Going Back ....Part 2
at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you.
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I'm sitting in my Toronto townhouse telling Kate Eaton that I just relived a moment with my dead wife.
Cat and I have been friends for years and I confided in her because I know she won't think me mad.
“Are you sure you didn’t doze off and dream?” she asks, looking concerned.
I hand her a glass of Yellow tail and sit down beside her on the couch.
I shake my head. “It came on me suddenly—frankly, I thought I was having an aneurysm—and then, there she was and I was reliving that day at Holmes Beach—one of my happiest memories.”
Her eyes brighten. “Then maybe it was serendipity—you know, one of those once in a lifetime occurrences that are magical but impossible to fathom.”
“Maybe,” I concede, but still continue to frown. I’m struggling to wrap my mind around something that may turn out to be a never-to-be repeated event.
“Do you think Carrie was trying to reach out and comfort you?” Cat asks suddenly.
My heart leaps at the suggestion—it was a notion in back of my mind I was hesitant to voice—partly because of reticence, but mostly because it was a sacred moment, and vocalizing it might somehow diminish its wonder.
I ponder how to answer as I stare into the fire thinking of that last kiss.
“You know, Cat, if Carrie somehow gave me this one last moment, I want to savor it the rest of my life.”
She leans over and hugs me. “You are very special Daniel Gregg—you’re one of the sweetest, most romantic men I know—and if anyone is entitled to a magical moment it’s you.”
Cat’s encouragement helps me deal with the aftermath of my experience and it consoles me to know she doesn’t think me delusional.
But the more I think about the incident of reliving the past I begin to doubt Carrie had anything at all to do with it. She seemed as helplessly caught up in the moment as I was.
Since people just don’t spontaneously relive events, there has to be some other explanation.
But if Carrie didn’t cause it, what did? Could it have been triggered by one of those anomalies the neurosurgeon detected in his tests? It’s a possibility—and then a thought hits me:
What if such a beautiful experience turns out to be simply the result of a blood clot in my brain?
I resolve to have an answer and the only way is to try to repeat the very steps that enabled me to travel back and be with her.
It doesn’t feel ghoulish or morbid to want to relive moments with Carrie. I’m not attempting to hold a séance—I just want to access my own lived experiences.
I get out the photo albums, but this time, choose our trip to BC. I find Carrie’s journal entries from our ski weekend at Whistler and also retrieve her ski jacket.
Once again I spent an hour perusing the photos, and then read her journal entries. As soon as I hold her ski jacket, the same sensations occur as before—the same blinding flash, the momentary blackout and then, awakening in another place surrounded by familiar sights and sounds—and Carrie’s voice.
“It’s so magical here, Daniel—high in the mountains, in a winter fairy land.”
The joy on her face is childlike and innocent. We’re standing in the Whistler village with huge fluffy snowflakes falling about us. I kiss her slowly, savoring the moment, and the world creeps away, leaving only my image reflected in her eyes.
We have a romantic dinner in a local steakhouse and walk the streets peering in windows and marveling at the mountain peaks towering above us.
And just as we’re about to go up on a ski lift, everything goes dark and when I open my eyes I’m back in Toronto, in my fire-lit front room.
It's beautiful and magical but I know in my heart it's not normal.
What the hell is going on?