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After Mom’s untimely passing in 1957, Dad had her portrait framed in gold and placed it one the mantle as a constant reminder of the way she always watched over her family.
In December 1964, I was in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains hunting deer with my wife’s uncle and cousins as guests of the local and gun club. While the others visited with friends at the clubhouse, I hunted alone. Because I was unfamiliar with the area, I stuck to an old dirt trail.
Suddenly I saw Mom, thirty yards to my right, among the tree shadows, but only head and shoulders were visible, as though her portrait had been transport to this spot without the gold frame, and suspended a foot above the ground.
I stood dumbstruck, not knowing what was happening, or why. Then I remembered my binoculars and lifted them to my eyes-there she was, smiling at me. “Hello Mom,” I said silently, expecting some kind of message, but none came, I watched and waited for what seemed like five minutes, but what I later realized was probably not more than thirty seconds. Then, slowly, her image faded. “Goodbye, Mom,” I said. “Thank you for the visit.”
Still puzzled, I tried to go on hunting. I resumed my slow pace, but before I covered fifty yards, a rifle shot rang out from the top of the hillside on my left. I heard the bullet smack into a free at head height twenty yards ahead of me, and saw bark chips fly.
Then, I knew why Mom was there. She only had to delay me long enough to avoid a meeting with that bullet, and she did it in a way that I was able to accept. There was no doubt in my mind that I would not have walked away from that place without her intervention.
I made no effort to identify the shooter. I exited as quickly and quietly as possible, telling no one at the clubhouse. That memory stirs up many emotions. Mom’s visit remains very comforting, even after all these years. I know she still watches over her family.
Apache Junction, Arizona