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Kicking It – Do you believe?

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

It’s hard to recall when it started, but now that I think about it, this has been going on for more than three decades. Sometimes it’s so vague, I forget to even think about it, believing instead that my coordination is slipping. But, not really. It’s him.

I have never believed in ghosts, ghouls, spirits, or things that “go bump in the night.” Yet, there is a certain energy in my aura, I know this sounds hokey, I can’t believe I am saying it out loud.

But, the fact of the matter is, after returning from a visit to a remote Alaskan village, I must acknowledge there is an energy that follows me around.

Not quite a halo, understand, but some kind of energy field is always around me. Over the years, this mysterious vibe has amplified allowing for more multifaceted activities.

I know this sounds crazy – but– in the past, we, my girlfriend and I, would ask Bert, her deceased husband, to find us an up-close parking spot It happened so frequently, we were convinced Bert was the key to finding us the best up-close spot near the mall entrance. Naturally, we expected him to get us a space each time we went out.

It wasn’t until after Sharmayne died, I understood that I didn’t need Bert any longer, I had my own parking guru. All I do is say out loud, “Darling, find me a parking space please” and more often than not, I get one.

It isn’t a perfect system though. From time to time, my designated-vacated space is overtaken by another car. I know. It just seems rude. And yet, not once has that lucky driver ever acknowledged me after sliding into my spot.

Over the years these paranormal activities continue to become more complex. In the early days, I’d have something knocked out of my hand or a pencil would roll to the floor just out of my grasp.

Now, it happens too frequently to ignore. You know when you pick something up and something else drops? Like keys and sunglasses intermittently? I’ll pick one of them up, only to have the other knocked from my hand. And that’s when I know some somebody is having a chuckle at my expense.

As it happens, twice I’ve been protected from a collision. Once, while tooling though town adjusting the volume on the car radio only to look up in time to brake before ramming into another car. The other time, a driver turned right in front of me when I was woolgathering. But both times, I felt a tug alerting me to look up in the nick of time to brake and avoid a crash. It was odd because both times I looked up at exactly the right instant to brake.

For no particular reason, kinda like – just because – thinking what can it hurt, I always ask for a safe journey whether on the road or each time I board an airliner.

Here’s another thing. As recently as a few weeks ago, I discovered I was not the only one subjected to the antics of my special nimbus.

My daughter is troubled as well. While recently sitting at her kitchen table, in a remote Alaskan village, I watched her open a storage container, remove the lid, take out some almonds and before she could replace the lid, it (the lid) had disappeared. The lid vanished.

That’s when we both said, “Michael, give it back.” Her brother Michael died in a one-man car crash on Friday, April 5, 1997, five years to the date after my friend’s husband Bert died of a heart attack.

Now you must know, my daughter and I believe whole-heartedly that Michael is our prankster. It just makes sense. Even in the afterlife, Michael is still having fun at our expense.

The thing is, he has always been full of mischief. I refrain from saying he is full of the “devil” because he isn’t mean in any sense of the word. He’s just playing with us. Even though he can be a nuisance.

As it stands for now, not only is his sister's storage container lid still missing, but his (Michael’s) daughter has been messed with too. When Michael died, he left a 3-year-old daughter. Now, twenty-five years later, this wonderful young woman is the new mother of twin boys.

Weeks before their arrival, she called to give me an update. Catching up on family gossip, I shared with her tales of her father’s after-life antics performed in Alaska.

She then told me how she’d been housebound for three days because her keyring with car and house keys was lost. She’d looked high and low. But wasn’t having any luck.

That’s when I told her to say, “Dad, give me back my keys.”

She said it out loud and in her very next breath, she shouted, “I found them!”

Even though she had searched and searched for days, ripping up sofa cushions, looking in between the car seats, up, down and all throughout her house, they were discovered right next to her hand.

Since we are Catholic, we believe he, Michael, should be spending his time in purgatory completing good deeds. Once this is accomplished, he can ascend into heaven.

No. Not him. Instead, he is just being Michael. He’d rather hang around and mess with us.

At this rate, Michael will remain in purgatory throughout eternity. Or at least, until I get there. But then, again, maybe that was his plan all along.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].


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