I was raised by my mom and step-father, who was, in every way, my Dad. He always referred to me as his daughter and I loved him more than anything growing up. He was part of the Sheriff’s Department based in a major city in the state we lived in. He was raised during the depression, a first generation born in the US Italian. He was one of the smartest, kindest, most gentle men I’ve ever met. In 25 years of being a police officer, he only drew his gun a handful of times, and never shot anyone. He was forced to retire in 1985 due to a heart condition and developed emphysema several years later. He had his first heart attack when I was 13, and the second when I was 19. After his second heart attack, he and I got into a discussion about death and God. He said that he believed in a higher power, but didn’t know if there was anything after death. He’d had the “light at the end of a tunnel” experience, but he wasn’t sure. He did promise me that when he died, if there was something after, he’d find a way to let us know.
When my husband and I separated, my Dad and mom had me and my kids move in with them. The girls were in my brother’s old bedroom, and I was in my childhood room, with my son. Rae was 11, Beth 9, Emmy 6 and Nicky 3 when my Dad died the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and 2 days after his and my mom’s 26th wedding anniversary. We knew that he was living on borrowed time, but his health had been fairly stable and he hadn’t had any major issues before the night he passed. It was unexpected and extremely traumatizing for our family, mom was heartbroken, and explaining to my children that their grandfather was gone was incredibly difficult and it was a not so happy holiday season for us. By February our lives were slowly finding our new normal, and adjusting to the changes.
To give some background that’s relevant to this story, my Dad only slept 4 or 5 hours a night. He was often up until 1 or 2 am, and up by 6am. Since he went to bed after the rest of us, his nightly routine before he went to bed was to “make the rounds” as we called it. He would make sure the back door to outside was locked, then the door to the back porch, which was a closed in 4 seasons type, then down the hallway, through the kitchen, then the dining room, to the front foyer, where he made sure the front door was locked and the chain was on the door. He’d then go down the hallway from the foyer to the back hall to re-check the back door, and then finish the circle through the kitchen, and dining room and up the stairs. It was a distinctive pattern and one that was so normal we didn’t pay attention to it anymore.
It’s an older house, built after WWII for returning soldiers, and footsteps can be heard on the floors below fairly well. We’d made the decision to give my oldest daughter her own bedroom, with my son and I moving down into the bedrooms in the finished basement, several weeks before my Dad died.
Both my mother and I had been having problems sleeping, and most nights at least one of us would get back up, and make some tea, hoping it’d help us sleep. One night neither of us could sleep, and about 5 minutes after I’d put the kettle on to heat, my mom came downstairs as well. I got her a tea mug, and while the tea was brewing we were talking and she mentioned that she’d heard me ‘making the rounds’ earlier and that it was nice I was keeping up my Dad’s habit. I told her that I HADN’T done it and that I’d heard it as well and thought it was HER. We were both speechless for a few moments, and then questioned whether we were so used to hearing the sounds that we simply thought we’d heard it. My mother isn’t much for anything paranormal or supernatural. She’s an Irish Catholic, and rather close-minded about a lot of things. We dropped the topic but for the next few nights I deliberately listened for the sound of footsteps, which in fact, DID happen every night.
About a week later I was unable to sleep, and was in the den, which was located off the kitchen, on the opposite side from the dining room. I’d paused the movie I was watching, and went in the kitchen to get my tea. As I went to pick up my mug, I heard what sounded like someone rattling the chain on the front door. I went to go look, without thinking, and I could see the chain moving. Then I watched as the doorknob started to jiggle slightly as if someone was turning it to test if it was locked. As I stood there stunned, I heard footsteps walk away from the door, and down the hallway on the other side of the stairs heading towards the back door. I went back into the kitchen and as I looked through the doorway at the back door, the chain on that door started to move, and then again, the doorknob. The footsteps started to come into the kitchen and then stopped.
I have seen and heard spirits since I was a small child, and it’s a gift my kids have all inherited. I didn’t see anything, but I distinctly heard my Dad’s voice say, “it’s your job now”, I could smell his Brut aftershave, and got a sudden chill. Then it was gone.
I didn’t tell my mom about it for several weeks, but when I did, she told me that she also had an experience that night. She knew I was up, and had heard the tea kettle whistle and debated coming down for some. She decided to just try and sleep, closed her book, turned off her light, and pulled the covers up when someone sat down on my Dad’s side of the bed and lay down. Mom assumed it was one of my daughters and turned to see which one wanted to sleep with her, but there was no one there.
We both agreed that this was my Dad’s way of letting us know he was still there, and watching over us. And even now, almost 20 years later, he still occasionally ‘makes the rounds’. It’s usually when my mom has been sick, or just gotten out of the hospital, but sometimes when it’s just a lot of stress in the house.
My 2 youngest daughters still live in the house with my mom, along with my 8 yr old grandson, Danny, who’s on the Autism Spectrum. On more than one occasion, Danny has been heard talking to himself, but having odd conversations. My daughter asked him one day what he was talking about, and he looked her straight in the face and told her “grandfather and I are talking about trains”. His mother was 9 when my Dad died. He’d never met him. We don’t really talk much about him except in passing and my mom doesn’t keep pictures up anymore. But Danny could describe him perfectly. He then told my daughter that grandfather told him to tell her that Morris was keeping him company. Morris was a cat we had while I was growing up, he was 24 when he passed, and my daughter was his favorite, and he had died the same year as my Dad. We knew Danny had the gift as well, but apparently, my Dad chose to only show himself to him.
Submitted by Kryssaira
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