My Father Reports Own Death
My father was a great storyteller and told several stories from his youth over and over but he only told me this story one time, I think in some ways it still frightened him.
When he was 10 years old his favorite aunt passed and he was given her bed as his own. He couldn't sleep the first night, frightened to sleep in the bed that his aunt had died in. He said that suddenly at the end of the bed his aunt appeared before him and told him not to be afraid, she loved him and that he would be fine sleeping in the bed.
Years later when I was grown and had a family of my own, one of my sons was hurt in an accident and I stayed in the hospital with him for several months. My oldest son who attended school stayed at home with his father and my youngest, who was 2 years old at that time,stayed with my mother and father (who at that time were in their early 70's). My little one spent many hours in the company of his "POP-POP" (what my children called their grandfathers), going down to the lighthouse to check the bar to see if my dad could go fishing, or working with him on repair jobs around time, they became very close.
Eventually my middle son and I returned home and we had an eventful year revolving around his recovery. Approximately a year later all the children were playing upstairs in their room and I was folding laundry downstairs. My youngest (3 yrs now) suddenly ran down the stairs and with big eyes and asked what a "grandfather" was. I told him a grandfather was a "POP-POP" and asked why he was curious. He replied the man upstairs had told him his grandfather had died. I was overcome with a great feeling of sadness and started to cry but since he was obviously very frightened and since we lived in the country and never locked doors I thought maybe some crazy guy was upstairs.
I went up and their was no one else up there and the other children were quietly playing. I decided he must have heard something about a grandfather on a children's tape they had that had a song on it about on old grandfather clock that stops ticking.
We lived in the country we were on a party-line telephone system. Around 1pm that afternoon I received a phone call from one of my sisters letting me know that my father had passed that morning. When I got to my mothers house she gave me a big hug and said she had tried all morning to get ahold of me as I was the child living closest to her and she had not wanted to be alone but the phone line had been busy.
My mother and father had had a very long, loving 50+ year marriage and I believe that he felt her need to reach me and used my son who he had become so close to relay her message.
A few days after the funeral it really started to bother me and I decided to prove to myself that Seth had just been listing to the child song tape. I finally located it, packed in a box in the attic.
To this day (he is now 12) he still says he vividly remembers the man telling him about his grandfather.