Shortly before my dad died in 1967 when I was only ten my mother got a visit from her mom, my grandma who had died in 1964. For a number of nights, mom would be half awake and would see her mom come to stand in the doorway to the bedroom wearing a flowery dress with a wide brim hat on her head. Then grandma would enter the room and go over to mom. She would sit on the edge of the bed and show mom certain signs. Mom felt frightened and thought that grandma was telling her that she was going to die soon.
Years later mom and I discussed this and I realized that grandma had been showing mom the sign that someone was smoking. At that time my dad smoked a lot and she was warning mom that something was going to happen to dad. It did just a short time afterward and dad died. Somehow I think that what happened the day my dad died had a lot to do with my grandma.
It was afternoon and since I came home for lunch I had to return to school but I sure didn’t feel like going. Dad was home and not feeling too well so I wanted to stay with him but my mom decided I had to go to school. So off I went and when I returned in the afternoon I couldn’t get into our apartment. At that time we were living in an apartment building that had supers who were Latvian which is my nationality. So I knew I could stay with them until someone came home.
It was late in the afternoon when I heard the super pick up the phone and heard my mother’s voice on the other end. I don’t know what she said but I could tell that something was wrong. Grandma in spirit must have been beside me because I felt comforted and I also knew that my dad had passed on. The pastor from the Latvian church we attended came to take me upstairs. He was prepared to try to explain to a ten-year-old what had happened but he needn’t have bothered.
Grandma was beside me as I entered our apartment. Mom had friends gathered in the living room comforting her. I went straight into the bedroom and up to dad’s desk upon which were his personal belongings. It was at that time that I turned around and faced the pastor who was unsure of what to do or say. I looked him straight in the eye and asked. “Where is my dad?” It was at that moment when he fully understood that I already knew everything and that was one surprised pastor. It was then that I felt grandma’s kind stroking touch over my hair.
That is the last photo taken of my dad and mom together