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Always Here With Us

Stella, TX, USA
December 2001

Last July (2000), my husband and I drove our very good friend Jane (not her real name) up to Colorado. She was planning on moving up there in the following months with her long-term, on again/off again boyfriend and wanted to check out the area. We only met him that one time, but we liked him instantly. She finally moved up there in October (2000) from Fort Bliss, Texas (where we were all stationed) after leaving the military. Her and I called and emailed each other often and she was adjusting well to her new home.

In June of this year (2001) she called to tell me they were engaged. They hadn't set a date yet, but there were already problems.

For a while, she had called off the wedding. Then, she called me in August to tell me they were getting married in October. She knew my husband and I couldn't be there because of military reasons (you can figure out why due to the time frame) but she called me all the time so I could here about all the wedding plans and be a part of it.

Finally, in October, she travelled to Illinois (that was where they met and where the wedding was to be) to do all the final prep work for the wedding. She called me one last time and my husband and I wished them well. They were married on October 13th.

On that Tuesday, there was a message from her on my machine when I got home from work. She sounded upset and I told my husband something must have gone wrong at the wedding and she was calling to vent. So, I called her thinking maybe her new in-laws were already getting to her. When she answered, she sounded wrong, mechanical. She told me they had just gotten back into Colorado Monday night and that Bob (not his real name) had gone to work that day. There was an accident and he was killed. I went into shock. I could not believe it. This could not be happening.

I couldn't make it to the funeral, but was due in Colorado that weekend after for my National Guard Drill. I told my husband that I would stop and see her before I returned home. My unit is on the western side of the state with her a good 4 to 5 hour drive from it. As I was getting through New Mexico, about 2 hours from the Colorado border, I started smelling this cologne. It didn't smell like my husband's, but I figured it must be something of his left in the car. It wasn't a constant smell, but would blow across my face every so often. I didn't really think about it.

Just before I started up the worst part of my drive (through high, twisty, steep, mountain terrain), I put in one of my CD's that I use to calm me. As I'm going up this mountain, the CD gets to this song. In this song, there is a line that says "...climb to the top of the ladder...". As soon as that line played, the CD stopped. So, I pressed the button to play it again. It played up to that line and stopped again. Without thinking, I said out loud "Bob, I get it. Now, knock it off!". After that, the song played with no problem. You see, Bob fell off a ladder and landed on a cement driveway when he was killed.

I wasn't going to tell Jane about it. I figured it would upset her. But, when I got to their apartment, she started telling me about all these signs she's been getting. So, I told her what happened to me. She got up, went inside (we were on the porch) and came back with a bottle. "Did it smell like this?" she asked and handed me the bottle. I sniffed it. Yeah, that was it. She smiled. It was comforting for her to know that he was still there.

I have dealt with this for as long as I can remember and I always tell people that our loved ones are never truly gone. If they can find a way, they will let you know. Feel free to email me with any questions or for more stories. As they say, I've got a million of them.

Stella, TX, USA
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