On several different occasions, I have heard voices. Sometimes I can identify who it is, and sometimes I can't. For instance in Of Wee Ghosties And A Haunted School, I told about hearing children's cries and an unknown child yelling 'No!' and shoving me out of harm's way when a ceiling collapsed. Growing up there was Jaimie (see Posession By Nightmare?) whom gave me comfort and encouragement. It's his voice I usually hear in times of urgency. These voices are not heard with my mind, but external.
Once I heard my mother's voice, shortly after her passing. I was looking in my bedroom mirror inspecting the latest damage inflicted by my now ex, and I heard her, clear as bell. She addressed me by my first and middle name, a sure sign that she was serious. "Why do you love someone who so obviously doesn't love you? I raised you better. You need to leave him before they end up carrying you out." I knew she was right.
Prior to her death, I had heard another voice. It was a regular week day, my 4 year old son was asleep on the sofa after a hard day of pre-school, and I decided to do a load of laundry. I was heading for the basement when I heard a voice say, "You better call Mom." I thought it was something off the TV and proceeded. I was loading the washer, when Jaimie spoke again. This time he sounded a bit peeved. "I said call Mom NOW! She's hurt and scared." This time he was so loud that I dropped the basket in surprise and tore back upstairs and snatching up the phone punched in my mom's number. I'm used to letting it ring 10/15 times for her to get to the phone, as her illness is taking it's toll. A man's voice answered in like 4 rings.
It took a minute for me to recognize it as my brother's friend. He informed me that he had come to sit with my mom as everyone had errands to do, and she had fallen on the way to the bathroom. The ambulance had just taken her to the hospital and he couldn't find the list of numbers to contact anyone. I knew my mom had to be terrified. She was of the generation (as she had told me many times before) who believed women only went to the hospital for two reasons, either to have a baby or to die. She certainly wasn't pregnant, and had been labeled terminal for quite some time now. I told my brother's friend to stay put in case someone came home, and then called my dad at work. I then called the hospital. They wouldn't let me talk to her so I asked them to tell her my dad was on his way. I learned she had had a heart attack, possibly brought on by her panic and pain from the dislocated hip. Later, she told me that she had heard me telling her my Dad was on his way, and everything would be alright, that she wasn't alone.
I know that, even though I was almost 25 miles away in my kitchen, I was thinking those thoughts very hard. I don't know how things would have been if not for that voice telling me to call.
Another significant time that I heard Jaimie speak is hard for me to talk about. A little more than 11 years later, and it still feels like a sucker punch. It was late fall, I don't recall the hour, but it was already dark out. My son was very despondent over a break up, only I hadn't realized just how bad things were. At the time, he had not yet been diagnosed as bi-polar. I had noticed he was cutting himself more often, and I was trying to get him into therapy. He'd been out with friends that evening, and I was sitting in the living room watching TV when he came home, and went out back. I didn't give it much thought. Suddenly Jaimie spoke, "You need to go to J now. Hurry! He's in the garage - hurry! Run!" Never had I heard Jaimie sound like that before - it was almost like he was panicking. I ran out the back door yelling my son's name.
I burst through the garage door just as he stepped off the work table, an extension cord tied around his neck. I rushed forwards and heard Jaimie yell again to get on the table and pull my boy back to it. As I did so, I swear by all that I hold Holy, the extension cord slipped from around his neck as if undone by unseen hands. I don't know... Maybe it wasn't knotted properly, all I know for certain is he crumpled onto me. The longest seconds of my life slipped past as I clutched him to me, and I distinctly heard the word, "Breath". My son sputtered and began crying. I thought it was the most beautiful sound in the world, because it meant he was still alive.
In the turbulent spiral that followed... The months before and after I lost my son, I would hear another voice that I could not identify and it spoke a strange phrase to me; "kia kaha". I didn't know what it meant at the time, but it made me feel a bit better. I felt as if it had purpose and held a message. I would hear it under times of great stress, or when I felt as if I just could not continue. Later I would learn that this phrase "kia kaha" was Maori (New Zealand tribe) for "be strong". Maybe that's all the voices really want us to hear, be strong for there are brighter tomorrows, but we need to live our todays.