You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Family / Friends Visits :: Tribute To A Dishwasher

Real Ghost Stories

Tribute To A Dishwasher


During my assignment to Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, I often would wake up at 0530 in the morning to put on my gym clothes and run to the barracks to participate in morning exercise. Since I lived close to my unit, I would run back to my quarters to shower and eat before returning back to duty. On one particular morning I had returned to shower when I was met by my wife at the door.

"My mother just called. My Aunt Mary Lou has just been put in the hospital. The doctors do not expect her to live for more than a couple of days. Could you ask your commander if they would allow you to take emergency leave so that I could visit her?"

My wife had tears in her eyes and I knew that among all of her relatives, her Aunt Mary Lou was her dearest aunt. I told her that I would see what I could do and turned and ran back to the company. I met my commander in his office and explained my situation.

Lieutenant Colonel Dubik was a fair man, but limited by military regulations. He thought for a moment and said, "Your aunt is not part of your extended family so I cannot authorize emergency leave. But I will allow you to take immediate leave to see her, but you will have to pay for the transportation."

I agreed and after thanking him I turned and ran back to my quarters. When I arrived, my wife was talking on the phone. When she hung up, I told her what the commander had said. She was already dressed for her job and said, "I just talked to my boss and he said I could come in and sign out for leave to go to Georgia. While I am gone, could you sign out and buy the airplane tickets?"

I said I could do that after ten o'clock in the morning when the duty office personnel came back from breakfast and finished their morning reports. My wife then told me that there were leftovers in the refrigerator if I was hungry and that she had to leave to sign out. After she left, I walked into the kitchen and pulled the leftovers from the refrigerator. The sink had a bunch of dirty silverware in it so I grabbed a fork, rinsed it off, and haphazardly placed the rest of the silverware in the dishwasher. I then went into the dining-living room, turned on the television and sat down at the dining room table. I had my back to the television, and as was my habit, I had the set tuned to Headline News (I would listen to the news every morning as I ate breakfast). Every thirty minutes, the news would recycle and begin again, and I noted that the news had just begun to recycle. This was my cue that it was ten o'clock and I hurriedly finished the food on my plate. It was at this time that I felt someone move behind me and I heard dishes being moved around in the kitchen. Thinking that my wife had forgotten something and had returned (she had only been gone for fifteen minutes), I called out, "Honey, is that you?" Silence only answered my question. I did not want my wife to start the dishwasher without giving me the chance to place my dirty dishes in first, so I hurriedly grabbed my silverware and walked into the kitchen. Nobody was in the kitchen and I noted after glancing out the window that my wife's car was not around. Stranger still, the dishwasher was left open and a dishtowel had been spread out on the counter. Someone had taken the silverware out of the dishwasher and placed them on the towel. They had also been separated by knives, forks, and spoons. I searched the house for any signs of someone else being in the apartment. I was by myself and only noted that because the front door was unlocked, someone must have walked in unnoticed, walked by me while I was eating, and separated the silverware. When my wife returned, I asked, "Do the neighbors sometimes walk in without you knowing about it and borrow stuff?"

"No, they never do that. Why?"

"Oh nothing, I just thought that someone might have walked in while you were gone. It must've been my imagination."

Nothing more was said and we spent the rest of the day packing and preparing for our flight to Georgia. We caught a flight later that same evening and arrived in Georgia early the next morning. Sadly, we learned that Aunt Mary Lou had already died. Three days later we attended her funeral. After the funeral, I met my wife's brother and asked him when his aunt had died.

"Oh, she died around four o'clock in the afternoon," He replied.

"That's a strange coincidence," I stated.

"Why?" he asked.

I then told him about the strange events that I witnessed the day of her death.

"That's not much of a coincidence, she died at four o'clock. Your events happened at ten o'clock," he said.

I mentioned, "But don't you see, ten o'clock Hawaii time is four o'clock Georgia time!"

"Still," he said, "I don't see any relation between your story and Aunt Mary Lou's death."

I admitted that it was a broad stretch to pry any meaning from the two seemingly unrelated events.

"Did you tell Kathleen? He asked.

"No, I figured she had too much on her mind."

Several days later, we had just finished eating supper at her parent's house. Kathleen's family and I were sitting around the table and Kathleen was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. That's when she begun to cry.

"What's the matter? I asked.

"Oh nothing... I was just remembering the first time that Mary Lou bought a dishwasher. Remember, Mom, how she could never get her dishes clean?"

"I remember." Her mom said, "She kept overloading the machine."

"I know" Kathleen said, "I remember having to teach her how to load it. She really liked the trick I showed her about loading the machine. She always mentioned to me how ingenious it was whenever she met me."

"What trick are you talking about?" Both her brother and I asked this question at the same time.

"Well, I taught her to separate her silverware on a dishtowel before placing them in the dishwasher. When you put them in, put each separate class in its own tray. Then when the dishwasher is done cleaning, all you have to do is grab a handful of silverware and place them directly into the drawer tray without having to separate them. She really liked that idea!"

Kathleen must have noticed the look of astonishment on my face.

"Why, what's wrong?" She asked.

I then related my story to everyone. This caused my wife to break down and cry again. I said I was sorry, but my wife only said, "It's okay. I think Mary Lou was just trying to say good-bye to me in her own way since I was unable to see her before she died."

I have never looked at a dishwasher in the same way since this incident.

Other hauntings by silverthane61

Hauntings with similar titles

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, silverthane61, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
4 years ago (2020-03-06)
Hi silverthane,

This is a sweet and touching account. I believe that love does reach us past the Veil. It would seem that Aunt Mary Lou chose the dishwasher to leave a farewell message for your wife.

I've smelled cigarette smoke when no one was smoking when Rex's aunt, who was a smoker, passed away. Then some months ago, there was the scent of my father's old-fashioned aftershave in the kitchen when I was making breakfast. What the...?

It's a pity your wife didn't see the dishwasher for herself. But I think the message was for you to give to her. It happened just the way it was meant.

And I'll be reminded of Mary Lou and your experience whenever I see a dishwasher.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-24)
Mrs. Ramsay: I heartily believe that dreams are a medium in which those who have passed away - as well as angels and demons - use to communicate with the living. I, too, have had significant dreams in this manner. I really believe your husband contacted you. I would like to think that the word was some kind of "pet" word or nickname that your husband used to identify only you.
MrsRamsay (guest)
4 years ago (2020-02-19)
Silverthane, after writing that last evening, I woke up at 1:30 am in the midst of a dream. In it, I walked into a small room (it was unfamiliar to me), discovered nobody there, and when I turned around I heard one quick word that was something my husband used to say all the time and which I identified in my dream as him. I turned around (in the dream) but before I could see who was speaking, BAM. I woke up. I went back to sleep thinking that was significant, but by morning I had completely forgotten the word. I've been trying to remember all day. The feeling was amazing at 1:30, something so familiar and special, like a reminder of him. Since he passed away 25 years ago when we were young, there are some things that I have forgotten about (him). That word, heard in my dream, brought this wonderful feeling of him back... But I should've written it down because I cannot remember the doggone word now! I know that must sound weird. I do wonder if he saw me typing somehow or somehow knew I was thinking a lot about him last night. I do feel blessed. One of our now-grown daughters has been going through something really difficult lately, and I've asked out loud for him to be there with/for her if that's possible. Same with my mom, her grandma. You know, I feel like he's watched out for us all over the years. He was a Marine, so it just makes sense to me that he's also a warrior for God and good. That's always been in my thoughts too.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-19)
MrsRamsey - I do believe your occurrences are even more personable than my ex-wife's. Finding those specific knots on numerous occasions in different homes, knowing that you did not tie them is extremely personal. You are blessed.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-19)
Lady-glow: I had no frame of reference for electing to keep out the silverware and I did not mention it to my wife. When she got back, I had already placed everything back into the dishwasher. To be honest, I do not remember even placing the silverware into their own areas in the dishwasher (since I also had a bad habit of not loading the dishwasher properly.) I asked my wife if she had returned early without me knowing. She said no, so I let it drop and did not tell her the reason for the question.
MrsRamsay (guest)
4 years ago (2020-02-18)
What a fantastic story! Thank you for sharing, I'll remember this one for a long, long time. I do believe our loved ones leave significant messages for us. It's hard to imagine that silverware being sorted, and even more amazing when you were right there. In my own home, my late husband (who died 25 years ago at age 32) would always tie the window blind cords up into this knot that, when you pulled, would come easily out. This was designed to keep the dangerous cords up and away from our baby and toddler (at the time, there were news stories about babies accidentally getting the cords around their necks). Just months after he died, I started noticing the cords with these knots tied in them. I would straighten them out (my method was to loop them around and tuck them up into the top blind). Here I am, 25 years later and in my fourth home, and I still find my blinds tied up into those old knots. It's always when I least expect it! I am still blown away by it and I cannot imagine how they get that way. But I know it's him, probably watching out for all of us! Wish I could get him to sort my silverware though...that's a job I cannot stand!
lady-glow (16 stories) (3159 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-18)
And then...what?


This is a very touching story and I enjoyed reading it but, I have a question.

Did you put the silverware back into the dishwasher and ran a wash cycle, or did you leave the orderly placed silverware over the counter?

If the former, it would have been a shame if your wife didn't have a chance to see the message that Mary Lou had so obviously left for her; if the latter, what was your wife's reaction when she saw the cutlery?

Thanks for sharing.
silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-18)
Rajine: Thank you. These acts reflect well on my ex-wife's relatives and yes, they were extreme;y close.

Lealeigh: IT make me feel good that not all paranormal stories are scary. Mary Lou was sweet woman who would have done anything for anybody. This event was totally within her character.

Melda: My ex-wife was extremely touched by this experience. She was upset that she was not there to experience what I experienced. I never actually "saw" anything. I just felt the presence before I went into the kitchen.

Tweed: Your comment focuses on something that I did not consider: Love. I cannot say that I disagree with you and it certainly causes me to look at this event with a newer perception.
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-18)
Far out!

Often times on this site there's discussion over how ghosts acquire skills to interact with us. The ways some ghosts seem able, or confident, with moving stuff, while others stick to noises etc. Or the possibility of practice makes perfect. Then there are those with a natural talent for everything.

Silverthane, I think these remarkable feats you witnessed were made possible by one ingredient: LOVE!
It's obvious this aunt really loves your wife.
Thanks for sharing.
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-17)
silverthane - Now this is the type of story which bolsters my belief that love and bonding amongst us does not begin and end on earth.

You are fortunate to have had such a meaningful experience.

Regards, Melda
Lealeigh (5 stories) (512 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-17)
I am with Rajine. What an uplifting story. I am sorry for your wife's loss but I believe that she was checking in before she left. She knew that the dishwasher would catch someone's attention.

- Maria
Rajine (14 stories) (811 posts)
4 years ago (2020-02-17)
Really touching story about your late aunt giving you a sign, I do believe that family and friends who have passed on are always around, watching and guiding us with an unseen hand, and your story about your aunt is proof that they are around giving us signs to say they are still here looking over us.

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: