It was March of 2008 in CT. It was storming outside. The wind was howling and mom lay dying. I was thinking back on times past. My childhood, the good memories and the bad. My teenage years, my dating years, growing up with my brothers and sisters, family holidays and gatherings, weddings, my marriage and the birth of my children. All these memories flooded my conscience as I looked down on mom. Sometimes she was comfortable and in a deep sleep. Other times she awoke screaming in pain as her nurse administered more morphine.
The nurse routinely updated me and told me it wouldn't be long. She would take me in the other room and whisper updates about mom's condition. Had I notified the family? I told her the entire family was out of state and scattered across several states. And then there was Joe. The Iraq war was in full swing and Joe was overseas fighting at the front. How would I get word to him? Through the Red Cross I suppose. I was really worried word of mom's death wouldn't reach him in time.
In a few days, probably less than a week mom passed. I notified several family members and told them I would schedule the funeral a week later since everyone lived out of state and so people could make their trip arrangements in time and take the necessary time off of work.
I notified the Red Cross to contact Joe at the front and tell him of his grandmother's passing. Several days went by and no contact from Joe.
Little by little, different family members arrived in town and asked if I heard from Joe or the Red Cross. No I said, and I was starting to worry as it was getting closer and closer to the date I set for the wake and funeral. A couple of days before I buried mom I realized it was hopeless. Joe was at the front and would never make it in time for mom's burial. The Red Cross had failed to locate him. I resigned myself to the fact he would miss the funeral.
The afternoon of the wake I looked out the front door and steered into an empty street. I better get ready or I'll miss the wake. I better get ready asap. I started to climb the stairs and then I heard a car pull into the driveway. I thought I heard Joe's voice. Am I hearing things I thought. I came down the stairs and opened the front door and there was Joe in his military uniform. He had just paid the taxi driver and had his suitcase in hand. He put it down and ran to me with a big hug. Oh my God, I said, I never expected to hear from you. However, did you make it home in time, I said.
Mom, he said, I know we have to make it to the wake so I'll be as brief as possible and tell you the rest later. I was out in the field, far from the base, we were taking enemy fire and taking turn sleeping in shifts. I was on the ground in my sleeping bag. I was so tired from the days events I was in a deep sleep. I dreamed. In my dream I rang the front doorbell of grandma's house. A beautiful young woman answered the front door. She had blond hair, she was dressed in old style dress and there was old fashioned music playing on the radio. I told her I was looking for my grandmother. She put her arms around me and called me by my name Joe. She said Joe, It's been so many years since I've seen you. (Mom went into early alzheimer's in Joe's youthful years.) She said, Joe I'm grandma. Joe said he looked at her in surprise because the woman standing before him was not much older than him. They exchanged a few pleasantries, she gave Joe a huge hug and then said, Joe, go back to your base and call your mom, it's imperative you call your mother. So he left her house in his dream and said her goodbyes with hugs and kisses. As soon as Joe awoke he asked for permission to go back to base to check in and would be back as asap.
When he went back to base he was told by his superior's they and the Red Cross were trying to get a hold of him to inform him his grandmother had passed away. Joe never made it back out to the front as one of his superior's told him to pack a bag and he would be leaving that night on a troop transport plane heading back to the states. So there Joe stood before me. After the wake we went out to eat and Joe related the entire story to the family during dinner. The story has always stayed in my mind and I knew one day I would be writing about it as it's a true story and something worth writing about. If possible I think it would make a terrific story on a psychic TV show.
Any comments are welcome.