Thursday, October 20, 2005


An October Moment...

October 4, 1998

Her Lovely Self and I were awaiting the birth of our first child. I would say "anxiously awaiting" but that would hardly begin to convey our emotional state.

Some months earlier, while we were out to dinner one night, Her Lovely Self suddenly started bleeding. On the way to the hospital, we were fairly certain she miscarried. The resident on call at the ER examined her and the evidence and agreed that she had.

The resident immediately started talking about doing a dilation and curettage, and I freaked out, bellowing at the man to do an ultrasound first just to make sure. Sputtering, the resident corrected himself and said that yes, of course, that was the first step. But he still had the forms ready for HLS to sign, authorizing the D&C.

HLS had been weeping since we got to the hospital and had no desire to watch the ultrasound monitor and see her empty womb. So she missed our first glimpse of the baby, this tiny little peanut curled up perfectly safe inside her. I could even see the baby's pulsing heart. And then it was my turn to weep. With relief.

The best theory was that HLS had been carrying twins and her body made an executive decision that one was viable and the other wasn't. As sad and hard as that was to hear, we quietly rejoiced in the fact that she was still pregnant. Although now she was a high-risk pregnancy.

We spent the next several months in a state of what I can best describe as anxious optimism, living through two more close calls of cramping and bleeding and runs to the ER. Now it was October, the baby (we didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. The many ultrasounds HLS had had since that first one had never shown anything conclusive) was due in a month. I don't know if it was hormones or what but HLS had over time become more relaxed about the pregnancy. Not me.

In fact, the closer we got to the due date, the more nervous I became. I barely slept. I couldn't eat. I'd lost 6 pounds and had to start taking acid blockers. My stomach had been churning so badly I'd actually burned my esophagus.

But this night--actually it was very early in the morning--I had finally dozed off. And I had the oddest dream. At least, I think it was a dream.

I was lying in bed. Off to my left was the door to the walk-in closet that HLS has claimed for herself when we moved in. It had an automatic light that turned on as soon as you opened the door. And as I lay there, the closet door suddenly swung open and a glaring light blinded me.

I shielded my eyes and could just make out the silhouette of a man standing in the closet doorway. I should have been freaked out, but on some level I was probably aware that this was just a dream, even though it seemed oddly real.

"MM, don't worry," the man said, in a voice that sounded strangely familiar.

"Who is that?" I asked, still shielding my eyes.

The figure stepped forward, blocking the blinding light. And there stood Mr. Kidder, an old friend of the family and my boss from when I had worked summers at a bank in my old home town. I hadn't seen or even thought of Mr. Kidder in 10 years. Last I'd heard, he sold off his interest in the bank and retired to Florida a few years ago. But in that way that dream logic has of making things okay, it seemed perfectly normal that he should be here.

"Don't worry," Mr. Kidder repeated, his deep yet gentle voice filling the room. "I came to tell you he's going to be all right."

"What?" I asked, still kind of dazed. "Who's all right?"

"Your son," Mr. Kidder said. "He's going to be just fine. Get some rest." Then he smiled, and with that Mr. Kidder turned and walked back into my bedroom closet. The light suddenly went out.

And I slept like the dead.

I woke up close to noon, feeling both muzzy and better rested than I had in months. Still, when I got up, I opened the walk-in closet and looked around.

Of course, nobody was in there.

Later, I told Her Lovely Self about it. She didn't seem bothered by the oddity of a dream visit by a forgotten boss from an old summer job, but she did laugh when I told her Mr. Kidder said we were having a boy. "You're just saying that because you want a boy," she said, rubbing her stomach. "I've been telling you, I have a feeling it's a girl."

She was wrong, of course, and just a little over three weeks later on October 30th, Thomas was born.

My parents arrived from New Hampshire the next morning, on Halloween, having driven through the night to meet their first grandchild. My mother muckled onto baby Thomas and could not be persuaded to let him go for some time. At length, she tore her eyes away from him and beamed at me.

"Well, well," she said. "My son has a son."

"Yeah," I said, looking over at Her Lovely Self. "I guess Mr. Kidder was right."

My parents both looked up at that and I mistook their shared expression as a quizzical one. So I told them about my dream.

When I was finished, my mom said quietly, "Bill Kidder died in Florida. Cancer. End of September, I think." She looked over at my dad, who nodded, but couldn't stop staring at me.

I was too tired to feel any real surprise. "Oh, that's too bad," I said. "I guess you told me and I forgot. My subconscious must have remembered and threw him in the dream--"

My mother shook her head. "We never told you. In fact, we only just found out last week."

I couldn't think of anything to say to this.

All I could do was stare back at my mother, who was holding my son, who was, I had it on good authority, going to be just fine.

From Somewhere on the Masthead

wow... yup that is all i can say is

This become THE place for spine tingling ghost stories and heart warming tales of love and family.

And in some rare wonderful cases, the two genres marry perfectly.
Oh, man, MM. That is a far, far more harrowing tale than our wee disturbance. Thank God you had the presence of mind to freak so efficiently!

Plus also, wooOOooOOoo* about ol' Mr. Kidder, there.

*ghosty sing-song sound
Mr. Kidder was your angel! How awsome that you had a visit to reassure you. And I don't think it was a dream, I think he really did visit you. Thanks for sharing MM.
In my head, Kidder looked like the hero from Cloak and Dagger. --b
Awwww, HLS and myself were pregnant at the same time. My son was born 4/28/98.

Your gift of recall never ceases to amaze me. I can't even remember what I had for dinner Sunday.
That's entirely strange and entirely creepy and entirely awesome.
Mr Kidder is to totally the old man hero from Cloak and Dagger. Man, I remember that movie!

Anyway, here I am. More tears. Love this story. Mr. Kidder got to the pearly gates and told old St. Peter that he just had one more thing he'd like to do, if it would be alright.

Apparently, it was alright.

This shows that not only is Art Lad a special boy (which was already obvious from his blog), but that he is so special as to warrant dedicated attention by the folks who walk behind the shadows. Pretty excellent.
That post felt like it was hard to write.

But what a beautiful story.

I know that these ghost visitations are spooky and creepy and whatnot, but I would love for someone with otherworldly knowledge to tell me, for example, that I would have children someday.

In your case, though, you might have worried yourself to death without Mr. Kidder's intervention, so I'm glad he came to visit.
I knew your son was special, but I didn't realize just how much till now...he shares my birthday! I grew up having Halloween slumber birthday parties. Hope his parties are as much fun.
By the way, when I first found out I was pregnant, an overeager doc declared I had a "blighted ovum" and immediately wanted to sign me up for a D and C as well. When I went in to have the procedure done a few days later, a different doc did an ultrasound "just to be sure". He looked at me, quite confused and asked why I was here to have a D and C when I had a perfectly healthy fetus growing inside me. The relief when I heard that was indescribable, comparable only to the anger I felt at the first doc who had been all too eager to scrape me clean. He told me that the egg would never develop. I now have a healthy happy three year old boy.
Thanx for sharing this the heartfelt ones with the spooky undertones!
You are "blessed" in so many ways MM.

This is a "Beyond Belief" script in the making!
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