This week, the Saturday message answers come from the question, “Did you have a premonition about your loved one’s death?” This is the second group of answers to this question. I have liked having two weeks for the same question as it allowed some survivors a chance to answer who didn’t answer last week. You will notice that there is a a different style for the introductions. This is the way that survivors and their loved ones are listed in other TAPS communication, so we are going to do the same. Did you like two weeks with the same question or would you rather have a different question every week? I am looking for your opinions as well.
Saturday, December 1st, I will be away from my computer. This happens every once in a while. The next Saturday message will be December 8th. I will still be able to read emails sent to me and respond, so please send your answers to this next question along as usual. Thank you so much and thanks to those survivors who shared premonitions with us.
From Mary T, surviving mother of David:
I had quite a few, but I never did "connect the dots" at the time they happened, I just found my premonitions puzzling. I received an email from my son, it said:" Mom, you're my shining Angel". Then, I went to a "new" beauty salon and had a new beautician, and as we talked she asked me, do you believe in Angels? I said yes, surprised at her sudden question. She said, I see them all around you, when you came into the salon. I cannot tell you how I felt afterwards -- scared and nervous and had to have a family member come and pick me up, I couldn't drive home.
A few weeks before his passing, this question would "pop" into my head: I wonder how Mary felt when her son, Jesus died. I couldn't understand why this question would pop into my head at any given time. It is hard to believe these things happened to me. I don't understand; I guess I never will. As I looked at the Afghanistan map a year later, I noticed that the place where our son was KIA had a neighboring town named "Mary". I find that so strange, he died close to a town named Mary, just like my name.... as I saw that in the map, I got chills and wondered if he knew, too.
From Mary O, surviving mother of Tim:
Three months before he died he told me he was working on getting me two Russian blue kittens to keep me company. I begged Tim not to spend a small fortune on cats, but he said to me, “No, mom, I don't think I'll be around much longer and I want you to have these cats”. He was so wise and prescient - he could read minds as a small child and had exceptional psychic gifts. I believe these cats channel his spirit and I sense he is always with me through my cats.
From Jody, surviving mother of Curt:
I did have a premonition about Curt before he passed. I didn't think about losing him, but I felt that something "not good" was about to happen. One evening after chatting with him on the phone, the words that he said to me really worried me. I have heard that when someone is considering take their life, when that final decision is made, they become at peace with their decision. Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't try to tell me that he felt like he had lived his life and was ready "to go”. I have sometimes felt like I have a 6th sense and when I feel something in my gut, it's usually right . . . even after talking with Curt about what he had said, he assured me that he was fine and not to worry..... he was 29 and I knew I couldn't hold his hand forever.
From Deb, surviving mother of Beth:
I always shed tears each time Beth had to leave or we had to leave her. But the last time was different. It was New Year’s Day 2006. I was scheduled to read at church for the service at 9am. Beth walked me to church. When we reached the vestibule of the church, Beth said her good-byes to the others serving and she hugged Father Joe. When she came to kiss me and hug me, I didn't want to let go. She tried pulling away, but I wouldn't let her go. I cried hysterically. She kept saying, "Mom, we'll see each other in 6 weeks. You are coming down to Pensacola for my winging." I kept saying "Yes, but I can't let you go. I don't want you to go." Finally she was able to move from me. I cried throughout mass; I wasn't able to do the readings. I just couldn't get past it. Nine days later we had the knock at the door. Did I know? Not consciously but I have never been that hysterical before.
From Jeanne, surviving mother of Todd:
All of the men in my life have been put in harm’s way either while serving in the Military, or in the State Department. All served in Iraq and other dangerous assignments. Never did I feel the uneasiness that I felt when my son, Todd was preparing for his assignment to Afghanistan. It was a constant in my life. The week before Todd was killed I was standing in the kitchen and turned to see my Uncle Pete. He was there in his uniform. My Uncle Pete was an Army 1st LT, killed in WWII. The day before Todd was killed, I saw Uncle Pete again. He was in his uniform, smiling. When the notifying Officer came to the door on September 9, 2010, not only did Todd’s entire life flash through my mind, but the face of my Uncle as well. I know my Uncle was there welcoming Todd to his new world. A year later I built up the courage to paint that moment on canvas.
From Cathy, surviving mother of Jacob:
Jacob and some friends had been on a motorcycle ride in the mountains of Virginia and he was involved in an accident at 6 pm and passed away instantly. We have two military sons but when the notification came, thoughts of Jacob swept through my heart before they said where the notification was coming from.
From Alison, surviving mother of Jimmy:
This was my son's 4th infantry deployment. Previously he never talked about dying but this deployment was different. I felt it as soon as he told us his unit was leaving for Afghanistan, even thought it was 6 months away. The day before he left he told me what he wanted done if he didn't come back. So many things happening to him pointed to his death. What does a parent say to her child when he says he is not ever coming home again? My mind just screamed. When he boarded the bus I looked at his dad and his sister, they had the same stricken look on their faces....they said they knew they would never see him again. We all knew. Two months later when a grey van was pulling into our driveway I knew what it was before I saw the Marines inside.
From Sue, surviving mother of Marcus:
Marcus called to say he'd signed his enlistment papers and would be leaving for basic training on his 23rd birthday. I had one friend through Marcus's 3 years in the service that I shared my fear that he wasn't coming home one day. About a month before he was killed he put a heading on his "MySpace" page saying, "I did what I came here to do - I sent someone home". I literally had ice run through my veins, thinking where do you go from here? April, 2008 he starting taking pictures of himself, something he had not often done before. One picture taken the day before he was killed is especially poignant; it looks as though you see through to his soul from his eyes. April 27th he called his wife and then briefly spoke with me telling me to tell everyone he loved them. On April 28, 2008 I had my answer to where you go from here. The Lord had rewarded him for a job well done and a life well lived and taken him home.
Question for December 8th: Share a special holiday memory of your loved one.