Mother's Death Bed Prophecies
It could not simply have been that she knew all her children so well that she could see their futures clearly, because fate would always have intervened, but getting so much of it on the button suggests paranormal abilities we can only guess at
Mother's Death Bed Prophecies
How does anyone begin to tell the story of an experience that stays with you for life, etched forever in your memory by the circumstances in which it arose, never to be forgotten. It was mid April, 1968, and our house was awash with both anticipation and sorrow. On the one hand, all fervent fans of Manchester United football club, the family was eagerly anticipating the European Cup semi-final match to be screened live on television on the 22nd of the month.
On the other hand, however, there was real concern, because poor old mum was laid up in her bed, poorly with a severe attack of Bronchitis, her weak lungs having always been a worry to her, hardly helped by her being under five feet tall, weighing sixteen stone and having given birth to six children in just eleven years, not having her first until she was 29 years old.
We were all used to her not being in the best of health, but she hated being fussed over and wanted us to carry on with our lives while she recuperated. All the same, there was an atmosphere of dread about the house on this particular day, the 15th, and when I got home from work, my Dad pulled to me to one side. He told me quietly that Mum had insisted on seeing me as soon as I got home, as she had things to say, so I headed up the stairs, puzzled and frightened all at once.
As I saw her laid there, I felt a rush of sympathy, because her normally ruddy face was pale and wan, her eyes much less lively than I was used to. She beckoned me over and I sat down on the bed beside her, taking her hand in mine. She told me, putting a finger to my lips to still my protestations, that she had only a week to live, and that she was determined to tell each of her children what their futures held, before she passed away.
If this seems odd, you should know that my mother had what is today referred to as the gift of second sight. So strongly bonded was she, mentally to each of her six children, that she knew - however far away they were - the moment they got hurt and what the injuries were. I had myself several times been dispatched by her to the aid of siblings in parks, etc., every time finding that they had hurt themselves exactly as she had described.
I cannot begin to explain how this worked, but as long as I knew her this gift was unerring, so when she said that she would describe my future for me, I paid attention. Believe it or not, the vast majority of what she prophesied for my future and those of all my siblings really did come to pass just as she had foretold. At 18, she was telling me that I would be travelling the world for years, not marry before my mid thirties, have two children, three wives and establish myself as a writer le=ater in life.
All of this came to pass for me, as did her predictions for her other children. My 11 year old youngest sister was told she would have a baby she would never see, as well as being given the news that none of her loves in life would be male! This came to pass, as a drunken rape at a party led to a baby spirited away by foster carers at birth, the only time she was ever sexually involved with a man, as she is a committed lesbian.
What she said for everyone else was equally, uncannily accurate, and there was a finality to her words that oddly enough were not tinged with sadness, but rather a sense of her being relieved that the continuous struggle would finally be drawing to a close. Naturally I did not want to believe a word of it, convinced that she would be getting better as she always had in the past, so despite my sense of quiet unease, I tried to dismiss the incident as a temporary mental breakdown on her part.
All the others, three sisters and two brothers had their sessions with her, and the things she told us all became a hotbed of discussion for several days, though our father refused point blank to tell us what she had said to him. We all knew well the prodigious ability our Mum had to be right about things, but this time we all wanted so badly for her to have got it wrong.
Days passed, and over the weekend she brightened up a great deal, becoming much more lively and chatty, so as the day of the big match dawned, she was as hopeful of a victory for our beloved Manchester United as the rest of us. It was April 22nd, kick-off 19.45, and we all glued to the small screen. I had promised Mum I would take her a cup of tea at half-time, but was so engrossed that I forgot.
As the final whistle blew, our team having won, I leapt to my feet joyfully, dashed into the kitchen to pour that overdue brew, then dashed upstairs to shout the good news to Mum. As I burst through the door, my joyous shout died on my lips. Her sightless eyes, still wide open, gazed at me accusingly, I thought, her legs bent unnaturally because of the rigours of the heart-attack that had taken her life.
Eyes misted with tears, and in some sort of robotic daze, I closed those accusing eyes and straightened out the legs, making her appear peaceful and respectable before going down to tell my father and the others. My grief was a tangible, powerful force, guilt and shame coursing through me with the thought that a half-time visit might have changed things, feelings that were to stay with me forever.
To this day, I have no explanation for the extraordinarily accurate predictions she made, her death-bed prophecies as close to actuality as could have been. It could not simply have been that she knew all her children so well that she could see their futures clearly, because fate would always have intervened, but getting so much of it on the button suggests paranormal abilities we can only guess at. She was, at heart a gypsy woman, fiercely loving and protective, and it was a real privilege to have had her as a mum. I miss her still.