Friday, July 20, 2012


Reincarnation?  By D. E. Allen

The kids were up from the city for a visit, and our 4-year-old granddaughter Kelly would spend the night with us.  It would be her first sleep over, a chance for my Son and Daughter-in-law to have a whole night to themselves, and reconnect to the romance in their lives.

After dinner, 4 year-old Kelly, my wife Helene, and I gathered in the living room for a quiet evening.

“Hi sweetheart, what are you doing?”


“Oh, Mickey Mouse, looks like fun.”

“No, it’s Minnie Mouse.”

“Oh I see, a nice red polka-dot dress, that’s Minnie Mouse alright.”

Well Grandpa had already blown it with the elder female at the dinner table with a badly timed remark about the gravy, so now it looks like I’m 0 for 2 with the ladies.

I settled down into my recliner and clicked on the History channel.  I had a half hour of TV time before my darling wife, queen of the remote control, would stretch out her hand to me signaling an end to my TV viewing, and the start of her watching crime solving super team shows for the rest of the night.  You know what shows I mean.  The ones with acronyms infused in the name, S.V.U.; C. S. I.; N.C.I.S.; I jokingly call them all E.I.E.I.O. Old McDonalds Farm Bureau Investigators.

But tonight, would be a little different.  Tonight that 4 year-old little girl would change our perception of reality.

The History channel had on another rehash of 9-11 conspiracy stories.  It was mostly talk, and the usual B.S., but, yes, I should have realized that certain images inappropriate for younger viewers might be on the screen.

Then, the TV flashed those all too familiar horror filled moments, just as the plane went slicing into the second tower, and my granddaughter looked up at the TV and said, “That’s when I died.”

Talk about shock and awe.

My wife reacted first, “Honey, many OTHER people died, it was a very sad day.”

“No Grandma, we heard the noise, and smoke came and we all went into the corner, and—“

That was enough.  My wife looked at me to turn off the TV, but I beat her to the punch, the damn TV was off before her eyes met mine.

Then Grandpa spoke the kind of words that come to Grandpas at times like these.

“Hey, let’s go into town and get some ice cream!”

The rest of the evening was awkward to say the least, but we made it through OK.

The following morning, when her mom and dad came to get her, I spoke with my son about his little girl’s imagination. 

The look on my sons face revealed a far different story.

“Dad, ever since she was a newborn, the sound of a low flying jet would make her cry. We thought it was just the loud noise, but the crying was too intense, even for a baby. The doctor just said, “She’s got one heck of a good set of lungs.””

“You should also know, we lied to you and mom, her first words were not Daddy and Mommy like we told you, those came later. Her first words were “Bad plane. Bad plane.”   When we get home, she will be getting some special help, because lately she is waking up at night, saying some very… very…”

My son stopped, gathered himself for a moment, then continued, “ This past Christmas Eve, she cried out in her sleep, “Help us!” Not help me, help us, clear as day.”

“We should have warned you, we thought having her stay with you over night, out here in the country, she would be far away, she would be safe.  We forgot about Television. We should have told you.  Sorry Dad.”


Reincarnation?  For my poor little granddaughter “Reincarnation” may be the name of a long and scary road she will have to travel.  Grandma and I will do all we can to comfort her along the way.

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