When Jason and I became an official “us” it was 2003. Since we were friends in college, we were lucky enough to skip over the ever so awkward, get-to-know-you phase of any relationship, and just be ourselves. Sadly after our third or fourth official date, Jason’s grandfather, Donald, had passed away. He was elderly and sick, but I know that if I had ever gotten the chance to meet him, I probably would have loved him just the same.
From what I understand, Donald was smart, quiet, and easy going. He had a passion for math, science, chess, and New York City. He loved all three of his daughters, adored his wife, and he especially loved being a Grandpa to three incredible boys. I always thought that if he ever got to meet Willy, he’d love being a Great-Grandpa just as much. 🙂
Jason and I don’t talk to Willy about Donald as much as we should, but when we do, we affectionally call him “Puppa.”
Yesterday, after a holiday party, Willy and I drove to his Great Grandmother’s house for a nice family dinner/visit. Jason and his dad were already there watching football, and I had just settled down with Willy to relax and enjoy the company. As Jason and his dad were chatting away about football stats, scores, and bad calls etc., Willy had gotten up from his cozy spot in the den and went into the living room. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear him. He kept saying “hi” over and over again, but I never heard anyone reciprocate. When my mother in-law came back into the den, she commented to me that Willy was standing in the living room, and that maybe he was looking for his Great Grandma, who was sleeping in her bedroom. Since she has not been well, I didn’t want Willy to wake her, so I got up and brought him back into the den.
All of a sudden, Willy yells out “it’s Donald!” We all just looked at each other.
What did he say?
And Willy said it again. “Donald.”
It was almost too strange to ignore, so I asked him, “Where’s Donald, buddy?” And Willy pointed to the living room. Jason and I, and his parents just looked at him and shook our heads.
I’m getting shivers just thinking about it again.
After dinner, I gave Willy a bath, got him into his jammies, and watched him run excitedly into his Great Grandma’s bedroom. Willy’s Auntie A was there and they were chatting away about this and that, when Willy ran to the side of her bed, climbed into bed with her, and snuggled right up next to his 90 year old Great Grandmother. As he was snuggling, he smiled and said “hi Donald” AGAIN! Auntie A and I just started at each other… not knowing what to say. I told her that he has been saying “hi” to Donald all evening, and that he must see him, or something. Auntie A told her mother what Willy had said, and she immediately got scared. “Am I dying? Why is Donald here?” She asked. Auntie A simply said “No Mum, here’s here to give you strength.” And with that, she sighed a deep sigh and relaxed next to my boy.
I told Jason what had happened in his Grandmother’s bedroom, and he was shocked. I think we all were.
As I drove home, I called my mom to tell her what had happened, and she was shocked. she told me that young children and animals have a unique gift, when it comes to those who pass on. They are sensitive. They are able to see and hear things that we can not even begin to understand. It almost felt comforting to me… but erie at the same time.
I wanted to cry, because I truly believe that Willy had just met his Great Grandfather, Donald last night for the first time. I’m sure he was watching football with Jason and his father. I’m sure he was introducing himself to Willy in the living room, and I’m sure he was looking lovingly at his wife, who was laying in bed with their daughter, not feeling well. It was overwhelmingly touching.
I hope Donald continues to hang around for a while longer. And if he does, I’m hoping that Willy can hear him and see him, because I know that they would love each other very much.