Not too long ago I posted a comment that I'd thankfully never experienced anything spooky - except for the disembodied voices that may be seen as such - but that's since changed.
The first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning, unless I urgently need to use the toilet, is check up on my mother -more so since her surgery, which left her looking so terribly fragile and ill (exaggerated by the weight she'd lost - cancer). Her recuperation is 'amazing' (one of the surgeon's words). Another surgeon said to me, while my mother was in hospital (post op): "Your mother is the bravest woman I know." At the time it did nothing to alleviate my stress as she was so weak, and I'm not used to seeing her looking and being so helpless.
It's two months later and she's regained her appetite, and she's pretty much her old self, (though she still tires easily). I am grateful beyond words. Then this happens...
19 September 2018
Woke up several times during the night (howling wind and heavy downpour). Heard mommy moaning in her sleep - but that's normal, as she experiences arthritic discomfort and pain when she changes her 'in sleep' position - and it's COLD; which always makes everything worse. Didn't check the time.
Just after 6am (my alarm goes off at 6am as a reminder for my eye drops), I went to check up on mommy as she's also an early riser to perform her morning prayers.
Mommy was sitting bolt upright in bed rubbing her upper right arm, wincing. I checked her arm (she's unable to lift it), and there's a dark purple (bordering on black) bruise covering the (almost) entire length of her inner upper arm. W...T...F?!
According to her, she was woken by intense pressure on her arm. At first she thought one of the cats had snuggled up on her arm (which they love doing, and they're big, heavy cats), but no, they weren't even on the bed - they'd spent the night cuddled up against me. Then she thought she'd somehow gotten her arm tangled in the bedding, but even I could see that was highly unlikely since her bed always looks as though it's been turned down, not slept in. She sleeps on the left side of the bed (if you're standing in front of the bed). When the weather is cold, she places her continental pillows next to her for extra warmth and comfort. I think she still misses the warm body that used to occupy that space.
Before she could switch on the light, the pressure intensified and it felt as though someone was yanking her by the arm.
Asked whether she's sure she hadn't hurt herself somehow or been dreaming (despite me seeing the bruise), but she was vehement in her response that (1) she would KNOW if she knocked her arm or done something to cause pain and the bruise. (2) she can discern a dream from reality, AND (to my surprise) it wasn't the first time she had been woken by 'unseen forces', though this one was by far the scariest due to the visible physical evidence (the bruise).
Previous experiences involved feeling a pressure on her chest and being unable to move, sometimes feeling she's being smothered (sleep paralysis?). She'd recite any and every prayer she could remember during her distress, including a few choice expletives. While the pressure did not immediately go away, it also didn't leave gradually. When it eventually left, it was sudden, as though someone had been sitting on her chest then jumped off. She went through the same routine this time, but the pressure on her arm became excruciatingly painful until eventually feeling as though an unseen hand was ripped away.
That bruise was not present the day before, as I'd helped her bathe and apply lotion to her body (as I've done every day since her discharge from the hospital).
Things to know about my mother:
1. She's devoutly religious, but open-minded about the spiritual world. The only person who believes my 'tall tales'.
2. She's mentally and physically strong (high pain threshold).
3. She doesn't scare easily.
4. She believes in the afterlife and that the spirits of deceased loved ones visit us.
5. She abhors the practice of 'black magic', and that there are people who resort to it to obtain material things. "Yes, I want to be comfortable in this life, but I'm working towards a place in Paradise," is something she's fond of saying in response to talk about material possessions. She'll remind anyone that: "They are THINGS. You can't take them with you when your time is up, and can cause siblings to fight to the death, leaving a stranger the victor".
6. She's a second time cancer survivor.
7. Even though she's fair in complexion, she's never bruised easily.
Further (perhaps relevant) information:
A. Our home has been blessed several times, as a matter of religious custom and the burning of incense is a regular custom too.
B. We're the first and only family to occupy our home (40 years), and there have been no deaths in the house. My daddy passed away at his brother's house, though the funeral service and 'reception' was held at home. My paternal grandparents passed away when I was a toddler (in the house we were sharing with them). My maternal grandmother died when my mother was herself a child, and grandfather, who lived with us for a few years, when I was in my teens - at my aunt's place two streets away (where he was then living). My mother was a working mom, hence when he became ill, her siblings were concerned no-one would be home to assist him, so he moved in with my aunt, his oldest daughter. Out of 6 children, my mother has only her sister left (oldest - 80yrs, active and healthy), and on my father's side, of 7 children, a brother (oldest - 96yrs, still able to move around by himself and healthy). As far as I know, the land our suburb is built on was bushveld - developed during the 1970s to provide housing for 'Coloured' people who were forcibly removed when the apartheid government implemented the Group Areas Act. I was 9-years-old and as far as I know and remember, we were excited to move into a house with running hot water.
I'm baffled - especially because my mother is so pious - though of course, bad things do happen to good people, right?
Our GP immediately referred her the hospital. X-rays revealed no broken bones, hairline fractures etc. One of her consulting doctors for the operation referred her to orthopedics because of the mobility issues with her arm. We're still waiting on a call from them for an appointment. It's a government hospital and they're fully booked, though I'd expect, with her being a recovering cancer patient, they'd be eager to check her out. She appears emotionally stable and laughed heartily when I told her she looks like a T-Rex when she tries to lift her arm. It pokes out like those short arms of a T-Rex. LOL
I hope I've given a clear account of what happened and a look into the psyche/personality/character of my mother. That said - what could 'it' have been - that caused the pressure, tugging and that unsightly bruise on her arm?
What's going through my mind? 'Something' like The Grim Reaper is coming for her because she's 'cheated' death not once, but twice. How lucky is she, considering that hundreds/thousands of people don't survive their first encounter with the Big C?
I welcome your questions and I'd appreciate your thoughts, insight, advice and guidance. This is unfamiliar territory to me and I think I'm having a harder time dealing with it. Thank you. And my apologies for the lengthy read.
Please know that you are in my thoughts, as is your mother. I hope things are going well.