Sunday, February 28, 2010
Paranormal Activity, Incident # 2
In 1991, after a year-long bout with cancer, my father passed away rather suddenly. He had been ill, but he wasn't bedridden and sickly (at least not outwardly) the way many are at the end. In fact, the night before he passed away, he was up making and freezing vegetable soup and rearranging the silverware and utensil drawers. He was weak and tired, but he was up and about, trying to make himself useful.
The next morning, he went to take a nap. When he went to get up, he went into cardiac arrest--likely from the intense amounts of chemo he'd received for a month straight just weeks earlier. My mother called me (rather than 9-1-1), I rushed over and called an ambulance. By the time we got to the hospital, he was gone.
My mother and I went to tell my sister the news, and take her with us to the mortuary to start making arrangements. Not two hours had passed since my dad's death. We sat in a little, quiet office with the mortician, answering questions about his life.
"So he was born in 1921 in Akron, Ohio -- right?"
"Yes," my mother answered.
"And he worked as a technical illustrator up until he retired in 1984. Correct?"
"So you said he served in the Navy during World War II. Did I get the years right -- 1942 to 1945?"
"YES," said a booming voice coming from right behind us, in the area of the doorway.
I spun around in my seat, my heart absolutely pounding. It was my dad's voice, or at the very least, someone who sounded exactly like him.
No one was there.
I quickly glanced back at my mother, and she was answering "yes" to the question, completely oblivious to a voice coming from behind us. I then looked at my sister, sure that she must've heard, the way I had. Nothing. The mortician -- same thing. He was studying his notes and continuing on with the questions. I looked back at the doorway. Back at each of them. It was clear that no one else had heard a thing!! Even if it was someone else talking (though I was sure it was my dad's voice), wouldn't the others have heard, too? It was startlingly loud! How come I was the only one who heard something?!
I couldn't concentrate on anything else after that. I just kept looking back at the doorway, waiting for my father--or anyone--to appear.
We left the mortuary, and I told my mom and sister what I'd heard. Without hesitation, they both believed it was my dad. They figured he hadn't really "left" this earth yet, and that's why he was still around, nonchalantly answering questions about his life. Maybe he didn't know that he had died!
The next morning, I got a frantic phone call from my mother, around 8:00 a.m.
"Susan, were you over here during the night?!" she asked, despair in her voice.
"No, of course I wasn't there. What are you talking about, mom?"
"Are you SURE?"
"Yes! I'm SURE. I was here all night. Why would I come over and not tell you?" (Not to mention her house was 900 square feet; I'm fairly certain she would've known if anyone else had been there.) "Why do you ask? What on earth is wrong?!"
"Well, you remember how your father was reorganizing the drawers the night before he died? He had straightened up the cooking utensil drawer, but he only got through the spoons in the silverware drawer before going to bed. He said he'd finish in the morning."
"Yes...." I said, wondering where she could be going with this.
"This morning, I opened up the drawer to get a spoon out, and all of the dinner forks were on their sides, lined up perfectly, and so were the salad forks! Even the knives were lined up!"
"Sounds like dad was finishing up in the morning, mom--just as he had promised."