with my every excited breath until I became breathless. A rapidly rotating kaleidoscope of color comes to mind, but that would be too structured and artificial. Time stood still for a brief moment. I could not breathe. My mind and my heart raced. I felt in a state of grace.

This was surreal, like an out of body spiritual experience in Technicolor at 50 miles per hour with the brightness of the colors permeated by an overwhelming surrounding of whiteness that has been described by Elizabeth Kubler Ross in “Life After Death” on behalf of so many survivors of near death out of body experiences and more recently by Eben Alexander MD’s “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” revealing his own personal near death experience. This was the same warm blinding whiteness I saw in my slumber when my father died at 2:30 am 18 years earlier while I was sleeping in my Flossmoor bed. It is impossible to describe the colors I now saw in the context of this recurring overwhelming whiteness. I won’t try. I had once again seen the “Light of Heaven” and felt the peaceful love of its presence.