The Unexpected Gift

THE SECOND MEETING

I went to my friend Cerentha’s 50th birthday party last night and wound up having quite an interesting time. I generally have a good deal of anxiety at this kind of thing, but ever since Rob died that seems to have vanished.

There was a tarot card reader and a psychic on hand to provide the night’s entertainment. You had to write your name on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl and hope that you’d be chosen. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that that was the first thing I did, even before I grabbed a drink.

I started to mingle and chat with a bunch of old friends, people I used to work with. It was about an hour in and I was feeling no pain when Jack, Cerentha’s lovely 17-year-old son, tapped me on the shoulder and said it was my turn to see the tarot card reader. I was a little disappointed at first because I was more psyched to see the psychic, but something told me to just go with the flow.

So I went in a room that used to be a garage, sat down and we immediately did the card-reading thing. I asked about work and my relationship with Maura and she told me a few positive things about both. Some of her comments were on the vague side, but she also nailed a few specifics, and in general she struck me as an above-average party tarot card reader, especially for someone who’s also a hairdresser. Then she asked if I had any other questions about any other topics.

“Not really,” I said, “but I wonder if I could ask you about something else? My older son took his own life about four months ago. Can you tell me anything about that?”

“I don’t need the cards for that,” she said, “because I’m also a spiritual medium.” And then she closed her eyes and didn’t say anything for a bit. I waited.

“He says he’s sorry,” she finally said, “and he hates that he caused you pain, but he wants you to know that he’s no longer suffering. He doesn’t want you to feel badly about what he did. He keeps saying that he’s sorry. Not for what he did, but for the way it made you feel.

“He’s with his grandmother and she was there to meet him when he crossed over. He says he’s still working on some of the things he struggled with in life. But he doesn’t want you to worry or feel bad.

“He wants you to take care of yourself. He says that you’re very intelligent and a strong person and he doesn’t want you to get caught up in sorrow. He’s telling you to wear a red string around your wrist. Do you have a red string? It will protect you.”

“I guess I need to get some,” I said.

“He wants to help you. He wants to help protect you. He’s sorry you’re in pain and he feels what you’re doing right now will ultimately help other people,” she continued. “He says you must continue to do that work so his life will not have been in vain.”

“I write about him,” I told her.

“Yes, he says that that will help a lot of other people who have suffered similar loss and are in similar pain.

“He says that he hears you when you talk to him and he also wants you to tell his mom that he’s been to visit her a few times. Any time she’s feeling really sad about him it’s because he’s very close to her. Since he’s still transitioning to the spirit world, he hasn’t fully figured out how to make himself known but he wants her to know that he visits her often.”

“I’ll definitely tell her tomorrow,” I said.

“He says, he says, ‘I love you, Dad’…and also…oh, this is really something, he says ‘Happy Father’s Day!’”

And that’s when I knew she was really communicating with Rob. I got up, thanked her and returned to the festivities.

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that are least expected.

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