The Gift in the Highboy

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My mother and I always were extremely close, though we  were separated  by thousands of miles at the time of her  death. My parents Charles and Tekla Sand were then living  in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and I was in Denver, Colorado. One of the interests mother and I shared was the occult.

She often told me  her own  mother  had returned after death  and helped her  find a lost object. She  promised that she  would try to give  me some proof of survival after her own  death.

On April  7,  1971, I had  a strange dream of walking  down  a crowded street in an unfamiliar city when  suddenly  the  black-cloaked skeletal figure of death appeared and beckoned  me toward him. I  began to scream, and awakened still  screaming and utterly terrified.

I was  afraid  the dream was  a bad omen, that some  tragedy would  befall one of my  children. I did not think  it related  to my mother. She had had  surgery during the winter but she  now seemed to be recuperating nicely.

When nothing unusual had happened after a  week or  more I  half forgot the dream. Then on the morning   of April 23 it seemed everything went wrong. A bookcase fell  over-right on top of my two-year old son. By some  miracle he wasn’t  injured, but  a lovely glass wine carafe mother  had given me was  broken.

Shortly after this incident the feeling of “wrongness” that  had spoiled the whole morning  seemed  to lift.  I felt  light  and happy the rest of the day. I was totally unprepared   for my brother’s call late in the afternoon to tell me mother  had died.

Her death occurred  just about  the time  of the  morning that my bookcase had fallen over.  When I returned to Milwaukee for  the funeral, my father  asked me  to go  through Mother’s things  and sort out   what could be given  away.

I had  completed  this sad  task and  was standing in their bedroom for a moment, gathering  strength  for other tasks  that awaited me,  when suddenly  my father’s old-fashioned, heavy highboy began  to shake  violently. I had  not looked into this  chest of drawers since  it contained only my  father’s  things.

But the  shaking  led me  to open  one of the  lower drawers. In it I found a  lovely little blue purse.  I gathered that Mother purchased it for  my  daughter’s birthday that was  to come  soon.  I  believe my  mother chose this way and this reason- so similar to what  my grandmother did for her- to prove to me that there is  life after death

Sue Deutsch

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

May 1976

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