Brother-in-Law’s Warning

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February 1992 was a devastating time  for my family. My  son-in-law Robert died in a scuba-diving accident at age  thirty. My daughter Meryl was left to raise their son Daniel, who was  only five months old at the time. It has  taken years for her to recover from her grief.

On evening in May  of that Year, I was knitting and watching one of  my favorite TV programs. Out  of  the corner  of my eye I saw a slight movement.  Glancing  across the  room, I saw  Robert standing  in the doorway, a huge  grin on  his face I sat motionless, longing to turn  off the TV,  but frightened in case any move would cause me to lose  him.

I smiled  at him and we had a  conversation that look place in our heads. I didn’t  speak at all,  but the communication was as clear as if we were talking. I told  him how we all missed him, especially Meryl, and I asked  him to please help her to cope with her life now.

As he had been an experienced diver, and the  Royal Canadian Mounted Police had found nothing wrong with his diving gear, I asked him what had happened. He said it  had been his own fault, as he had  been careless.

He then told me he had come to give me a message  for my son Rob,  who lives in Thailand. I was  surprised, as the  two young men had only met a few times.  Robert stated quite clearly, “Tell Rob that if  he doesn’t  change his life  soon, he could end up with me  in the near future.” I wanted  to ask Robert more questions, but he  had gone. I turned  off the  TV and sat for a long time marveling at what had happened.

I didn’t  dare tell the  family about Robert’s visit, as it  seemed so unbelievable. ( It was several years before I even broached the subject with Meryl, but when I did she was not surprised. She  feels his presence too, occasionally, and sees tiny flashes of blue  light when he is near.) After a week of wrestling with my thoughts, I decided to phone my  son- and risk him thinking  his mother had completely lost  her mind. I knew Rob has recently started a new job that  he really enjoyed. His life had sounded fine when I had last spoken to him.

Rob was surprised to hear from me, as we had spoken only a few weeks before. I told him he must promise not to  think me insane, and then I related the facts of his  brother-in-law’s There was silence on  the other end  of the phone, long enough for me to ask is he was still there.

When Rob finally spoke, he sounded shaken. He told me he had kept the details of his  life from me, as he didn’t want me to worry.  Rob wanted to end a  relationship with a  girl he had  dated for almost a year. He had  tried several times in recent months to talk to her, but she  told him she would commit  suicide .

She was extremely possessive and  questioned his every move. The situation had now worsened-her father had threatened Rob with death if he  deserted his daughter. My son felt his  life  was spinning out  of control. I urged Rob to return to Canada immediately, but he  said he would never forgive himself if his girlfriend carried  out her  suicide threat.

I told him she was just using that as  a hold on him and  it was most unlikely she would go through with it  once he  had left.( I was  later proved to be  right, as she  apparently found another boyfriend soon after  Rob left.)

Rob was back in Canada within days. He left  Thailand  at night and did not even dare to tell his employer where  he was going in case word got back to the irate father, Rob stayed with me for a month, and then returned  to Thailand, settling hundreds of miles from where he had  lived previously.

As the years go by the memory of Robert’s  visit stays vividly in my memory. Today my son is happily married  and is  the father of an eighteen-month-old daughters. I know we have Robert to thank for his  happiness.

Margaret Davies

Medicine Hat, Alberta,  Canada

August 2001

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