Sunday, March 21, 2010
Paranormal Activity, Incident #4
After my sister died, my mom and I made a trip to see my brother Paul in the neuro care home. We didn't want the nurses to deliver the news about something so personal--so monumental. Paul and Cindy were just four years apart and had been very close for many years.
Just as Cindy had never gotten to meet Chad in person, she hadn't seen Paul since his accident--the one that caused his traumatic brain injury. (This happened weeks after Chad had turned a year old.) She would often call him to talk, though; the nurse would hold the phone up to his ear, and Cindy would chat away, while Paul would just nod and smile. (Paul can't talk as a result of the injury, but is very alert and can understand everything.)
So, shortly after we arrived at Paul's bedside, my mother was the one to break the news to Paul. She explained that Cindy had overdosed on medication and was gone. He looked very confused, and kept shaking his head rather aggressively, as if he were annoyed. My mom was saying, "I know it, honey, we can't believe it, either." I told her no--he was trying to convey something else. I handed him his alphabet chart (where he points to each letter to spell out words) and he wrote, "She was just here last night visiting me."
My mom and I just looked at each other. My mom's automatic response was, "No, Paul, that couldn't be. She's gone."
Paul looked frustrated and shook his head some more. Then, very determined, he pointed to more letters and spelled out, "Yes. She was here. We sat in the livingroom and talked for hours."
I decided that it would be nice to acknowledge what he was telling us--instead of fighting it--and told him I was glad they had the chance to catch up, but unfortunately, she was gone now.
When my mom and I got a few minutes alone together, we both wondered if maybe Cindy had stopped by to talk... and say goodbye.
While I was away that day, Joe -- the nonbeliever -- was home with Chad. They'd gone out to the garage to "work" for awhile and just tinker with a few things. Joe then had to use the restroom (yes, a restroom in the garage). He left the door open since Chad was only 13 months old at the time, in order to keep an eye on him. He toddled around, muttering to Joe in his usual baby talk.
All of a sudden, Joe and Chad heard the passenger door to the garage open and close. Joe said he even heard footsteps. Chad ran out of Joe's sight, and said, "Hi!" very enthusiastically. Joe assumed I had made it home from our trip out of town.
He finished up washing his hands, and as he came out, he saw Chad just standing there -- staring straight ahead with a blank look on his face, focused on the closed door. No one was there, afterall. Joe asked who Chad had said hi to. He just shrugged. "Is mama home?" he asked. Chad just shrugged again and looked back at the door.
Joe decided to go inside and see if I had gone into the house. I hadn't; I was still on the road, probably an hour away. After awhile, Chad asked to go "out" again (to the garage). Joe said, "Uh, no... we'll be staying inside now."
The non-believer turned into a true believer that day. No longer did he have to rely on my stories alone... he had now experienced the unexplainable all by himself.