February 24, 1992
The then-red Verona house, on Claremont Avenue, was a small ranch style house, and while it looked more modern than the Montclair house, we learned it was most definitely over a century old.
My brother had moved to California for a few years in an effort to become a working actor, but as cell phones and pagers were not yet prevalant, he lost out on a major gig, and lost his passion.
He moved back east, which was Good Timing as it our father's last year before he Moved On Ahead.
My father had an interesting and slightly amusing ability throughout his time with us.
As the family would walk along, Dad would invariably pull up the rear, a few steps behind mom and my brother and me, and he would constantly stop to pick up coins over which we had casually just walked, we three never having noticed the coinage.
On this dreaded day, he and Mom had come home from the movies
(Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, which to this day I've "never bothered" to see),
and Dad complained of pain in his lower back.
He had gone to the local emergency care office, which felt it might be from a bronchial infection from which he'd suffered the week before.
But as the day wore on, the pain increased.
Like myself, Dad was a Taurus
(albeit in his case, nearly an Aries cusp),
and like me, he had a high threshold for pain.
With my own then-recent more-concentrated studies of metaphysics, I could almost See his pain, and it was substantial.
My parents initially raised my brother and me in Christian Science, which for me was sort of a springboard for more metaphysical studies in future.
One thing I'd learned was being able to remove
(or at least alleviate)
pain in others.
Dad permitted me to attempt this, and I laid my hands at his kidneys, where the pain was located.
For the first time, I felt as though the energy I was directing was being deflected, for which I could not account.
Dad claimed the pain had lessened a lot, but it was still there.
Hours later his pain was such that we were Extremely Worried.
Two years earlier Dad had become so sickly he and I literally were working on his obituary together.
Then my brother introduced [the family] to a health product that actually improved Dad's health tremendously.
Even his doctor was stunned that Dad's degenerative condition was improving when it "shouldn't" havebeen.
Dad showed him the product, the doctor looked at the ingredients and said, "Fine: keep on takin' it..."
But now the years had really caught up.
Around 10pm or so, my brother realized he'd better get Dad to hospital.
As my brother got the keys, I embraced Dad and told him how/that I've always loved and respected him.
He barely was able to hug back, but he knew I meant it.
Even he Got It this Could Be It.
My brother zoomed through the empty streets and carefully through red lights.
If a cop had seen him and pursued, my brother was prepared to lead him to the hospital.
As he drove, Dad nearly passed out.
My brother saw how horrifically pale the man was.
The small local hospital had been called ahead, and my brother zoomed into the parking lot as the orderlies rushed out and pulled Dad from the car.
As the gurney was brought to the door, my now-dazed brother picked up Dad's slippers which had come off his feet.
"What about his slippers?" my brother asked, holding them up, his brain understandably in haze-mode.
"He won't need them where he's going," the orderly said kindly but hastily, not meaning his words to sound as prophetic as they were.
Inside, Dad's Final Words to my brother: "My Social Security card is in my pocket..."
Brilliant, Dad, thanks...
Once Dad was checked in, the doctor told my brother that we'd be called if there was any change, and my brother came home.
He'd barely made it in the door when the phone rang.
"You'd... better get back here," the doctor said, concerned.
I'd heard the phone and was still dressed as my brother shouted up the stairs.
We have to get to the hospital!
I was already running to the stairs: "Is he... dying...?"
"I... don't know..." he managed to say.
The three of us zoomed back to the hospital, thankfully not far away.
Again, the gods kept the way clear of traffic
We were shown to a small waiting room.
The doctor came in, clearly baffled.
"We're... not sure what the problem is," she said.
"Every time we stabilize him, he crashes.
He's gone through every colour crash code we have.
We can't figure out the problem."
A massive light went off in my head.
"Oh my gods," I realized, speaking aloud.
"There's free blood in his abdomen."
The doctor turned to look at me, her face showing bewilderment at my comment.
"There's free blood in his abdomen!" I shouted in her face.
The doctor raced out of the room.
I stood there, having recognized and connected two vital
(though previously, seemingly unrelated)
One was the energy deflection.
The other was just a weird analogy.
Suddenly I noted my mother and brother were gaping at me, astonished.
I realized I had to explain.
I explained about the energy deflection, and reminded them of the night our dog Lady had died.
She had gone out to Go Do, and had simply laid down, in the rain, staring back up at me at the door.
I had immediately taken her to the vet, and she had had free blood in her abdomen.
As the vet couldn't do the operation Right Then, I brought her to the emergency clinic, but in her case, the tumours
(that they'd suspected/hoped might be on her spleen),
turned out to be on her liver, and she had to be Let Go.
Somehow this event connected in my head, and I wish to the heavens I could have made the connection many hours sooner.
I sat down next to Mom facing the door, my brother on her other side, against the wall.
The doctor returned, walking slowly enough We Knew What Was To Be Told To Us.
"I'm sorry," she said, sincerely.
"He's... already expired."
We were predictably stunned.
The doctor continued, "Okay... there was free blood in his abdomen.
It turned out he'd had an aneurism in his heart."
(The pain had been the blood slowly leaking out and painfully filling up his body cavities.)
She then asked me, "How did you know about the free blood...?"
I didn't think she'd appreciate
the metaphysical aspect of my deduction, so I told her how "somehow" the memory of Lady's death had struck a chord.
She appeared to accept that as she didn't probe any further on it.
Mom tried to put a brave face on it.
"Oh well," she said.
"At least he died quickly."
"Quickly?!" the doctor responded, utterly aghast, all bedside manner suddenly gone out the window.
She had no problem reminding us that Dad had been in agony for about twelve hours
(we later concluded that a doctor's definition of Dying Quickly is:
you're walking down the street... you stop being alive... your dead body falls down).
The doctor was unaware that Mom's own mother had suffered a massive stroke shortly before I was born, and for about seven years the previously vital woman had been bedridden, unable to verbally communicate coherently at all.
That was mom's frame of reference, and my brother and I had concurred with her assessment of what Dying Quickly means.
Dying within a single day, and nothing overly drawn out, to us was Dying Quickly... and we had been able to Say Goodbye.
The doctor left us; Mom gently began to tear up.
It was still too unreal.
Then my brother stood.
He walked over to me, bent over and from between my feet, he picked up a penny.
"Oh God, it's Robert's penny," Mom managed to choke out.
That release was enough let loose some floodgates a bit.
To this day, my brother and I find coins on a near-daily basis.
I've found dollar bills skittering down the sidewalk.
I always say "Hi Dad"
(aloud and proud),
as I retrieve such monies.
I know Dad is patiently waiting for us for when it's our respective times.
He's still enough of a Taurus: he's got tons o'patience....