I Was Right

I was right and now he knows it. I’ve always believed our loved ones can communicate to us from the other side and do so sometimes shortly after their passing. I’ve heard of it happening to people who are sane and solid. My sister, for example. When she was in college and doing her practice teaching, she stayed in the home of an old woman. One night she woke up and saw an old man in a rocking chair next to her bed, a pipe in his mouth. He looked at her, she looked at him, then she went back to sleep. A few weeks later the woman was going through the dresser in that bedroom and pulled out a pipe. This was my husband’s, she said. This was his room.

Then it happened to me. My next door neighbor died. His wife called me at 2 a.m. and I took the 9-1-1 call, attempted CPR, and drove his wife to the hospital for the pronouncement. He was my father’s age, had a daughter my age, had become almost like a father to me, and wouldn’t want me feeling the trauma over doing CPR and losing him anyway. Every night for a while at about the same time as his death, I’d be awakened by what felt like someone sitting down on my bed. I’d sit straight up. It wasn’t the dog. I didn’t see anyone. There was no explanation. I realized it was Hap. One night he told me to make sure his wife sent a graduation card to his granddaughter in Virginia. I felt like a fool, but I asked her if the girl was graduating and if she had sent a card. She thought it strange, but let me know she had mailed the card that day.

When I’d tell my husband about these things, he’d shake his head and roll his eyes. He’d also advise me not to tell anyone else, lest they’d think I was off my rocker. He was such a believer in logic.

Now he knows I am right. As he was passing and I was waiting in a different area of the hospital, I looked up at the lights on the ceiling and felt a warmth wrap around me. I’m going, he said. I’m going. I didn’t hear his voice, but I got the message. I had been shaking violently all over, all day. My son commented that I stopped. I’d told the surgeon I wanted to be there with my husband at the end; I wanted to see him one more time. The doctor rushed into the room and told me to come with him. We’re losing ground, he said. He ran down three flights of service stairs — paying no mind to the fact that I am 50-something and not in as good shape as he. He took my hand and led me into the OR, sat me down on a stool and pushed me up to the back of my husband’s head, where I was able to say some parting words, knowing my husband’s spirit was lingering there, and give one last kiss.

In the days since his death, I have felt him comfort me. In moments of deep grief and sobs, I have felt the pain lift and calm come. In agony over business decisions and how to handle this or that, I have heard him say, Don’t worry, do it this way, and it will work. I have felt him present and answering in the “big picture” judgments he always thought I couldn’t see.

And so in the end, not that it matters one bit, I get to say I was right.

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8 Comments on “I Was Right”

  1. Sherry says:

    An amazing story. And of course you’re right. I love that you feel him present and answering. Roomie, he is a pretty good guy.

  2. sarahemc2 says:

    Of course you were right, although I think I rolled my eyes at you when you told me part of this story in Oxford. But I am now holding my eyes perfectly still, and conceding the point.

    I would, in fact, knit you a prayer shawl–as Sherry suggested–except I’m pretty sure you’re not a shawl kind of woman, and I do not know how to knit prayer bike shorts or prayer garden gloves.

    I am, however, expecting to come into some mulberry moonshine in the next few days. (Except up here we call it branch water.) If you promise not to hurt yourself, I will send you a small jar. It won’t make anything better, but it will certainly help you sleep.

  3. kathyrhodes says:

    Mulberry moonshine. How could I turn this down? Sounds like muscadine wine. I’d love some branch water!

  4. Rain says:

    That was beautifully said and encouraging to read. We may not know exactly what comes next but something is there and the spirit goes on. Some may doubt but someday they will also know. When my mother died, that was my first thought– now she knows as someday I will know. Your experiences fit with what I have felt and heard from family and friends. Knowing the ones we have lost are there for us on the other side doesn’t make it hurt less that they are gone from this side but it does give comfort.

  5. Sherry says:

    Since Sarah isn’t rolling her eyes, I’ll tell you that my grandma visited me 2 weeks after she died. She sat on my bed on night and told me she was happy. She’d suffered with chronic depression for years. Forgot all about it, until I spoke with my aunt (her daughter) a decade later, who told me she’d had a similar visit. Now pass that branch water. And Kathy, a little voice tells me you should watch for a little prankish reminder from WR once in a while.

  6. Kathy says:

    Maybe I need two jars of branch water…

  7. sarahemc2 says:

    I’m afraid the mulberry branch water burned green when I put it to the match test… and, of course, the rule is that it has to burn blue or it will make you blind. Sadly, that’s the way if often goes with homespun intoxicants. But we’re… oops, I mean whatever scofflaw hillbillies, definately not us… are trying a batch of plain old ‘shine. One way or t’other, we’ll get a mason jar of something down to you soon.

  8. Kay Dennison says:

    I know you were right! My dad keeps an eye on me and I know it. I just visited my stepmother for the first time in years and I said, “You’ll probably think I’m nuts but Dad’s keeping an eye on me.” She told me that I couldn’t be crazy because he checks in with her now and again, too.

    Enjoy the Branch water!!!!

    Winston Rand: he was a PRETTY GOOD GUY!!!!! He is greatly missed.


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