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Palm Beach Gardens doctor receives gift beyond the grave from late mother

Posted at 9:29 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 06:42:18-04

It was a gift beyond the grave for a Palm Beach Gardens doctor.

Dr. Richard Powers received a dollar bill in the mail from a stranger over a thousand miles away. On it was a special message from his late mother that moved him to tears.

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It started with a phone call.

"I got the answering machine messages and there was a message from a woman," said Powers, a licensed chiropractor.

The message came from a woman named Diana Recchio in northern New Jersey.


"Hello. You don't know me but I believe I have your first dollar, as Dr. Richard powers," Recchio said in a voicemail to Dr. Powers last month, adding that she is a hair stylist and got the dollar bill in her tip jar at work. "I thought maybe it might be important to you."

The message around the edges of the bill reads, "Your first dollar as Dr. Richard Michael Powers. From your lifelong patient. May it multiply leaps and bounds."

Across the front, it is signed, "Love and Success ...Your Mom."

At first, Powers said he couldn't believe what was happening but once he saw the handwriting, he knew just who it came from -- his now-deceased mother, Lorraine Powers.

"It's been running around for 38 years. And here it is back again," he said. "I got goosebumps right now."

Recchio said Google and a little luck with a full name on the dollar brought her to contacting his chiropractic office. She told WPTV by phone that she's happy to reunite the dollar with Powers and felt like it was the right thing to do.

"I think it's such a beautiful thing. It's an amazing thing that she would even take the time to do that," said Powers.

Powers graduated with his doctorate from the National University of Health Sciences in 1978. Lorraine intended for the money to be his first dollar as a doctor. She died two years ago.

"My mom was a very loving, caring, giving person. She was an amazing woman. She graduated high school at 14 and graduated magna cum laude. She was Miss Palm Beach County, she was quite a woman," he said. "She worked two jobs. I went to nine years of college."

Powers said he never had a chance to see the dollar and thinks it ended up in circulation on accident.

"I think it ended up with the first doctor I worked with. He was supposed to give it back to me but he put it in circulation," he said. "It was in his office, must have given it to the girl, put it in the pile."

The bill traveled over 1,200 miles and nearly 40 years to that tip jar in New Jersey. Powers has two adult sons and said he plans to pass the dollar down in his family as an heirloom.

The timing of this dollar's arrival in Florida is another reason that makes this extra special for Powers.

"Matter of fact, her birthday is in three days from today, when she would be 92," he said. "I really think it's a gift beyond the grave. It's either just total coincidence that happened at this month, at this time. I don't know what to say to it."

Powers has framed the dollar in his doctor's office. He said he plans to send Recchio a gift of thanks and hopes to meet her one day.