Spirit of the Badge

My Fathers Ghost

My father died at the age of eighty-two. This in itself is not significant to anyone but his family. What happened four days later though, is.

I am the seventh of nine children. My father spent time with his children. In the 1950s, when most fathers came home from work, ate dinner, read the newspaper, and then watched television, my father took us swimming at the high school pools in Detroit, and every winter he built and maintained an ice-skating rink for us (and joined in on the fun), and took us camping in the summer. So, he always seemed remarkable to me. He and I developed a close relationship as the older children moved out of the house. We spent many winter nights going to the local ski areas (he started skiing at the young age of fifty). We went to the NCAA Track and Field meets and we traveled together to visit one of my siblings. Dad instilled in me the fun of spending time with others. When my father died in the early morning hours of May 29, 1997, he took a part of my heart. My father’s funeral was scheduled for a Saturday, with one last gathering of our large family the next day (Sunday). I stayed in a motel on that Saturday night, and during the night, at about 3:00 a.m., I was awakened by someone on the bed. There was my father, moving toward me from the foot of the bed. He kissed me and then disappeared. I could feel the bed give way under his weight as he moved toward me. He had died the previous Wednesday at 3:00 a.m., the exact time he appeared to tell me, once again, good-bye.


Chance favors the prepared mind.
--Louis Pasteur