I was a happy little girl at the age of 3, and quite the chatter box. I had an exceptionally large vocabulary, was an early talker, and could carry a coherent conversation around two and a half. One night the family; my three brothers, mom, dad, and myself, were gathered at the table eating. It was a pretty typical night, and conversations were going on all around the table. Well, except for the one I was having. I was sitting in my booster chair just babbling away, and my parents thought I was just talking to my imaginary friend (I had two when I was little) or myself. When my mom asked me who I was talking to though I replied nonchalantly, "I'm talkin' to Uncle Dave." My mom and dad looked at me, perplexed, as my Uncle Dave, my dad's brother, had passed away some time ago. As I responded, a remembrance picture of my Uncle that hung in our kitchen fell to the floor. Everyone just looked at each other.
It's 14 years later, and Dave's son, my cousin Kevin, has kids of his own. One of his sons shares my gift of language; he talks talks talks and does it very well. And on a few occasion recently, he's talked to "Grandpa Dave" just like I did. According to him, "Grandpa comes to my preschool and plays with me." When asked if he plays with the other kids, he replies "no, only I can see him." We asked him how often Grandpa comes around, and he says "oh he comes around lots to play and talk with me."
There has also been an occasion where Kevin's walked in on his son playing "on his own", but it looks like someone's swinging him around by his arms. And on yet another occasion, my dad and his long-time friend "Uncle Gary" have gone hiking along the trail of the back-roads creek where my Uncle's ashes were spread, and a strong wind picked up around the ceremony spot, taking Gary's hat into the water and then ceasing. All of these things prove to me that Uncle Dave's still around, and will always be with us.