Personal Experience (by Bradley)

 |  No Comments

Around 4:30 AM Central Standard Time, Sunday, March 17, 1974, my grandfather, Bradley F. Watson, visited me in my dorm room at George Peabody College for Teachers. It was a brief visit, he didn’t hang around long, maybe 20 seconds or so. But it was long enough for me to find out that he had just died up in a nursing home just outside of Eaton, Ohio, and was on his “way out of here”, as he said to me in those 20 seconds. He just wanted to “say good-bye, let you [me] know everything was fine.” That’s what he said in those seconds as he hovered at the end of my bed, looking fine, actually. Much better than when I last saw him, at Christmas. So, I told him good-bye, not sure what I else I said. Or he said. Then he was gone. And I fell back to sleep.

About 5:30 CST, my mother called. She wanted to let me know my grandfather had died about an hour before, because she knew he and I were close. I thanked her, then told her that I already knew, that Granddad had stopped by on his way out about an hour before. My mother responded with a quiet, “Oh, okay.” We talked a little while, then hung up, because in those days, we still were paying long distance fees on phone calls.

That’s my story. The story of the first paranormal event of my life.

But it’s not the end of the story.

Some weeks later, when I could afford to back to Ohio briefly, I heard more about Granddad’s passing from those who were there at the time – my mom, my dad, my aunt, dad’s sister, and my uncle, her husband. They told me about granddad being mostly unintelligible for the last couple of hours, except he would keep repeating the words, “Oh God, help me, please.” But then, just moments before he breathed his last, he stopped, stared up at my dad and his sister, granddad’s kids, and said, in a clear voice, “Maybe I should call on somebody who knows me better.” Then he died.

I didn’t know what to think about this story I was told in the spring of 1974. I still don’t know what to think about it. From a Christian perspective, it would seem that granddad was admitting that he and God weren’t exactly on a first name basis, at best. I actually don’t know what my granddad’s faith might have been during his life. We never spoke about it. I know he left the Free Masons, after a long successful time in one of the big Lodge’s in Dayton, Ohio, because my dad showed him, using the Bible, that the Free Masons’ are not Christian. Actually, they both left the Masonry together. I know my grandmother was a woman of strong faith in the Lord, but that her faith was not strictly speaking that of a Christian from many people’s view of the faith. She was non-Trinitarian, being a member of a sect known as the “International Bible Students”, which lives on today, though the sect that split away from them, “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, is much larger and better known. I gathered from my dad that granddad never really adhered to the group, though they often would meet in his home.

On the other hand, I know my granddad stopped by on his way out and appeared relaxed, happy, and he told me he was fine. If he were headed towards Hell, I find it hard to believe God would have allowed the visit and that particular message. God knows I am His, that I long ago claimed the Blood of His Only Begotten Son, that I have confessed that I am a sinner, and that only through the Grace of God can I claim His Son’s Righteousness as my own.

I was sleeping when granddad came to visit, but he woke me up, calling my name softly. I sat up in the bed, fully awake, as we spoke together. I watched him drift up and out of my room, through the ceiling. It was not a dream. It wasn’t a hallucination (I’ve experienced those, before and after this visit, it’s not the same).

I was with my wife Alice when she drew her last breath and went home to The Lord, so I am not surprised she has never visited me. I wasn’t with my mother or my father when their time came, but there have been no visits from them, either. Just my granddad. I know we were very close, closer than I ever was with either my dad or my mother, really. I simply don’t understand why he came by that early morning hour on March 17, 1974. Or how he could do it. But he did. I know that. For certain. Where that fact fits in with all else I know about God and His Creation, I don’t know. I can only claim Deuteronomy 29:29.

So, that’s my story about the morning my granddad last came to visit me. I have many more stories of the paranormal that occurred in the years since 1974, but none of them are as personal, so intensely my own story. Deuteronomy 29:29.

Share Button