Father Told Me

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When I was twelve years old,  my father, Paul walker, passed  away after being ill for many months. The first night  after his death  in October 1941, my mother suggested  I sleep  with her.  She did not want  to be alone and I, too, felt  the need  of companionship and comfort.

After Mother finally had fallen asleep,  I lay  staring  into  the darkness, trying to understand what had  happened,  and why.

Suddenly  I felt the presence of my father so strongly I sat  up. He was standing  at the foot of the bed. He smiled  and  said, “Don’t let your mother cry. Make her understand I am   much  better off where  I am now. I have no  more pain,  and  although I no longer  will be with you physically, I shall  watch over you as long as you  need me.”

I started  to get out of bed but he held  up his  hand and  said, ” No, you cannot touch me. Just know that I am here. Help your mother to understand. I lay back  down and fell asleep.

At the funeral, and later,  as the  casket was lowered into the  grave at Grangeville,  Idaho, I watched friends and relatives  crying. I wanted to  say, “Don’t cry, he isn’t down there. He’s right here! “Later that Fall,  when I rode  home from  school  one day  on my bicycle, I saw my father sitting in a rocking chair on  the front porch.

I jumped from the bicycle and started to  run toward him. Once more  he raised his hand and said,  “No,  you cannot touch me. Do not try; it would only  disappoint you  and make you sad. I’m just visiting a few  moments.”

He smiled and was gone. During the next eighteen years I grew up, got married,  and had  three children. My father helped me overcome  many problems during  these years, and when I  would  feel a  little sad because he never had met the fine man I married,  nor seen his only  grandchildren, I would  feel him near, and  he would whisper, “I know. I see them.”

In January 1961, my mother  visited us unexpectedly   because she ” had a feeling” she must see me right away.  One evening  we talked about Dad,  as she was  thinking  sadly of all the  things she could have done to make his life a  little easier and more pleasant.

As I had  done many  times over the years, I assured her  she had made him happy and  in no way could she  have  changed things.  Finally, I told of seeing him and the words  he had said to me . To my  surprise she did not  disbelieve  me.

She wiped away her tears and said she felt relieved and happy. That night I again lay  thinking long after everyone was asleep. Suddenly there was an urgent  rustling in the  room,  and someone shook me. Frightened, I sat up. There was my father!

He said, “You can’t go to sleep yet! I must tell you-I cannot stay any longer; I must go now. I have other work  to do,  and my  work here is finished . I love all of  you, but I  must go on! With that, there was a blinding  white flash, which turned to sky-blue, and he was gone.

He had stayed with us,  helping us all the years we needed  him. I do not  know what “work” he has yet to do,  but I do  know there is life after death. My father told me.

Joan  L. Matthews

 Garden Grove,  California

 December 1964

 

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