We'll always be with you
It was 1962 and I was 7 years old living in a small Newark apartment with my widowed mother. Late one afternoon while waiting for her to come home from work, I sat safely on the couch playing with my Barbie dolls. As the minutes ticked by and her expected arrival home came and went my anxiety began to mount. Fighting back tears my 7 year old mind began to worry about all the “what ifs”.
Suddenly standing before me appeared an old couple. To this day I can see them clearly. He was well over six feet tall with a full head of thick white hair, faded brown suit and dusty well worn black shoes. His yellowed shirt was buttoned up to his chin. The woman was much shorter – well under 5 feet tall. She wore an ankle length faded black dress with pleats across the bodice. Dark stockings covered her legs. Chunky black shoes covered her feet. Her graying hair was pulled tightly back into a bun.
Suddenly I could hear calming words coming from them yet their mouths did not move. The words were simple: Don’t be afraid we’ll always be with you”. In that instant my 7 year old self calmed. In the next instant they faded away.
A short while later my mother burst through the door apologizing for her lateness. I calmly explained to her that I had been worried until the old couple she had sent came to me. I proceeded to describe their appearance as only a 7 year old could; they looked like a “maid and a butler”. Upon hearing this my mother narrowed her eyes and dismissed me saying, “I sent no one here, you must have been hallucinating”. I was very upset that my mother refused to believe me.
Fast forward some 30 years later as my mother and I were going through old photographs. Finding a particular one stopped me in my tracks. Here was a picture of the old couple who had come to me! I reminded my mother of what had happened way way back and asked her who this couple was. “They are my grandparents, she said, they both passed away ten years before you were born.”