TODAY   |  January 14, 2014

Amazing ‘Godwink’ gives peace to grieving daughter

The daughter of the famous sad-faced circus clown Emmett Kelly was on an airplane and grieving his death when, in a newspaper, she spotted the only photo of him smiling. In an amazing coincidence, she then discovered that the man seated next to was the photographer who had snapped the picture.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> sometimes when we're facing a tough situation, we'll get a sign in the form of a coincidence that everything is going to be just okay.

>> those moments are what best-selling author writes about in his books. and one of those stories is about a then 25-year-old stacy kelly and what happened after she got the devastating news that her dad had died.

>> it was that middle of the night phone call you never want to get. my dad had died of a heart attack. i quickly packed a bag and got on the first flight out. and i opened the morning newspaper and there was my father's picture , under the headline, emmitt kelly, world's most famous clown, dead at 80. for 20 years he was ringling brothers most famous clown, the hobo clown with the sad face. and that sad face was his trademark he never let anybody take a picture with anything but the sad face and he was successful. except for that one time, dad was being interviewed by united press international and there was a phone call that came in, my mom's doctor. emmitt, congratulations, you're the father of a new baby girl . my dad grinned from ear to ear. and then, click, the photographer took a picture that went to newspapers around the globe. the only photo of the sad-faced clown smiling. well, i thought about that special picture as a sat on the airplane. for some reason, i stuffed one of those old yellow newspapers into my bag and it was special to me and i pulled it out and it was a treasured memory. but then i realized something that had never quite donned on me before, like what my father was really smiling about. he was smiling about me. and i started to cry. and the man seated next to me leaned over and said, miss, are you okay? well, pointing to the picture in the paper, i said, my father died last night. the man looked shocked. he said, you will never believe this, i am the photographer who took that picture . i looked at him in disbelief, the person who took that very special picture 25 years before was divinely aligned to be seated right next to me, at the time of my greatest grief. at that moment, a real peace came over me. i knew everything was going to be all right.

>> oh, my god.

>> we had no idea that was coming. that's extraordinary.

>> that was unbelievable.

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