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My mother’s family has always been given to visitations of one sort or another.  When they die, they don’t pass away, they keep coming back for one reason or another.  This is a recurrent pattern, but the one I remember best is the one my mother told me about that happened during the 1918 flu pandemic.  Her older brother Sterling, 16 at the time, died of the flu first, and her aunt, who lived with them and was also ill, said that Sterling was sitting on the chair in her room waiting for her.  She died four days later.

Most of my deceased relatives have since stayed where they were put.  I think.  But there was one time in Washington. . .

My father had died a year or so before.  My mother, who was deeply and genuinely devout, believed with all her heart that it was up to her to figure out what the Lord wanted her to do with this extra time she was accepting unwillingly — my parents had had one of those HEA marriages that was vibrant and vigorous.  One of the things she decided to do with the time was spend more of it with her daughters, and so when I went to Washington D.C. to drop off my daughter for a summer internship on Capitol Hill, Mother asked to come with me.

We must have already dropped my daughter off, because I don’t remember her being there when my mother and I were walking down the long set of steps of one of the museums along the Mall leading down to the Mall itself.  Mother was a few steps ahead of me, and suddenly I heard my father’s voice.  I don’t remember if he said my name or not, but I knew he was talking to me.  He had exactly the same tone of voice he would have had if he found me dawdling on a household job or maybe being a bit slow to take the other end of something he was balancing.  Not cross, but definitely demanding my attention.

“Get hold of your mother!” his voice said.

I straightened up promptly and ran down the few steps between us and grabbed Mother’s elbow.  She looked around at me and smiled, and we walked the rest of the way together.

I’ve never heard his voice since.  Well, Mother’s gone now, and I guess if there are steps in front of her, my father is there to hang onto her.  But I remember, and it’s a warm memory to keep.  They did really love each other.


11 Responses

  1. Beppie I just love this story! It’s so sweet. This is the kinda of paranormal stuff I can handle.

  2. Me, too, Keri. The other kinds freak me out, I guess because I can’t entirely disbelieve them — well, until you get to vampires and werewolves and suchlike. I’m sorry. That’s a step too far for me.

  3. Beppie that is such a beautiful story. I loved it and really even though mine was eerie, I so like these better. 🙂

  4. I’m glad you thought so, Vicki. I’ve always treasured it as a little bit of them as a couple that I have to remember. They were amazing. Even as a child I knew they had such a good time together!

  5. I’ve got chills!!! The cool kind!! LOL What a wonderful memory to have of your parents. 🙂

  6. That is pretty cool–much better than my two paranormal experiences with a Ouiji board. Won’t touch one again and will never have one in the house. 🙂

  7. Yes, Melissa, it is. I always remember that one of my aunts remarked that my father always told my mother how wonderful she was, and the more he told her that, the faster she worked. I THINK she was joking!

    Stacey, I’m with you on the Ouiji board business. We got one when I was a teenager, in spite of Mother’s firm disapproval. But she believed in free agency, and it was our choice, as she pointed out. My best friend and I were messing around with it and I have fortunately forgotten the details but it was creepy. I haven’t touched one again either.

  8. Aww, how sweet! He didn’t want her to fall.

  9. Beppie, that is a sweet and haunting story. Just my type. I may use something like that for future reference for one of my paranormals. I loved it!

  10. Chelsea, he obviously figured it was my job to make sure she didn’t!

    Jamie, take it with my blessings. They were remarkable people.

  11. That’s such a comforting story, Beppie. 🙂

    I dream of my passed family members, or sometimes I just start thinking about them out of the blue, and I know it’s because they’re in the room with me. I love that. 🙂

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