The first time it happened was in the grocery store about 3 weeks ago. Kevin walked over to me as I stood in one of the aisles. I had left him a couple minutes before perusing snacks one aisle over. I forget now what I was even searching for but when Kevin caught up with me he asked me if I had been calling him. I shook my head no and asked him why. He had a puzzled look on his face and he said “I heard someone whispering my name..they said ‘Kevin, Kevin’. ”
“It wasn’t me.” I said. “And nobody was near you?” He shook his head no.
“It was like someone was standing near me whispering.”
Then the thought popped in my head and came out of my mouth in a flash. “It was your dad!” I said. “It was dad!”
We went on to discuss this possibility as we perused the shelves of that grocery store. I think it gave Kevin some comfort in the wondering if his dad was somehow trying to reach out.
We know he is around or at least we believe him to be. Every night since he passed last December he has been sleeping with my mother-in-law. After 68 years of marriage I can certainly understand why he might not want to leave his bride. I believe he is there- if you knew my mother-in-law she is very lucid and she would not talk about it unless she felt something was happening. She says she knows it sounds crazy but she “feels” him there at night and she feels his breathe. I also believe it because I believe there is thin veil between here and there(where we go after we die). We just cannot see past it- but sometimes little things happen that remind us that the here and there are closely connected.
This past weekend Kevin and I foolishly decided to build a chicken coop (more on that later) -we were doing work outside on the covered patio that leads into the gym section of our barn. I left Kevin with my son Zach who was helping him- as I had to pick up my other son from work. When I returned we got back to work and out of the blue Kevin said ” I saw my Dad today.”
“What? Where?!!!” I asked rather astonished.
“Out of the corner of my eye sitting on that chair. I saw him twice” He was pointing to our plastic adirondack chair that we pulled out for rest breaks.
“What did he look like? Did he say anything?” I was excited and stunned all at once. And kind of jealous because I wanted to see him too.
“He looked younger…like when he was our age.” (which is 50ish) ” He didn’t say anything. I just saw him there.”
I asked him if that upset him, or scared him. Kevin said it didn’t and he said it actually brought him comfort.
Kevin’s dad made this some years ago. It hangs over the workbench in our garage.
I am not surprised Dad showed up when Kevin was building something. Kevin’s dad loved to build things. He finished their family homes entire basement and created a cool buffet area that houses the TV but had a built in sink. He made bookshelves for his home. For us he made a toy chest and a table that detached from it’s base so you could turn the leg structure around and that would change the height of the table as my kids grew. He had that sort of mind. He liked making things that served a purpose but they would have this twist of engineering. He was a master at acrostic puzzles and sudoku – at least up until the foe dementia took away his mind.
In time my kids outgrew these items so they now reside with great- grandkids and hopefully they will continue to be passed down through the family. Maybe they will make their way back to live at with my future grands we might have. I am sure each of Dad’s sons can list off items that dad lovingly made for his family. Mom joked he always cut himself every time he made something.
“He is probably here to help you along.” I told Kevin. “For moral support”. Kevin laughed. Kevin is not a natural do-it-yourselfer. He has had to become more self-reliant since we moved to this farm. There is always something that needs to be done and sometimes those things cost lots of money if you get others to do them. So Kevin has learned along the way to do a number of things. This coop is our first major build. But thanks to good plans and maybe a little mojo from Kevin’s dad, we are chugging along.
Last evening Kevin wanted to build two more walls for the coop. It was a nice evening and I looked forward to getting outside and helping him. I mostly read the plans and tell him the measurements of the cuts and the stud placements. I also occasionally measure stuff.
When we got down to the barn I told Kevin that I hoped his Dad would show up. I told him he had to be around because he couldn’t stay away from a project. I had just reminisced the day before with my mother-in-law about the time he came over to our old home and helped us put up a play set for our then young kids. Kevin still says that it was only because his dad pitched in that that set was put up the right way!
Kevin making cuts to the wood for the coop wall.
At one point last evening Kevin’s drill bit was starting to strip. I asked him if he had more and he said yes. Except we didn’t have any down at the barn with us they were up at the house in the garage. I suggested to Kevin that maybe we could text our son, Luke, and ask him to grab one and bring it down. Yes we were feeling that lazy! I was about to do that except all of a sudden Kevin looked down where he was kneeling at the end of the wall he was building. “What’s this?” He said as he reached down for something.
“What..Oh my God..” I said as I registered what he was now holding in his hand.
“How did this get there?” he wondered as he held up a drill bit- just the one he needed for his screws.
We looked at each other. “Your Dad did that.” I said. I sat there thinking it through. Kevin had just loaded material onto the patio the night before and he was working at building a side wall which he had laying on top of the t1-11 boards that would eventually be the siding of the coop. Kevin had been kneeling there for like ten minutes and he had not seen that bit there. I had been standing nearby and we measured for square and Kevin would have had his face right where that drill bit was – but it wasn’t there then. A few minutes later it was just laying there near his knee.
“Wow – that is amazing.” Is all I could say. I got up and walked into the gym to grab something and when inside I just stood there in amazement at what had just happened. “Thank you Dad” I said to the air.
And I swear I felt him near me.
At lunch today Kevin and I chatted about the drill bit “incident” again. He told me he finds all these little signs very comforting. I am glad he finds peace in that. I know how much he misses his dad. I know how much I miss him.
My son Zach said after he heard that his dad saw his grandfather “We see what we want to see”. Ever the skeptic I suppose. Perhaps that is true. Maybe hurt hearts want to believe in signs from those that have gone through that thin veil before them. Or just maybe that when we are open enough to really “see”, that veil opens up just enough so someone we love on that side can let us know they aren’t far away.
Thats what I believe…
Thanks Dad – you are welcome anytime…and maybe keep helping us with this coop.. we need it ….luv u….always…