Monday, May 26, 2008


Many years ago, my paternal Grandma awoke with a start in the middle of the night. Something—she’ll tell you it was God—told her get down on your knees and pray for Wes. She climbed out of bed and did what she was told. For many hours, she prayed for her son without knowing why. Wes called from the hospital the next morning to tell her his appendix had burst in the middle of the night.

Many years later, my cousin Shauna traveled from Kentucky to Oregon to visit my Grandma. When it came time for Shauna to leave, she told her father, "I just can't get on that flight." Shauna postponed it, rerouting through a different city. The plane—the one Shauna was originally scheduled to be on—went down in a cornfield in the mid-west.

Around that same time, my maternal Grandmother went to the nursing home to break the news to my Great-Grandmother, Nonnie that my mother had died. But before Grandmother could say a word, Nonnie told her, “I know. I know.” Nonnie said she had a vision of my mother rising up and being received into the arms of Nonnie’s husband, who had died 6 years earlier.

I have visions, too. Premonitions. A sense of knowing. I guess it runs in the family. It’s nothing lucrative or transactional, like the ability to predict the stock market or winning lottery numbers. It’s more akin to a leaky faucet than a fire hose, coming and going at random intervals. It’s always intertwined with human relationships, powered by love, faith, and common sense.

Eleanor was nine months old in 2002, when we temporarily misplaced her. We were vacationing for a weekend with a group of friends in a big, old Victorian house. After playing a board game, I went to check on Eleanor, who’d been playing at Tobin’s feet in the next room. “Where’s Eleanor?” I asked when I didn’t see her on the floor. “I thought you had her,” Tobin replied. As if snapping a photograph, a single image flashed in my mind: the sweeping wooden staircase with its multiple landings. I ran to the stairs and took them in twos. I found Eleanor, who could crawl and not walk, who could climb up stairs but not negotiate her way back down, sitting at the top. Facing forward, she dangled her legs over the top stair. She hummed happily and rocked back and forth as she contemplated her next move.

Nine months later, I was making dinner in the kitchen while 18-month-old Eleanor played in her room. Chopping an onion, my knife poised mid-air, I became certain that Eleanor had thrown up onto the rocking chair in her room. Grabbing a towel, I padded down the hallway to her room. I found her standing wide-eyed by the chair, pointing at the pile of vomit.

All in all, I’m glad I inherited this family trait. It certainly can be useful.

My sister only got knobby knees and bony elbows.


Kendra Joy said...

Wow, I hadn't heard these stories! I had no idea the whole family was so supernatural. I don't think I got as much of the family "power" as you guys did... lucky! ;)

Amy said...

love the last line

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I only know if Zach is about to vomit if I am in the same room with him. I could use your skills -- it would save a lot of carpets and furniture.

bgirl said...

well you know i'm a HUGE believer in this my friend.

and hey...what's wrong with knobby knees! ;)

slouching mom said...


Anonymous said...

Hey, don't be knockin' my knobby knees! :)


Pate Family said...

Now you just need to hone the skill so you can know about the vomit before it happens.

Seattle Mamacita said...

I always knew you were a super mama and now this..:)

jen said...

ok, now tell me if you have any visions about a certain girl headed to the jungle.