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  • #62159
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    All:

    My name is Bob Lancaster. Those who know me from my posts in the “Answering Skeptics…” section of the board may be surprised to find me posting here. But even a skeptic can have these experiences.

    So, here’s an “experience” I had recently. It’s a very little thing, actually. And I’m not even saying it was necessarily an ADC. But it touched me deeply.

    My apologies in advance for the length of the post. Much of it could be left out I suppose, but it is all a part of it in my mind’s eye, so please bear with me…

    The mother of a long-time friend passed a few months ago, and it saddened me much more than I would have expected. As a means of dealing with my grief, I composed something on my computer – a journal entry of sorts, though I do not keep a journal. Just to get my feelings down on “paper”, and sort them out. It was difficult to do, and I cried a lot while writing it.

    A few days later, the friend contacted me again, along with others who knew and loved her mother, and asked us to each contribute something in writing, a remembrance of her mother. She was going to print them all out, bind them together, and hand them out at the memorial service.

    After trying to come up with something shorter, I found I didn’t have the emotional strength left to do so, so I ended up sending the journal entry.

    Here is that journal entry:

    [BLOCKQUOTE]June 22, 2001

    I received an email from my old friend Marlene a few days ago. Reading the subject, “Sad news”, my heart sank. Marlene’s mother Dorothy had been in frail health off and on for some time, and when I opened the email, it confirmed what I had guessed from the subject – Dorothy had passed away.

    As I sat there staring at the computer, thinking of Dorothy, two things kept going through my mind: a coyote howling at the moon, and the tune of a sentimental, old-time song…



    I first met Dorothy when I was courting her daughter Marlene back in what – 1973? I was fifteen years old at the time, and dropped by one afternoon to visit Marlene at home, unannounced. When I was introduced to Dorothy, she looked at me with one eyebrow raised, and one corner of her mouth turned up in the beginning of a smile.

    At the time I thought the look meant “Dear Lord, it’s a hippie!”, but as a father of teenage daughters myself now, I think maybe it was more “Dear Lord, it’s a boy!” Perhaps it meant both.

    Regardless, it was an expression I was to see a lot of on Dorothy over the years. She always seemed to be on the verge of laughing at someone or something, and there were plenty of times when that someone was me.

    While Marlene and I dated, and later, when we became friends, I dropped by and visited a quite a bit. There were many times when Marlene wasn’t there, but Dorothy, who always enjoyed the company of “young people”, would welcome me in, and we’d talk about this and that.

    Once, during such a visit, I noticed a picture of a coyote on a shelf in the living room. Dorothy saw me looking at it and said she had it because she loved and admired coyotes. She said she admired the way that they remained wild in the face of the encroaching cities, and that she loved to hear them howl. I have never seen a coyote since, or heard one howl, without thinking of Dorothy.

    Another time, I had just gotten a tape of a new record album I loved, and wanted to share it with someone. When I dropped by to play it for Marlene, she wasn’t home, so I asked Dorothy if she would like to hear it. She was more than happy to oblige, so off we went, in my old Pinto station wagon. Me cruising with Dorothy, cranking up the tunes – I’m sure we were a sight.

    Don’t get me wrong, not everything was sweetness and light. Dorothy had a sharp tongue, and used it when she felt it necessary. I remember once when I said something which made her furious, because she felt it meant that I didn’t appreciate my mother (and, I probably didn’t – what teenager does?). She gave me a piece of her mind, and did everything but chase me out of the house with a broom. The message was clear – don’t disrespect your parents in her presence and expect to get away with it. It was a mistake I wouldn’t make again!

    The years passed, and the next time I spent some time with Dorothy was when I drove up to San Jose to sing at Marlene and Joe’s wedding. Although it was Marlene and Joe’s day, it was great to see Dorothy at the reception, obviously having a wonderful time with so much family together at once.

    A year or so later, my wife and I were visiting Marlene and Joe with our three children, when Dorothy happened to call. I took the phone and spoke to her at some length, but the main thing that stuck with me about the conversation was this: She was talking about my singing at the wedding, when suddenly she told me she wanted to hear me sing “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen”. When I told her I wasn’t familiar with it, she told me it had been a song her father used to sing all the time, and she would love it if I could learn it and sing it to her sometime.

    A few years later, a series of coincidences (A co-worker had the sheet music, was a pianist, and had access to recording equipment) put me in a position where I could record the song for her. I memorized it, rehearsed it and then recorded it with my pianist friend. I sent the tape off to Dorothy, along with a note. She replied and said how much she loved it, and how much it reminded her of her father singing to her as a child.

    Here is the song:

    [BLOCKQUOTE]I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

    I’ll take you home again, Kathleen,
    Beyond the ocean wild and wide
    To where your heart has ever been,
    Since you were my bonnie bride.

    The roses all have left your cheek,
    I’ve watched them fade away and die
    Your voice is sad when e’er you speak,
    And tears bedim your loving eyes.

    Yes I will take you back, Kathleen,
    To where your heart will feel no pain
    And when the grass is fresh and green,
    I’ll take you to your home, Kathleen.

    To that sweet home beyond the sea,
    My Kathleen shall again return
    And when thy old friends welcome thee,
    Thy loving heart shall cease to yearn.

    Where laughs the little silver stream
    Beside your mother’s humble cot
    And brightest rays of sunshine beam
    There all your grief will be forgot.

    Yes I will take you back, Kathleen,
    To where your heart will feel no pain
    And when the grass is fresh and green,
    I’ll take you to your home, Kathleen.

    [/BLOCKQUOTE]



    Back to the present.

    Driving home from work that night, I sang the song one more time, as a goodbye of sorts to Dorothy. If she was listening, I hope she could understand. I don’t sing very well with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

    So goodbye, Dorothy. I’m not a religious man, but I believe you are “home again” now, where “thy old friends welcome thee”, and “all your grief will be forgot”.

    I just hope there’s coyotes there. You’d like that.

    [/BLOCKQUOTE]That was the journal entry. I was able to make it to the memorial service (several hundred miles away), and kept myself under control until the organist started playing “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen”, at which point I fell apart.

    (Thanks for your patience – now we’re almost to the “experience”.)

    The Saturday after the Tuesday memorial service, I went to a family reunion for my wife’s family. My wife was working, and the kids were busy, so I was the only one from our household who showed up. It was at a park down in Oceanside, which is where the majority of her aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. live.

    At around 6pm I had to leave to get back home, and so walked the half-mile or so to where I had parked my van. As I walked down the center of this little side street, just short of reaching the van, suddenly, from a driveway not two houses in front of me, a coyote stepped out into the street.

    It stopped in the middle of the street, and so did I. It stared at me for a few seconds through the heatwaves rising off of the road, then it slowly finished crossing the road, and disappeared into a yard on the other side.

    I stood there alone for a few seconds, then got into the van, and fell apart all over again.

    It was the first time I had seen a coyote live and in person in probably 20 years, and the only time I had seen one at such close range. And it was only a couple of days after writing about Dorothy loving them so much.

    Was it Dorothy’s way of letting me know she was okay?

    Was it God’s way of telling me Dorothy was okay?

    Or was it simply a coincidence?

    I don’t know, and really, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it was, it gave me comfort, and it gave me anguish, and it took my breath away. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my days.

    #69182
    ceceoh
    Participant

    Bless your heart, Bob. See, you don’t have to believe in John Edward. You just have to believe in those you love.

    #69183
    scrambled6
    Participant

    Aaaaah Bob, there is someone inside of you trying to come out….lol…

    Well, I must say that was beautiful of what you wrote and how you acknowledged your friend.

    You wrote:
    Or was it simply a coincidence?

    …no such thing as coincidence…

    you wrote:
    I don’t know, and really, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it was, it gave me comfort, and it gave me anguish, and it took my breath away. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my days.

    Obviosuly it does matter. Now take all of those feelings of what you just wrote above, and imagine how we feel here, when someone tries to discredit our faith, our belief, JE and his message of the afterlife.

    #69184
    amfie
    Participant

    ((((BOB))))) You were given a very precious gift. Thank you so much for sharing.

    I know that song well, as you will see from my “title”, I am an old Irish lass. It is a beautiful song, especially when you really listen to the words.

    I don’t know what to say, except, you are among a special group. If you don’t believe, we will for ya!

    Once again, thanks so much for sharing!

    #69187
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Bob, that was so beaufitul, on so many levels. First off, you’re a gifted writer. I was right there with you, through the whole experience.

    You’re like so many of us, that we have an almost ingrained prior knowlege, that we never really die. We don’t just dissipate into the fog, or just cease to be.

    I truly believe the coyote was a message from the other side, exactly the way you explain it – a message from Dorothy, also from God, to let you know. Cyndy’s right, there are no coincidences. Unusual animal behavior is a common sign for an ADC. Cats, dogs, birds, and coyotes and wolves especially.

    The important thing is not whether you can believe it to be so, but that you honored Dorothy by remembering her at that moment, and that you connected with the essence of who she was. That’s what you can cherish, and all this other stuff, cocern about the validity of everyone else’s ADC and LAD, and mediums, welll that comes later on :)

    Thank you for a very beautiful story.

    #69192
    Jude
    Participant

    Bob, that was a beautiful story. Given that you hadn’t seen a coyote in 20 years and never at close range, then saw one right after writing about Dorothy does NOT seem like a coincidence to me. But whether or not you think it was Dorothy acknowledging you, or God letting you know that she’s okay, or whether you think it’s a coincidence doesn’t really matter, as you have stated. What matters is in that brief moment, you had a real connection with Dorothy. You saw something that reminded you strongly of her, you thought of her and the feelings you shared, and that brought you comfort.

    I hope you will be open to receive many more confirmations and validations from Dorothy and other loved ones who have crossed over.

    #69202
    heidj
    Participant

    Bob Bob Bob! I am bawling over here. Your story was beautiful and it touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing something from your heart. I can tell just from what I read that you are a kind and loving man. Please continue to keep your heart open and you will continually be amazed. Love, Heidi

    #69215
    jjharts
    Participant

    What a great story! Thank you for sharing it with us. I knew there was a reason you found us (not just for the skeptic views!!). Have you had any other experiences like this one? Has this experience made you start to look at things differently? I loved the way you worded your last paragraph:
    “I don’t know, and really, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it was, it gave me comfort, and it gave me anguish, and it took my breath away. It is a moment I will remember for the rest of my days.”

    You are so right in that it doesn’t matter what it was. The thing is that it was yours!!! This was your own personal validation and only you know what it meant to you.

    Keep posting! You have a wonderful gift for writing. And believe it or not, you are among friends!!!:) :) :)

    P.S. Dorothy sounds like a great lady!! *raises tea glass in honor of Dorothy*

    #69218
    JBannister
    Participant

    Bob,
    What an incredible story. It gave me chills. Thanks for taking
    me along your journey with you.
    And as I’ve written so many times on this board I’m sure every
    one else is tired of it, a favorite quote from Dr. Bernie Segal:
    “Coinsednce is Gods way of remaining anonymous.”
    Julie

    #69219
    Jude
    Participant

    Julie, it is a great quote — one we NEVER get tired of hearing around here! :thumbsup:

    #69324
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    All:

    To everyone who took the time to read my post about Dorothy: Thank you. I hope you felt that the ending justified the lengthy, off-topic beginning.

    To all of you who posted replies (I’ve emailed most of you individually rather than lengthen the thread, but for those who have email disabled, or anyone I might have missed): Thanks for all the kind words. I had worried a bit that such a story, posted by an admitted skeptic, would be frowned upon. Thanks for proving that worry unfounded.

    My best to all,

    Bob

    #69326
    Jude
    Participant

    Bob, you have been a respectful skeptic, so your views are always welcome here. :thumbsup:

    Please feel free to post regarding any more communication you believe you have experienced, either before or after your recent connection with Dorothy. We’re very interested.

    #69356
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    An epilogue of sorts…

    I came up with a coyote “avatar” for myself to use on the board, and I thought it would be appropriate to debut him here in this thread.

    I decided that, by reminding me of my experience, he would help me to keep in mind that there are wonders and unknowns in the world.

    And I hope he helps me to keep in mind that many of the people on this board are here, at least in part, because of a loss they feel deeply, and so I should tread more softly with my questions and doubts than I might do otherwise.

    -Bob L

    #69361
    Jude
    Participant

    Bob, love the avatar! :thumbsup:

    Thanks for your sensitivity. That’s what I like to see — an “open” skeptic! :lwink:

    #123358
    RSLancastr
    Participant

    Even now, eight years after starting this thread, reading it still makes me weep. By the way, when I was in the hospital recovering from my stroke, Marlene came and visited me a couple of times. Nurses were amazed that a girlfriend from my high school days was still that close of a friend.

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