Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guardian Angel, Episode 1

Some of you have heard me tell stories about my sister reassurring me when times were hard, saving my life once or twice, and even watching over my son. Only problem for "rational" people when hearing these stories is that - in most cases, my sister was already dead when they happened. If you've heard these stories before, or read them here several years ago (I think I posted about some of them), I'll forgive you if you decide to skip these posts. I hate reruns, too! :-)

Before my sister died, my mother and father had put down an offer on a house in my mother's hometown of Mount Sterling. It was a bigger house with a private bedroom and bath my sister could use exclusively. At that time, for a full year after a bone marrow transplant, they recommended the patient be secluded from everyone else and have a sterile, dedicated environment. So the plan was for my sister to have the master bedroom and bathroom, and the rest of us would use the other 1 1/2 baths and other bedrooms in the house. My brother and I had never been to this house and my parents never showed us pictures or described it - not out of inconsideration for my brother's and my feelings, but because they were so darn exhausted trying to be with Jodi, take care of me as I recovered from the donation procedure (very traumatic for me!) and tried to spend equal time with my brother so he didn't feel left out.

Well, as you know, Jodi never got to come home. She contracted Hepatitus C from a contaminated blood donation, her liver failed, and she died. Right after she died, we found out that - regardless of the fact that Jodi was now dead and we didn't really NEED that house - we had to go through with the move because somewhere along the way Mom and Dad signed a contract, so they had to go through with the sale.

Fast forward a couple of nights. I was feeling really down about Jodi dying, hearing over and over again my father tell me "You should have been the one who died. Jodi was the good daughter," and generally feeling it was my fault she was gone (no one had yet explained to me she died from the hepatitus, and that the bone marrow transplant was actually a success). That night, Jodi came to me in a dream, and told me it wasn't my fault, and warned me that Mom would need me to be there for her. Jodi said Mom was going to go into a depression, that Joel and I would fight all the time, but that we had to stick together. She also told me to forget what Dad said, he was a jerk and that he and Mom would be divorcing again and things in that department would get better. The strange thing during this dream was not that Jodi was having a conversation with me. That part felt perfectly normal. The strange thing was that I was trying to follow her, and she wouldn't let me. I kept begging her to let me go with her, but she said no, it wasn't my time yet. I kept chasing her around and around a house I had never seen before. It was a split level, three story house, with a strange, spooky crawl space in the lowest part of the house, and a roof that drooped really close to the ground in the back. In the dream, I kept chasing her over, around and through this house, until finally she told me her time was up and that I would have to be strong, but ultimately I would be fine.

I woke up with tears on my cheeks, and my room even smelled like her favorite perfume (Love's Baby Soft) when I woke up. But no Jodi.

I almost forgot about the dream, until moving day arrived. When we finally pulled up in front of our new house, I got chills up and down my spine. It was the house I had chased Jodi through in my dream! Every single detail was the same, from the roof pitching so low, to how big the yard was, to the spooky crawl space. And when I went upstairs, my mother didn't have to tell me which room was supposed to be mine. I could already tell. When I walked in, it smelled just like Love's Baby Soft.

Next time: My sister saves my life, six years after she died.


Jessi said...

Thank you for sharing this story. Further proof that this is not the end.

Suze said...

Jenn, you've got a knack for telling a good story!

I didn't know all this about Jodi. I just knew she had leukemia and died. I'm glad you're sharing these parts of your life story with us.

Steph said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Jenn.

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