A Call for Babe

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My parents  were inseparable, and when Father died Mother’s grief  caused her to go from  190 pounds to 114 pounds in weight. I was the youngest child and  was Father’s favorite,  perhaps because I resembled  Mother. His pet name for me- never used by others-was “Babe.”

On night in May,  1937, when Father had been dead  for two years,  I was  waked  by his voice calling, ” Babe, Babe!” “Yes, Father,” I answered, I spoke so loudly that I woke my husband. ” You must have been dreaming of your father, ” he said, “I heard you mention him.”

” I wasn’t dreaming,” I protested.” he called me  and I know his voice.”

A few minutes later I heard Father called me again and I  answered.  My husband suggested I sleep elsewhere so that  he could  get some rest, so I lay down on the  davenport in  the front room.

I had  just settled  myself when I heard Father call again. Then he spoke lovingly in his normal, familiar voice.  “Don’t  be afraid, Babe, In two weeks I’m  coming for  your mother. I came  back  to tell you  so you  won’t  be frightened  when it happens.

In the morning  I told my husband about the  incident and he  scoffed  at my story. A week later  Mother came to  visit me,  and the next  morning,  when I carried  a breakfast tray to her room, I found her unconscious. I was frozen with panic  but I remembered Father’s words and grew  calm.

Mother remained unconscious for over a week and the  doctor  told us  that the  end was near.  I was standing at her  bedside  with my husband, his cousin, and his pastor when  suddenly  Mother opened her eyes.

She looked  directly at  me, and said clearly, “Daughter, step aside,  You are standing  in front  of your father.” We all looked around  but saw nothing.  The pastor took  her  hand and said gently, “Mr. Saunders isn’t  here,  my dear.”

“Yes, he is,  she said firmly. “He has  come to take me  home,  to our house where we lived for thirty-five years.” Glancing at me she continued, “You had better pack my things and stop standing  in front  of your Father.”

I moved obediently.

“My,” she sighed, smiling her old, gay smile, “how wonderful my Genie looks. I’d be glad to stay  with you,” she apologized to me, “but I’d rather go home. We’ll go soon now.”

A half hour later she died.

At Mother’s funeral service, the minister told of this  incident and said, “I am  no spiritualist, but I really believe Mr. Saunders came and took  his beloved wife home.”

My husband  pressed my hand to tell me  he believed it  too.

Alice S. Napier

Modesto, California

July 1955

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