The Visit

The Visit

The phone rang without thought of the time. No, the person at the other end was to blame, the phone can’t tell time. I didn’t even know who to swear at, the caller I.D view box announced, unknown caller, unknown number. If it was a telemarker at this hour he’ll/she’ll rue the day she made this connection.
“Hi darling.” A familiar voice.
“Who’s this?” My senses were sharpening, I was preparing for a shock. That voice….
“Oh, come on, you’ve got to be kidding. Surely you know your own mother!”
“Yeah, but ….”
“I don’t have much time for idle chit chat, How about I come for a visit?”
“What? How..”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
“Sure, sure…” I sputtered
“I’m not coming alone. Be there soon. Love and kisses.” The sound of a disconnect. I stared at the handpiece in my hand. I followed the cords to the wall outlet. I tapped the reset button and got the dial tone, it seemed to be in working order.

Buzzzzzz. The door bell. That didn’t take long.

Answering the door I greeted my mom, “Did you call from a cell phone?” I asked.
“A cell what? Oh, never mind, this new technology is past me. Can we come in or are you just going to block the door?”
I looked past her at five or six strangers. Well, not really strangers. They had a well known characteristic appearance.
“Mom, you’re dead!” I blurted.
“So, that’s what they told you and you believed it?”
“I saw you get buried.”
“That wasn’t me. Did you see me? How could you not know it wasn’t me?”
“What are you talking about!”
“It’s a lie honey, I’m not dead. Everyone lied to you.” Mom and her shadows walked past me to the sofa. She leaned close to my ear, “They’re not dead either, don’t tell them they are, they’ll laugh you out of town.”
“They lied? Who lied? Why did they lie?”
“I obviously didn’t die, how else can you see me. Not one of us is dead. We just moved on. The world lied. I’ve told you never to believe the world, they are all against us.”
I couldn’t sit. This was too much.
“Who are these people?”
“Get on the ball baby, you’re embarrassing me? This is my mother, and her mother and some of their brothers.”
I decided it was time to sit down… without a chair. The floor either came up to me or I went down to it. It was hard to tell.
“Where did you move to?
“Home. We were just passing through here. I want you to come see me when you run out of time.”
“Run out of time? That doesn’t make sense.”
“There you go again. I raised you proper, I did my best to raise you right. I raised you by the good book. You better come see me, it’s only fitting to be with your love ones.”

Her family( my family??) was walking around the house, touching things, like the television, oven, washer and dryer, radios, microwave and computer. They had everything operating. They were having a jolly time attempting to explain things to each other. Great granny shook her head. “Wish I’d had some of these gadgets when I was raising my parcel of brats! Oh to hear music while doing the chores. Washing and drying clothes inside, what will they think of next!”

One of the uncles was investigating the bookshelf. “Lookie here, those newcomers were right, they have a whole bunch of new bibles. The King James is all I had to preach by. How do they know these are accurate?”
“How do you know King James was accurate?”
“If it was good enough for the apostle Paul, it’s good enough for me!”
I started to speak but thought better of it. I was at a loss. To repeat a phrase from a popular movie, “I’m seeing dead people, and they don’t know they’re dead.”

Something started ringing. But what? Every thing powered by electricity was on. I sure couldn’t distinguish the more recent sound from anything. I reached up to the table beside where mom was sitting and attempted to locate the phone. My hand hit something and I pushed the off/on switch. Blinking, everyone was gone. The alarm clock read 4:30, past time to get up. I was on the floor.

“Don’t hit the snooze button again, please.” My husband groaned from his side of the bed, head under pillow. “Twice was enough.”

That accounted for the phone call and door bell. Mom’s whole visit lasted eighteen minutes, the duration of two snoozes but it was a quality eighteen minutes to see family again. She’s right, I know that wasn’t her in the casket. Just her body, she really did go home, I’m glad she has company there till I meet her again. Thank you Jesus for letting her come for a visit, if only in my dreams.

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