Nine years ago today, my sister, Kristen, died. In following family tradition, we met for breakfast. Today is also my parents' 44th wedding anniversary, so my parents, three sisters and I met at a local, family-owned restaurant.
When I pulled into the parking lot, I looked around to see if I recognized any cars. I saw my parents' car, so I hopped out and walked toward the restaurant. I thought I heard my sisters talking, so I stopped and looked around. I didn't see anyone, so I continued walking. Then, very distinctly, I heard my sister, Kate say (in a sing-songy voice) "Laurie." (No one calls me Laurie, except family. I do not like to be called Laurie.) Again, I stopped, looked around and said (out loud), "I hear you. I just don't see you." And nothing. No sisters in sight. No other voices. I walked into the glass vestibule at the restaurant and a police officer was standing there smiling at me. (I'm hoping he didn't think I was too loony.)
I walked into the restaurant and only my parents were there. My sisters arrived five minutes later. They were not in the parking lot. They did not call my name. But I heard it. Kate's voice is similar to Kristen's voice. We all joked that Krissy was playing a game with me and said to our grandmother, "Hey, Mom-Mom, watch this ..." and then called my name.
Whatever it was, it was a tender mercy of the Lord. And it is surely something I never want to forget.