One year ago today, my sister called me to tell me our Daddy had just passed away. I can’t relate what the next months felt like to me. It’s one of those things that is unique to everyone who goes through it.
It was a bit sudden, and my sister was driving over to get Mom from the rehab hospital where she’d been for a few months when it happened. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that helpless before. I never want to again.
This isn’t a sad post, though. This is actually about a gift Daddy gave me through something he did afterwards. What do you mean, “afterwards”? you might be asking. Well, let me tell you a true story.
A few days or so after Daddy died, Mom was in her room at the rehab place. She was sitting on her bed, eating her dinner, when she heard something out in the hall, like a knock or something drop to the floor. She looked up, and there was no one outside. Her gaze fell on something next to the bathroom door, however. A pair of black shoes with feet in them. Khaki pants, the legs going up to just past the knees, and then sort of fading away into a mist. She saw this for quite a few moments that evening, but no matter how many times she watched that spot in the days to come, she never saw it again.
Mom told me this about a week later, prefacing it with: “I’ve told some others about this, but they poo-poohed it. But I know what I saw.” After she told me, I asked her who she thought it might have been. “Your father, of course!” Mom sounded about as happy and relieved as she could, considering the circumstances. She did tell me at least one of the people who didn’t believe her, and I can see that. I think it might have not jived with what that lady believed. That’s fine – I know Mom did see what she saw, and I know it was Daddy.
How? Well, Mom never was one to watch things like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures or anything. She never read books like that, and neither did Daddy. If this was a product of her imagination, she would have seen Daddy’s head, face, shoulders. She would have seen his whole body, perhaps. Her imagination would never have produced Daddy’s feet and calves. I know some people will still “poo-pooh” this, but I have complete faith in what Mom saw that evening.
Daddy gave me, through visiting Mom, the assurance that there really is life after this one. That we don’t just cease to exist. Sure, I believed that before, but to have this happen with my parents (and Mom would never, ever make up a story like this, either), just proved it to me even more.
And talk about love – Daddy hung around to wait for Mom, who followed him exactly nine weeks later.
While I am still hurting over not having them around and just a phone call away, I am so glad they are together again, and honestly grateful that Mom didn’t have to go through their birthdays (I am sandwiched between them in August) and the holidays without Daddy.