1/31/2018

Two Hours With My Deceased Mother









Today we are pleased to present Brock Leyman as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic. He was born in Oregon and lives there now. Brock is a 55-year-old, retired flight engineer with a major airline operating within the U.S.A.  Brock comes from a long line of airline industry employees.  His father was a Captain for 24 years with Delta, he has a brother who is currently a first officer with a major airline, two sisters were stewardesses.  He has several cousins who are mechanics or engineers with airline companies as well.  His wife Charlotte is a retired stewardess.  Brock and Charlotte are the parents of two sons.  Both sons, ironically enough, are not employed in the airline industry.   Both sons are employed by the federal government in non-aviation capacities. In his spare time, Brock loves to fly his Cessna as a private pilot to business executives in Oregon.  Both he and his wife are involved in various charities in their community.


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+++  Before I begin my story, I am aware of the similarities of my story to the movie A.I. by Steven Spielberg.  I'm also aware of the great skepticism that will be received of this story.  If I was in the shoes of the reader, I would be greatly skeptical also.  Some will say this was the mind playing tricks on someone who was in deep financial difficulties.  I get that, I really do.  But, I know my mind wasn't playing tricks on me.  You'll see why as the story unfolds--Brock Leyman

***

December 29, 2005, will go down as one of the most painful, if not the most painful events of my life.  My beloved mother, who was in perfect health at age 65, was killed in a hit and run accident at the nearby mall as she was returning a Christmas gift that was defective (toaster-oven).  It was a gift from my wife.  My wife dearly loved her mother-in-law.  So, she was saddled with misplaced guilt then and even now.  Charlotte (my wife) was inconsolable. The driver was never caught.  But, he did pay for his crime as you will also found out later.  Our entire family was beyond grief.  My mother was a rock for us all as our father had skipped out on us when I was all of eight years old.  He came back around 12 years later.  My mother forgave him.  I was never able to do that.  We found out the reason he came back after so many years was that he had terminal cancer.   I should have forgiven him as my mother correctly scolded me.  "He skipped out on me also, Brocky.  If I can forgive him, why can't you?" my mother asked.  I had no answer to that, honestly.  My mother's funeral was surreal.  It's hard to accept someone as being dead that you have known all your life.  Mother was someone that if you knew her, you just fell in love with her.  She was always concerned about me,  my two sisters and brother.  I guess what hurt the most was that none of us had the chance to say goodbye to her.  Doctors say she was killed on impact.

Life went on.  Our grief subsided somewhat.  But, the heartache was always there tucked away in the deepest recesses of our collective hearts.  My youngest sister, Liz, had to have counseling to cope with her grief.  My oldest sister, Lydia (my senior by 2 years), had to take medication for depression as I did for approximately 3 years after our mother's death.  My other brother, Carl, refused to discuss our mother's death.  It seemed Carl had a tougher time dealing with her death than any of us as he had to take 6 months leave from his job as First-Officer with an airline.  His grief was so much, he didn't trust himself in the cockpit.  But, by 2008 most of us were able to function and accept what life had dished out to us.

In 2010, I suffered a financial catastrophe (terribly bad investment) that put both my wife and me in bankruptcy.  It put a terrible strain on our marriage and, for the first time in our lives, we both discussed the unthinkable (at least for us); divorce.  I had talked Charlotte into going along with this "sure-fire investment" that turned out to be nothing more than a "bait and switch" scam.  I was humiliated, embarrassed and disgusted with myself.  How could I have been so stupid?  There is nothing anyone could say to me that I had not already said to myself.  I took every flight that I was allowed under FAA rules and regulations.  But, it wasn't enough for us to keep our home.  We filed for bankruptcy and sold our home.  Charlotte and I moved in with my sister Liz.  We were going to try to move into an apartment.  But, Liz has this guest house that is attached to her huge home by a brick corridor.  The guest house has all the amenities of a really nice apartment.  All we had to do was pay our share of utilities.  So, I thought I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was completely wrong.   Two weeks after we moved into my sister's guest house, Charlotte informed me she had decided to move in with her own sister.  She was also was going to consult with a lawyer for a formal separation.  I was devastated.  No amount of pleading did any good.  Charlotte said she needed to think about her future with me.  She couldn't do that living with me in my sister's guest house.  There wasn't much I could say about her leaving.  She lost a lot of money on that investment after I assured her it was a "slam dunk."   She loved me.  But, she needed space to think.  After she left, I fell into a very deep, dark place.  Saying I was depressed would not be accurate.  It was far more than that.

It was a Saturday night.  I had been drinking most of the day with friends I had invited over.  They all tried to assure me that my financial situation would improve, that Charlotte would come to her senses and take me back.  I was not nearly as confident as my closest friends were that particular Saturday.  My best friend in the world, Larry, came to me as the others were leaving.  "Brock, outside of me of course (with a smirk on his face), who do you trust most in the world?" Larry asked.  "That would be Charlotte.  But, she's not in a talking mood for obvious reasons," I said.  "But, outside of Charlotte, if you had a choice, who would you talk to about your problems, who would help you the most in all the world?" as Larry continued to press me.  I couldn't figure out where he was going with this line of questioning.  "Larry, the only person outside of you, of course, and Charlotte, that I would completely trust and respect with my problems would be my beloved mother.  Okay?  But, she's dead, Larry, in case you haven't noticed!" I answered a bit too loudly as I was becoming more and more irate with my best friend.  What was he trying to get to with all this, I thought.   Larry then said something that made me go toward him in anger.  "Then talk to her, Brock.  Talk to her," Larry just matter of factly said to me.  I started toward him and he stopped me.  I was in enough trouble without having my best friend angry with me for punching him.  "Is this your idea of a joke, Larry?  Trying to mock my dead mother?  Are you purposely trying to provoke me into knocking the hell out of you!?!?" I screamed.  "I absolutely meant no disrespect, Brock!  You know I loved your mom.  She was like a second mother to me.  What I meant is talk to her as if she is there with you in your room sometime.  Talk to your mother like she is there in the flesh...and you may be surprised by what happens.  I know this simple advice helped me when I was recovering from that motorcycle accident six years back. I thought I would never walk again, remember? I may explain more on that another time. It's just a thought, Brock.  We'll talk tomorrow, old friend," said Brock.

I just decided Larry had too much to drink as we all had that Saturday.  Talk to my mom?  I wished I could, oh, how I wished I could talk to her, to let her know how things are going with me and the rest of her children.  There is so much I would love to talk to her about.  But, why beat myself over the head with this?  And Larry's strange advice in the first place, what the hell was he getting at?  Larry did have a terrible motorcycle accident six years back and almost never walked again.  His mom did die about three or four months prior to that accident, I mused.  This is insane, I decided.  I went into the bathroom, took a long, hot shower.  After I got out of the shower, my cell was blinking.  I had a call.  I went to voicemail and heard my message.  You know that old saying when it rains it pours?  That was the case as I listened to my supervisor explain I was being laid off due to technology.  Flight Engineers were dinosaurs in the airline industry.  We were being replaced all over the industry.  I knew it was coming eventually.  But, not now, not during a time of such heartache and turmoil in my life.  He apologized for calling so late and on a weekend.  But, he wanted me to know right away.  I was eligible to take free courses to become a First Officer.  But, I never wanted to fly those behemoths.  I was only qualified to fly certain planes but only then in extreme emergencies.  I wasn't qualified to be a pilot...period.  I didn't know what I was going to do.  I just didn't have a clue.  I sat down on my bed and cried.  I was at my wit's end.  I didn't know which way to turn now.  I was thinking maybe if I just left and lived the life of a homeless man, no one would even care.  I started to call my brother, Carl, who was a First Officer on Northwest Airlines.  But, I decided against it.  Carl was pulling some long hours and I was afraid I might wake him from his sleep time.

I then started thinking about what Larry had said....speak to your mother as if she was there in the room with you.  In the first place, why would Larry give such insane and absurd advice?  Speak to the dead?  I was not a person who held much belief in the supernatural (although I had seen some supernatural events during my time in the cockpit).  I kept crying and then finally...."Mama...Mama....can you hear me?  I need you, Mama.  I don't know what to do.  Please talk to me.  Tell me what to do...please Mama," I quietly cried.  I probably pleaded for my deceased mother to speak to me for five, maybe ten minutes.  I then just gave up.  With sleep overwhelming me, I did something I had not done since I was probably eight or nine years old.  I prayed.  I don't remember the exact prayer.  But, I do remember asking the Lord for a few hours with my mother, just a couple of hours would do, I prayed.  I felt foolish afterward.  God was too busy for such nonsense, I considered.  I had been agnostic, leaning toward belief in the past few months.  I guess it's true, there are no atheists in foxholes.  I was definitely in a foxhole.

I guess I had fallen to sleep for about an hour, or an hour and a half as I looked at my digital clock when I thought I heard something in my room.  It was like someone was trying to clear their throat very quietly.  I immediately sat up.  I looked around the dark room to see nothing out of the ordinary.  But, I could sense something was in the room with me.  Thinking I had been dreaming, I laid back down.  But, I just knew I had...."Brocky....it's me, sweetheart."  Only one person ever called me "Brocky."  This time, I jumped out of the bed.  Looking around the room, I saw nothing.  I saw nothing until I saw a silhouette in the moonlit room in the corner next to the closet.  "Mama? MAMA?!?" I incredulously asked.  I was beyond astonished.  "You were expecting someone else, Brocky?"  It was no doubt about it now.  The sarcasm sealed the deal.  That was my mother, the woman who raised me from the time I was an infant.  The woman who nursed me back to good health from so many colds and toothaches.  "Mama...this...this is impossible!" I exclaimed to her.  The silhouette now moved toward me and into better lighting.  It was my beloved mother wearing a light-colored robe.  It was the same pale blue eyes, the same dimple in her left cheek, the cropped black hair she had for eternity.  She walked closer to me and to within 5 feet when she stopped.  "Nothing is impossible if you only have faith, Brocky.  Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.  I know I said that more than once to you," my mother quietly said to me.  I rushed to her to embrace her.  I cried like never before and I never will again.  MAMA!  I felt her flesh.  She was warm, not cold like I had expected.  Her eyes sparkled, but with no tears.  "We only have the couple of hours you asked for, Brocky.  I know of your problems, sweetheart.  I know," she said with concern and love.  "Mama, how can this be?  How...how...I don't know what to say.  Am I dreaming? If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up!" I said loudly.  "It's not a dream, you are not hallucinating.  It's me, your mother, in the flesh.  You asked for me.  I'm here.  But, in some ways, I've always been here with you and your sisters and brother.  You just couldn't see me, Brocky" she said.

I continued to stare at my mother in absolute astonishment.  "It's not important as to how I am here, Brocky.  What's important is that I am here.  I have words to say to you and not much time to say them.  Sit down and let's talk.  I know this is more than you can comprehend.  I wish I could explain it to you.  But, I am not allowed to do that.  Please understand, my love," Mama explained.  I was crying uncontrollably now.  "Now, now, now, my little boy.  Just like you did as a child when you did something wrong, you cry those big crocodile tears that always endeared me to you  I'm here.  I'm here for you, my son.  Tell me all that has gone on in your words.  I already know what has happened to you.  But, I need to hear it from your mouth," Mama continued.  It took me another 5 minutes.  But, I was able to compose myself enough to go over all that has taken place with Charlotte, my bad investment and losing my job just that night.  I explained how I felt hopeless, beyond embarrassed by the investment that cost me so much.  I couldn't stop staring at her.  I reached over and hugged her, kissed her.  She was holding my chin like she did when she was about to scold me.  "You know I love you, Brocky.  I always will.  But, I did not raise you to be a quitter, a crybaby and a forlorn figure that you have become.  Now, there are some things I can not tell you.  But, I can tell you that Charlotte is hurt very bad.  You already knew that.  But, at this very moment, she is considering coming back here to live with you at Liz's house.  And, before you say it, I can't see Liz, as much as I would love to.  You will recover.  Your unemployment will be short-lived.  And you will receive an offer that you have always wanted.  You will accept it and retire in that position with another airline.  Now, stop fretting so and get on with your life.  I can guarantee you that you have no idea when your life will end.  Now, straighten yourself up and hug me again.  I don't have much time left," she said.  I could tell the sparkle in her eyes was beginning to fade.  She seemed to be wheezing just ever so slightly as she continued to talk to me and ask questions.  We talked about the aftermath of her death.  We discussed how hard we took her death.  Of course, Mama wanted to know all about her "grandbabies" and how they were doing.  I saw by my clock we had been talking for just over 90 minutes.

"There's not much time left, Brocky," Mama said as she seemed to be gasping more for breath.  "Don't worry about me.  I didn't come from the grave and I'm not going back to the grave.  I'm going back to a beautiful place where there is no worry, no sickness, no heartache and none of the worldly things that make the living world one which I would not miss if not for my babies and grandbabies.  But, you do not need to worry about your situation, my love.  It will all work out.  Things will improve.  I can't explain why you were granted time to me during your time of need when so many others are ignored.  But, know this...there are others who see their mothers, fathers, siblings, and so on to discuss things.  It has happened for centuries, Brocky.  It will continue to happen.  But, you will never see me again.  Not in this world.  That is all I can say to you about that, sweetheart," said my Mama as I started crying again.  "Mama...let me go with you.  Please.  I miss you so much.  My life has been so empty, so meaningless without you.  I love Charlotte.  But, I can't..."  "You hush talking like that, Brock Robert Leyman!  I will not hear of such a thing.  Of course, you can't go with me.  Your time has not yet arrived.  Stop thinking of yourself and think of those who still need you, such as Charlotte and those two sons of yours," she said.  I looked at her and was still in amazement.  But, she was slowly getting drowsy as I continued to speak to her.  "Mama....do you know who it was that hit you?  The police have never been able to find him," I said to my mother.  At first, there was no response.  As my mother seemed to be slowly going to sleep.  "He died falling off a scaffolding.  He was a construction worker.  The man is paying for his mistake for eternity, Brocky," Mama said.  I reached out to my mother....she was cool to the touch.  Her time was all but gone now.  I couldn't let go.  "Mama!  Mama, please don't go, please stay a while longer," I pleaded through hot tears.  "It's time for me to go, sweetheart.  I will always be with you.  I will always love you and your..."  And she slowly disappeared into nothingness.

I know how this all sounds to the reader.  It was not a ghost or some apparition.  It was not my imagination or a hallucination.  How do I know this?  I have the faith of a mustard seed it was my mother.  Everything Mama said came true.  Charlotte and I did get back together.  Our marriage is now stronger than it's ever been.  I got a job as an instructor at another major airline and with better pay.  Life worked itself out just as Mama said it would.  My financial situation has never been better.  The only investment I make now is in spending more time with Charlotte and our grandchildren.  We are one big happy family now.  And you know what?  I know, even now, my mother is right there with us as we eat Sunday dinner like she used to.  My oldest son, Josh, his wife and two little girls (8 years and 5 years old) were eating with us this one Sunday night.  Lucy, the 8-year-old, dropped her fork on the floor.  I was going to pick it up and get her a new one.  But, she insisted on doing it herself.  As she got the fork and stood back up, she reached over to hug me and kiss me on the cheek.  I asked her what that was for.  "Because you kissed me on the cheek also, Grandpa.  I'll go get another fork," she said.

I didn't kiss my little granddaughter.  But, I know who did. 

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