In the past I wrote about how my father heard voices in his bedroom, which were loud enough to awaken him. Their murmur was memorable enough for him to recount it. A week ago he said he heard the same voices again, for only the third time. He said it was as if the television or a radio was on and he overheard voices that he could not quite make out. Except no television or radio played.
He said it was not a dream. The voices in the dark awoke him. He listened intently to the murmur trying to make out words. He thought the conversation included maybe a dozen people in the distance. When he got up from his bed, the voices faded away.
A reoccurring dream? My dad is not given to flights of fancy. He is 78 years old but has all his mental facilities. In fact he still works part time as an engineering consultant. On the outside chance this was not merely a waking dream, what could be happening?
The previous owner of his home died in the same bedroom he uses today. Who knows what might have occurred in the past of the previous owner. Scarier is the idea he knew those talking but they are no longer among us. In near-death experiences people describe going through a tunnel of light and are greeted by those we knew who passed away. On the other side our dead relatives and friends greet us.
My dad, being up there in years, just might have had an audible encounter with this other side. I don’t like to contemplate this. It suggests his time may be running short. Then again, all our time is running short. He recently had a serious bout with pneumonia and was in the hospital for a few days. His doctor told him had he not gone to the hospital when he did, he might not have survived.
Instead of fearing what the future might hold, we should live for today. Nobody knows how long we may have. My father grew up in as a child in Nazi Germany during WWII and saw death first-hand from many corners. He saw cities firebombed by the Allies. He was on a night train heading for German city when the air sirens sounded. The train stopped and turned off its lights so the bombers would not detect it. The city ahead was shortly bombed into rubble. Only minutes, by happenstance, prevented him from being in the center of that city.
There were many instances where my father’s family should not have survived the war. Yet they did and after the war they immigrated to America. Was there a reason for his survival? Dad doesn’t see any. He says he was just lucky. However his experiences toughened him and he regards death differently then many. He does not fear death as he has always lived on borrowed time. Unlike many older folk who live in the past and enjoy reminiscing about it, he rarely talks about it. He lives for the present. I hope I will share his stoicism when the day comes when the voices he heard in the dark will become voices in the light.