The 30th of March will be the first anniversary of my Step-father's passing. He was a genuinely wonderful and deeply religious man. On two occasions I was able to go "Ghost Hunting With Loonies" during a vacation to visit my Mom. Of course I stayed at their home. He joked that he was worried I'd bring back a demon to his house haha. Like my Mom, he didn't believe in ghosts or spirits but he believed in demons. Go figure!
He passed away during Holy Week, on Monday. Since he had been suffering a long battle with cancer, he, my Mom and their pastor had long before made his funeral arrangements and he was able to be buried the following Wednesday. I got the news on Monday and I and my daughter Leslie (Momkeylemur is her YGS screen name) were on a plane bound for Ohio the next day. Monday night, as I lay in bed thinking of and talking to him, I told him, "Now's your chance Frank. Prove to Mom that I'm right about ghosties. Do something to show her you're going to be okay and you're looking over her."
Since we had made flight plans on such short notice we weren't able to get a non-stop flight. We had a layover in Atlanta for about 2 hours. While we were waiting to board the attendants were calling the names of passengers who didn't yet have seat assignments by their last names. We were tired, sitting there just chillin', and I heard, "Smith...Frey...Frank (his first name)...M*** (his LAST name!) " As I frowned trying to grasp if I'd heard that right, Leslie looked at me in disbelief as well and said, "Did they just say 'Frank M***'?" I said, "Yep! They sure did!" and we giggled... A lot. We both felt that he was showing us he knew we were on our way, and he was going to watch over us to make sure we got there.
After we'd arrived at my Mom's, my step-sister Sandy used her computer to post his obituary on facebook. She did it on her page, but she tagged him (yes, my elderly parents have a facebook account, all of you non- FB believers lol!) which means that it would show up on his page as well. My Mom had been sleeping in the chair in the living room for so long (his hospice bed had been set up there) that it was hard for her to sleep in a bed. We called it a night and hit the sack.
In the morning (the day of the funeral), she was up very early, as were we. She said, "The weirdest thing happened this morning when I got up to pee. I went in the bathroom and on my way back to the chair I glanced at my computer and it was on. So I sat down to see what was on and there was Frank's facebook open, and his obituary was the first thing in his news feed!" I just smiled. The first thing I asked her about was whether she'd bumped the desk on her way to the bathroom but her computer sleep mode is set up so that a key has to be pressed on the keyboard for it to wake up. I asked a few people about it and was told that sometimes facebook notifications will wake a computer. So, I had my daughter post something to his page... It didn't wake up.
After a very long day, we were ready for bed. Leslie posted a picture of Frank's vault cover, which was white and painted with a waving American flag, his name, and the dates he served in the military. It was beautiful. He had picked it out himself. The next morning, Mom was up early again, and again, the very same conversation took place. She went to the bathroom and when she came back the computer was on, but this time it was the picture of his vault cover. I think by this time she was getting a little freaked out LOL!
On Friday, Leslie and I ran a few errands for my Mom and on the way home we stopped by the cemetery. We were amazed that the flowers and wreaths were still gorgeous and appeared as fresh as they did the day of the funeral. Understand, this is in Ohio... In the first days of April...Very, very chilly during the day and below freezing at night. We took a picture to show Mom, and again posted it on facebook.
The next morning...Yep! Same conversation! Mom looked at me and asked, "What is he trying to tell me, Gin?" I told her he was just letting her know that he was happy about the way she'd followed through with the arrangements they'd made, that he was probably going to be hanging around for a few days to make sure she was okay. I think she was mostly satisfied with that explanation. And I was happy that he thought enough of me and my silly request to follow through, too.
After Frank passed, my Mom received a sizable inheritance from his great aunt who was exceptionally aged and childless. She left her money to her nieces and nephews. She chose to do something for the little country church they attend, that she and Frank had joked about while he was alive. She had an elevator installed and had a plaque hung over the control that read, " In loving memory of Frank M***. In honor of Jodi M***" (Jodi is my step-sister who, as a child, had a brain tumor and wasn't expected to live beyond puberty. She's now 59 years old. She had a stroke about 10 years ago, and is now in a nursing home in a vegetative state.)
In March, my eldest brother passed away from complications due to Alzheimer's. My Daughter and I went to Ohio to comfort my Mom and just be with other family members since he didn't want a funeral, or even a memorial service.
When I walked in the house I saw the plaque leaning on her kitchen window. I asked her why and she said, "Well, he just didn't want it there. It kept falling to the floor. They tried all kinds of hangers and glue and what-not but it wouldn't stay there. So they gave it to me." hahahaha He didn't want the kudos for it.