Saturday, December 29, 2012


Five years after my Pa passed away in 1996, my Ma gave me a special Christmas gift - a house decoration. It was a glass and acrylic snowman and snowwoman to put out every December. She said to me that the snowman represented my Pa, and the snowwoman represented her. My Ma said, “By putting these snowpeople out, your Dad and I will always be with you at Christmas – even after I’m gone.” I have the characters rolled in bubble-wrap and keep them stored in a box marked ‘Stephen’s 2001 Snowmen (“Pa & Ma”: Glass)’.
One Summer afternoon in 2002, I was at my Ma’s house; she was puttering around doing this and that while the Arizona Diamondbacks pre-game show was on the TV. At one point I said something to her about Diamondbacks first baseman Mark Grace, and she replied, “You’ll have to remind me. Who is Mark Grace?” I asked if she was joking and when she said she wasn’t, I told her to grab her purse and get in my truck. “Why? What’s wrong?” she wanted to know. I told her I didn’t know what was wrong but that I was taking her to the hospital IMMEDIATELY!
My Ma was a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool baseball fan, and for her to say “Who is Mark Grace?” was comparable to me saying, “What’s a Salty Dog and a Black Russian?” I knew something was seriously wrong with her. It turned out she had suffered a stroke, and in 2005 she went Home to God.
Every year in December, I have put my “Pa & Ma” snowpeople out as representations of my parents who are no longer physically with me. I was unable to locate a photo of the snowwoman on the Internet, but below is a picture of exactly what my ‘Pa’ snowman looks like:
In May of this year, a twelve-year-old Chinese boy named Xie (pronounced “Shay”) came to live with my brother Nappy and me. For a boy who’s only twelve, Xie is, like, the size of Godzilla - hence my nickname for him: Xiezilla.
Well, one day in the first week of December I got out my Pa & Ma snowpeople and placed them on the table in the dining room, then I went about decorating the rest of the room for Christmas.
About thirty minutes after I had put out my snowpeople, Xie emerged from his bedroom and walked into the dining room where I was. He took one look at the snowpeople on the table and then pointed at them and said to me, “This is your Dad and your Mom.”
I’m sure my mouth fell open as I sat there mute for several moments, staring at Xie. Finally I managed to speak. “Why did you say those are my Dad and my Mom?”
Xie replied, “I don’t know. I just think to say.”
I thought perhaps we had been discussing my parents not too long prior and so they were still on Xie’s mind, but thinking back, I couldn’t recall having spoken to him any time recently about my Pa and Ma.
During Christmas dinner I related this event to my Brother and Sister and asked Xie if he remembered it. He said he did. I asked him again why he had said what he did and again his answer was that it had simply popped into his mind when he saw the snowman and snowwoman and so he just blurted it out.
Just a strange coincidence? Sure. That’s all it was – just a strange coincidence.
[Hi, Pa! Hi, Ma! Thanks for letting me know you’re still around. I hope you had a Heavenly Christmas.]
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


  1. Stephen-

    Interesting story. I did not realize Xie was still with you guys.

    Of course, if your folks were made of snow, they must have found the AZ summers intolerable!

    I do not have much in the way of material things to remind me of my dad, but I got a whole lot of memories.

    They'll have to do.


  2. That is amazing! No way that is a coincidence!

    (By the way, I clicked to make a comment, and ACCIDENTALLY hit "Lumpy Grits". This is NOT a Lumpy Grits blog bit!)

    The "Chinee boy" is a permanent situation.

    Well, I myself am NOT made of snow and I still find the 7-months long Airheadzona Summers intolerable! (Hope I die before I bake!)

    Too bad you don't have many physical reminders of your Dad. This snowman, my Dad never even saw (since my Ma bought it years after he'd passed away), but I still possess quite a number of items my Pa actually owned, including his silver cross which I wear around my neck daily.

    But, in truth, the memories are best of all, so you're OK.

    You're right, of course - there's no way that was any "coincidence". I just stated it was (sort of mockingly) to help ease the minds of the many who might come across this blog bit some day, some month, some year, and find it challenges their worldview or dogmatic religious paradigm.

    There are plenty of people for whom stories like this are very upsetting and they must dismiss them quickly, sweep them under the rug of their mind, rather than face the idea that what they believe might not be wholly true.

    But for people like us who believe in a hereafter and a spiritual life eternal, created by an Eternal Spiritual God, stories like this one are more confirming than challenging.

    Thanks for the comment, Bro. And... "Lumpy Grits" rating forgiven, forgotten, and swept under the rug of my mind.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  4. STM,

    I evened out the Lumpy Grits with a little Cap'n Crunch.

    Has Xie been humming any Nat King Cole tunes lately?
    STM's Xmas Extravaganza
    Those strange "coincidences" or "communications" probably happen more often than we realize.

    I received your e-mail and replied same day or day after, so hopefully the e-mails are "in- sync".


    Thanks for the Cap'n Crunch. I may be a decrepit 53-year-old geezer but I still say Cap'n Crunch is the best breakfast cereal whole the world.

    >>... Has Xie been humming any Nat King Cole tunes lately?

    No, but he's been eating some NANKING CHICKEN.

    Actually, this is just one of MANY similar strange spiritual stories I could tell. In fact, I wrote a couple guest posts for Arlee Bird's dream blog recently that included a couple more weird "woo-woo" stories pertaining to spiritual dreams I had. (I can obtain and post some links to them here if ya want.)

    Hey, Brother, I DID receive your Email (thanks!) and it's still in my InBox so I don't forget to reply to it before too long.

    I have so much stuffs on my plate most of the time (not to mention a dead-end, 40-hour-a-week, 'waste-o'-life' job) that, unfortunately, sometimes it takes me awhile to reply to Emails. But I always leave them in my InBox until I've gotten to them.

    You can count on hearing from me via Email at the breaking dawn of 2013. (I will admit, however, that I am much more timely in responding to blog comments because they usually require less time.)

    Yak Again Soon, BroToo!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. As you already know, especially when it comes to spiritual matters, I believe in coincidence, NOT AT ALL. What a lovely confirmation and comfort itust be to know that your Ma and Pa check in on you every do often and in such a way that it is undeniably them. It would also appear that they chose to show a gentle love and acceptance for all those people who fall under your sphere of influence and love. Thanks for sharing such a lovely Christmas experience.

    I apologize for the typos and auto correct bloopers. Some dumb blonde got her hands on my counter and broke it. I'm reduced to a art phone that is way top smart for me.

    Nice comment... regardless of which language you posted it in.

    I jest. I'm pretty sure I understood it.

    Who is the "dumb blonde" what broke yer computer? (I charge only $25. per hit, plus traveling expenses. Email Rocco at Deaths-R-Us@Cosa

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Well, I'm a jackass 364 days of the year, so what's one day of being mushy, right? This was a beautiful story, and it's always nice to know that those we lost are still looking after us. Every so often, when things get rough, I can smell my grandfather's aftershave... Aqua Velva. Strong, distinguishable, hard to mistake for anything else. Add to this the fact that I don't wear any kind of aftershave/cologne, and it really drives home the idea that it's not just me smelling myself.

    In fact, earlier this year, when my dog lost the use of her legs, the vet said she probably wouldn't be able to walk again. After about 2 weeks, my dog was just staring up at the ceiling like she was in a trance. I walked over to her and I smelled my grandpa's aftershave, strong as I'd ever smelled it, and my dog got up on all four legs and walked to me. She's been 100% healthy ever since.

    But hey, it's just all a coincidence, right...?

  9. This is an interesting story. I'm sure that there are many possible interpretations, but mostly I think it comes down to Xie and how he perceives things. Probably he automatically relates male/female couples to parents--something of that nature going on there.

    How long is he going to be staying with you anyway? Does he have parents that are still around? Did you guys adopt him or something?

    Anyway, I have a sort of pictorial shrine on my office wall next to me dedicated to my Dad. I look up at it often. I usually talk to my mom every day and she is in one of the photos with my dad. I probably should put up some of her photos as well. Hmmm--just thought of a blog post for the future--someday.

    Happy New Year!

    Tossing It Out

  10. BEER BOY B ~
    Yep, just all a big coincidence - don't put no stock in it.

    Just jesting, of course. GREAT story about your dog and your Old Grandad! ...'Old Grandad' - hmmm... I wonder how late the local liquor store is open tonight...

    What you probably REALLY shouldn't do is ever mention that great story to a 'Born Again' Christian. They'll just tell you that all the dead are "asleep" until the Second Coming of Christ; the dead have NO "consciousness", and therefore you are merely being fooled by the devil.

    Everything that doesn't match with a 'Born Again' Christian's (mis?)interpretation of Bible verses automatically gets labeled "a trick of the devil".

    There IS a devil, and he IS tricky... But isn't it convenient when a person can yell "Trick of the devil!" so they don't have to dig deeper and maybe find it necessary to adjust their theology?

    Thanks for the story, (Bryan?)
    I loved reading it, Bro.

    Wow! I'm a little surprised at you. O, ye of little faith? (Never thought I'd be saying that about YOU!)

    Sure, I suppose there might be some other explanation, although I haven't read a good one yet. Certainly, I didn't find the following one the least bit persuasive:

    >>... mostly I think it comes down to Xie and how he perceives things. Probably he automatically relates male/female couples to parents--something of that nature going on there.

    Uh-huh. Well, Xie's Pop died when he was two, so I don't think there was much time to make a strong male/female association with "parents". But even if he did, wouldn't it be more likely he'd think of the male and female snowpeople as HIS parents?

    Aww, but wait a second... You one-a dem dere 'Born Again' Christians? Maybe it was all just a trick of the devil.

    Well, forgive me, Brother, but I had to give you a small ration of shit there because that really wasn't one of yer better comments and it surprised me how quickly you jumped ship on the 'supernatural'.

    I am definitely ALL FOR examining every possible alternative (natural) explanation - I always have been. But let's not kick the 'supernatural' out of the boat the moment some old boot gets hooked and reeled in, eh?

    Nevertheless, I wish you a joyful and prosperous 2013. Be well and dig life, Lee!

    ~ Stephen

  11. I love this story, Mr. Stephen T.McC!
    I believe in this kind of thing, too, although it hadn't ever happened to me...until last February. It had to do with my deceased Dad, my writing, and prop planes! Here's the blog link for it:

  12. BECKY ~
    Thanks! I am taking a short 'day trip' to celebrate New Year's Day (a.k.a. Margarita Day), but I will definitely check out your story tonight after I've returned.

    Happy New Year to ya, Kickstarter Becky!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  13. Thanks, Stephen! Have a great time...and be safe!


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