14: Neverland

14: Neverland

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More


A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.

~Agatha Christie

I stood in the ICU in a hospital in Washington, D.C., pulling my mother’s lipstick, comb and perfume from her make-up bag. She never went anywhere without make-up. And she insisted on looking good no matter where she was.

She gestured with her hand for me to come toward her. She needed to tell me something. But she couldn’t speak. And although our handwriting was practically identical, I couldn’t decipher a single word that she wrote.

Mom had fallen and broken her neck. She was in excruciating pain. And my husband had just left another hospital, in New York, and I needed to go home and help him. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. I was torn between staying with my mom or going back to help my husband at home.

Finally, I told my mom I would be back in a few days and rushed out of the room. I refused to say goodbye, because I couldn’t imagine I would never see her again.

* * *

Soon after my mom’s passing, my cousins went to a medium to try to learn about their side of the family. My cousins called me after their session, shocked yet excited. The person who came through their reading loud and clear was my mom, which was not a surprise to me as she was a pretty forceful woman. Keeping quiet was not her forte.

Without any clues, the medium conveyed she saw a woman in a bed with something wrong with her neck. She saw a young man, blond, with struggles (my son), and he had to go on his own journey before he found his way home. At the time, we had thought we might lose our connection with him forever. The message the medium received from my mom was that he would come back to us, and he would be okay. My mother also said she hated that I felt so guilty about her hospital experience. She said I couldn’t have changed what happened. She didn’t like me thinking about it, and I had to let it go.

My cynical self listened as they gave me these messages from the “beyond,” and I thought, Well, this could all just be a coincidence. So, Mom, if you’re really watching over me, and these messages are from you, I need a sign.

I had a good cry and went back to working on my young-adult novel. In the story, the protagonist was a fairy, and one of her character “quirks” was messing with electronics.

When I write, I only use the word-processing application on my computer. Every other application stays closed so that I’m not distracted. I don’t turn on the Internet or any music, including iTunes.

But as I worked on my novel, typing away, a song burst from my computer. The song was “Never Never Land” from Peter Pan — a song about magic and dreams.

That seemed weird. Why should music be playing from my computer when I hadn’t turned on any music? I checked my iTunes application. And, just as I suspected, it wasn’t open. I clicked on iTunes and searched my music library, thinking there had to be a glitch. Did I ever download any songs from Peter Pan? I didn’t think so. Of course, how can we remember every song we download, right? But “Never Never Land” was not in my personal musical library. I searched through my whole computer but I couldn’t find the song in any folder anywhere.

“Never Never Land” played all the way through and then stopped.

I’m writing about a fairy that messes with computers, and she actually messes with my computer? That was impossible. And particularly singing a song about magic and dreams. I admit I was a little spooked, but I chalked it up to coincidence.

A week later, I was to meet my cousins for dinner. Before I entered the restaurant, I thought about Mom and what the medium had told my cousins. I began to sob in the car. I missed her so much, but I still refused to believe that the song on my computer came from her. I said out loud, “Okay, Mom, if you’re really here, then when I turn on the radio, The Sound of Music will be playing.”

I turned on the radio. “Edelweiss,” a song from The Sound of Music, was playing.

I was a singer and actress, and my mom was truly my biggest supporter — the one person in the world who believed in me and all that I could achieve, even when I didn’t believe in myself. Singing was important to us, so it made perfect sense. My mother sang to me from heaven. First, through my computer via that little fairy who liked to mess with electronics, and then through my car radio. She communicated to me the best possible way that her spirit could, and in a way that she knew I loved.

~Vicki Van Grack

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