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The Old Man
June 11 2009

When I was 14 years old we moved out to a farm house between Belton and Temple Texas. It was in beautiful country, about a quarter of a mile off the major thoroughfare. It was a two story house, very old. But, I loved that house. At night I would lay in my downstairs bedroom, and listen to a rocking chair upstairs. My grandmother wouldn't allow me to go upstairs and we couldn't have our bedrooms upstairs. She was afraid that because of the age of the house, that the floors might give away. The room above mine was painted blue.
One summer day a little after lunch we heard a knock on the door. My grandmother was watching her daily soaps, and I was in my room listening to records. As we met in the hallway, we saw a man standing at the front screen door. When my grandmother asked if she could help him, he responded with this.

"Yes ma'am if you wouldn't mind. You see, today is my birthday, and I was born in that room right up there." He pointed to what had become known as the blue room, which was the one above my room. "My momma used to own a rocking chair and she would sit in that chair and hold me every day and read to me from the Good Book. I know this is an intrusion, but I was wondering if you would let me visit that room just onct more. It would be nice to well, feel my momma's arms in my head and heart." My grandmother looked at me then back at the old man. "Well, I guess it would be okay. There is still a rocking chair up there, maybe it was your mothers. Where is your car?"
"Oh, I left it down by the tracks beyond the bend, I wanted to walk up the lane onct more also."

I understood what he meant by that. I loved walking up that lane from the highway. You crossed railroad tracks, and there was something to see different everyday. Walking up a lane on the way home when you are young is a memory that sticks with you forever. As my grandmother unlatched the screen, the man thanked her once again and proceeded up the stairs. We heard the creaking of the floor and the rocking of the chair, as well as the soft humming I would hear late at night as i listened to the rocking. A few minutes later, the man came back and walked to the front door, and opened the screen. He was extremely thankful to us and then turned to leave the yard. As he opened the gate he turned and once more gazed at the window to the blue room. A big ole smile crossed his face and he waved, then looked at us and waved. He unhooked the gate and relatched it as he went thru it. My grandmother looked at me and said, "well, that was certainly a surprise." As we looked toward the lane, the man was no longer in site. He was either a very fast walker or he had simply vanished into thin air. I ran outside and thru the gate to see if I could see him or his car. Neither were visible. That was the last time I ever heard the rocking or the humming.

There are so many things about this universe and world that we as humans do not understand. But in my heart and with all of my soul I will always believe that the old man had come back once more to be able to let go of an earthly memory. I believe in re-incarnation and that the Angels and entities that have crossed over still remain amongst us.

(c) A. J. Angerstein
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