Veil of Tears

October 31, 2004

Thursday morning Michele woke up and immediately told me that she had a sense of dread, of foreboding. Given the lingering effects of our move to KC, apprehension over the upcoming election November 2, and fourth and final dental visit for her abscessed tooth, neither of us thought to much about it.

Friday evening I was sitting at my desk working on the computer and she was sitting in the overstuffed chair watching television. At the edge of my vision I saw someone move from right to left between me and the television. I was very startled and looked up to see who it was. No one was there. Knowing that Michele can some times see people who have moved on I asked her if there was someone in the room with us. She saw someone in uniform standing behind me, but she didn't recognize him.

Saturday morning about 8 we got an email her brother telling us that Dan, her father had been in an accident and was in the hospital. We call Lee and learned that Dan was in "serious" condition. We weren't entirely sure what to do next. A few minutes later Lee called back and said that he had just learned their dad was on life-support, that the accident had caused severe brain damage. They were keeping him alive only until we could arrive.

We immediately left for Knoxville, a 750+ mile drive. Late in the afternoon we called Lee on our cell phone to update him on our progress towards the hospital. He had to tell us that Dan died about 12:30 eastern when his heart stopped. After talking to Lee on the phone for several minutes we made the decision to return to Kansas. Her father had for years said he didn't want any service, and that his cremated ashes were to be spread at sea.

We arrived home about 12:30 Sunday morning and almost immediately collapsed into bed. This morning Michele called Dan's widow (his second wife, and by no means a "step-mother") and talked to her. Bobbie explained that the accident had happened on Thursday, originally we were told Wednesday. It seems that Michele's premonition was about her father's accident.

And now we know who it was we both sensed here Friday evening; it was Dan in his dress whites. Usually I am not one for seeing through the veil of this reality to the next one, but I did on Friday.

Today we are just hanging out close to home. Dinner tonight will be one of our favorites - Arroyz con Pollo. Tears have been shed, and will be again. Perhaps a nap later this afternoon. It is going to take time for the truth of Dan's death to sink in completely.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.