I Got the Message

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On Sunday, January 23, 1965, three weeks after my father  Frederick Kendall died, I had an experience that proved  to  me that life survives this plane of existence.

At noon  that day I walked into my mother’s  house  in Short Hills, New Jersey, and found  my mother, Natalie  Kendall, eating lunch in  the living room as she watched  a tennis  match on Television. I decided to let her  be and  to stroll around the house just  to check things out.

I went upstairs and into my mother and father’s bedroom; I opened door to my father’s walk- in closet. Totally lost in thought, I must have spent about five  minutes looking at my father’s things-shirts, suits, shoes. By the time I shut the closet door, I was overcome by a  deep sadness and the  realization that I would  never again  hear my father’s voice.

He and I been very close and I  was going to miss him terribly.  Tears came to my eyes. Instead of going back downstairs, I went into the hall bathroom to try to pull myself together. I splashed my eyes and face with cold water. Instead   of helping, this made me break down altogether.

All the pent up  emotions I had tried  so hard to control  over the past  few weeks came flooding out. No matter that I did,  the sobbing continued. Since I was trying to comfort Mom,  I certainly didn’t  want her to see me  this way.

Finally,  to snap myself out of my distress, I concocted a  lie.” Why am I acting like this ? ” I said to my self. “Dad never really loved me anyway.” I spoke these words, I gained Strength  and control. At the same time, however, a feeling of guilt took hold of me.

Then, at that precise moment,  an unspoken message sounded inside my mind. ” Go downstairs,” it said. “Your  mother has something  to tell you.”

I knew that as soon as  I opened the bathroom door my  mother would call to me- and I know exactly what she  would tell me. To this  day I can’t  explain it, but it was as if I  had written a script and my mother acted it out.

I opened the door and stepped  out into the hall to hear  my mother call, “David, please come downstairs. I have  something to tell you.” As I entered the living room, she  said, smiling nervously, “You’re going to think I’m nuts but  I just got a message from your father. He insists that I tell you that he loves you very much.”

David A. Kendall

Madison, New Jersey

January 1984

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