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VIEWPOINT: An unexpected, but welcome, visit from mom

A year ago I wrote about how I’d finally found peace in my dead mother’s house (“Forgiveness: a mother’s love even after death,” January 12, 2018).

I talked about forgiveness, moving on, and how happiness, after a long vacation, had returned to my home.

I’m here to report that in some ways I spoke too soon, but in others, things are even better. For one, mom (who died in her home—now mine—on January 8, 2017) has apparently returned.

Back in November my girlfriend Lisa, who as I have previously reported is sensitive to matters spectral, had a visit. It was early evening, and my youngest daughter Lucy and I were going about our business quietly, as Lisa was napping.

When she awoke, she asked who had come by. “Nobody,” I said, as it was true. “I heard someone calling for her dog in this singsong voice,” she reported. This was strange, as again, we’d had no visitors.

Lisa explained that she’d heard somebody calling out happily for several minutes, “Sadie… Sadie… Sadie,” as if she were calling her dog. The woman moved throughout the house, she said.

“Are you sure you heard her say, ‘Sadie’?” I asked Lisa. Yep, plain as day and many times over, she said.

Mom’s favorite dog, one out of at least a dozen over the years, was a sweet golden retriever called “Sadie.” The pup had been gone for a decade. I met Lisa six years ago, and had never spoken the beloved pet’s name to her, nor had any one else. And as folks who knew her would attest, mom pretty much always used just such a sweet, singsong voice to address all smallish cute things, such as babies, pets and select stuffed animals.

My first instinct was to cry a little. It seemed mom had been back, looking around for her favorite dog, and that was a lovely thought. Lisa was convinced I was messing with her, but when Lucy confirmed we had both been quiet for the past hour at least, her eyes went wide.

“Oh my god,” she said. “I can’t believe it.”

“Yeah, me neither,” I thought.

I like to think of myself as possessing an open mind, and do, for the most part. I draw a line at hokey haunted house tours and other such commercialized opportunities to commune with the other side, and generally find the whole of parapsychology to be silly.

If this hadn’t happened in my own home, with two of the people I trust and love more than anything in this crazy world, I might be laughing this one off as well. But nobody was charging admission here, and these were my people.

The more I thought about it, the better it set with me. Mom was coming back around to check in. And I liked it.

Selfishly, I was disappointed to have not been the conduit through which she made her presence known. But it does make sense in hindsight that she would have chosen a portal (Lisa) that was passable. I was, after all, a skeptic.

Maybe though, not so much any longer. I’ve thought about this for weeks now, and something unexplainable happened. Lisa’s just as perplexed as I am, which eliminates the off chance that she was projecting some sort of needed stabilizing force in my life, and had awoke from a dream thinking it was real. Nope, she was awake, sitting up in bed, hearing this happy, singsong voice moving through the house.

So mom, if you’re out there somewhere reading this, I want you to know that you are welcome back. I’ve missed you. I could use your guidance. Even if you just want to walk around and look for your dog, your kind, warm and funny presence are needed here, and everywhere else.

To be continued, hopefully.

—Mick Rhodes

mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com