Hunter’s Angel

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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.

John Blasi

Apache Junction, Arizona

June 1994

 

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