February 1992 was a devastating time for my family. My son-in-law Robert died in a scuba-diving accident at age thirty. My daughter Meryl was left to raise their son Daniel, who was only five months old at the time. It has taken years for her to recover from her grief.
On evening in May of that Year, I was knitting and watching one of my favorite TV programs. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a slight movement. Glancing across the room, I saw Robert standing in the doorway, a huge grin on his face I sat motionless, longing to turn off the TV, but frightened in case any move would cause me to lose him.
I smiled at him and we had a conversation that look place in our heads. I didn’t speak at all, but the communication was as clear as if we were talking. I told him how we all missed him, especially Meryl, and I asked him to please help her to cope with her life now.
As he had been an experienced diver, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had found nothing wrong with his diving gear, I asked him what had happened. He said it had been his own fault, as he had been careless.
He then told me he had come to give me a message for my son Rob, who lives in Thailand. I was surprised, as the two young men had only met a few times. Robert stated quite clearly, “Tell Rob that if he doesn’t change his life soon, he could end up with me in the near future.” I wanted to ask Robert more questions, but he had gone. I turned off the TV and sat for a long time marveling at what had happened.
I didn’t dare tell the family about Robert’s visit, as it seemed so unbelievable. ( It was several years before I even broached the subject with Meryl, but when I did she was not surprised. She feels his presence too, occasionally, and sees tiny flashes of blue light when he is near.) After a week of wrestling with my thoughts, I decided to phone my son- and risk him thinking his mother had completely lost her mind. I knew Rob has recently started a new job that he really enjoyed. His life had sounded fine when I had last spoken to him.
Rob was surprised to hear from me, as we had spoken only a few weeks before. I told him he must promise not to think me insane, and then I related the facts of his brother-in-law’s There was silence on the other end of the phone, long enough for me to ask is he was still there.
When Rob finally spoke, he sounded shaken. He told me he had kept the details of his life from me, as he didn’t want me to worry. Rob wanted to end a relationship with a girl he had dated for almost a year. He had tried several times in recent months to talk to her, but she told him she would commit suicide .
She was extremely possessive and questioned his every move. The situation had now worsened-her father had threatened Rob with death if he deserted his daughter. My son felt his life was spinning out of control. I urged Rob to return to Canada immediately, but he said he would never forgive himself if his girlfriend carried out her suicide threat.
I told him she was just using that as a hold on him and it was most unlikely she would go through with it once he had left.( I was later proved to be right, as she apparently found another boyfriend soon after Rob left.)
Rob was back in Canada within days. He left Thailand at night and did not even dare to tell his employer where he was going in case word got back to the irate father, Rob stayed with me for a month, and then returned to Thailand, settling hundreds of miles from where he had lived previously.
As the years go by the memory of Robert’s visit stays vividly in my memory. Today my son is happily married and is the father of an eighteen-month-old daughters. I know we have Robert to thank for his happiness.
Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada