Written by:Mike Sears
Personal experience that happened in 1994.
In 1994 Mike and his mother received one of the greatest Christmas gifts one could receive. Contact from a love one. Mike’s father passed away in June and he had shared that amazing experience on an earlier blog posting.(Crossing Over)
This was to be the first Christmas without my father. My father celebrated Christmas real big. His gift to the family was to make a huge gourmet Christmas dinner. Each year my dad’s dinner had its own theme or specialty dish that he had learned when stationed in various countries while serving in the army. His favorite dishes were from Asia, especially from Japan. He would buy the highest quality when it came to ingredients for the meal. He would save up all year to make this one day very special for the family. He might not have been a certified gourmet chef, but to us and friends he should been.
I wanted to make this Christmas special for my mom since it was our first Christmas without my dad. I planned to make a nice gourmet dinner like my dad did and to decorate the house big for the holidays inside and out. I got up early in the morning and had my list of items to buy and locations mapped out that I needed to go to. I left not knowing what was going to happen that day.
I was shopping in this department store and I was half way done with my list of items to gather for Christmas. I wanted something that would WOW my mom when she saw the gift. I entered into this store and saw an Angel standing just over four feet tall. The angel I thought was beautifully done visually with an elegant gown, great detail to the face and large wings opened on her back. I felt drawn towards the figure and said to myself, “This is what I’m looking for. This is the WOW that will make her Christmas.” After my dad’s death my mother started to collect angel figurines and I knew she would love this angel added to her collection.
I walked to my car with the angel and started to put it in the vehicle. Unlocking the car I suddenly smell this strong odor of cigar smoke in the air. My first thought that someone is pretty rude to blow their smoke so close to someone. I look around and see no one around smoking a cigar or any form of tobacco. I shrug it off and continue to put the angel in the car. The cigar smell gets stronger and then I hear my dad’s voice say, “Mike! You need to go to Tokyo Market now!” At first I thought I imagined this and thought I must be thinking its dad because he used to smoke cigars. I get into the car and check my list and plan for the next location to shop at. Then the cigar smell was in my car, very strong. (I never allow anyone to smoke in my car) I started to tingle all over and then heard my dad’s voice again in my head “Mike! You need to go to Tokyo Market now!” For some reason I responded out loud, “Dad, if this is you, I have Tokyo Market on my list to go too.” I then hear him again in my head, “You need to go NOW! Right now!” I’m thinking this is can’t be happening, I was caught off guard and not expecting to argue with my dad about a place to shop at. I start to drive to the next location and I hear his voice again. “Mike, you need to go now! It’s a Christmas gift for you and your mother there.” Hearing this I start to fight back the tears. I reply back out loud in my car. “Dad, I’m going there now.”
The cigar smell disappears and I no longer hear my dad talking to me. I drive to the other side of town to reach the Tokyo Market (Tokyo Market is a store that specializes in imported gourmet food from Japan) I arrive at the store not knowing what I’m supposed to be looking for. As I walk towards the store door the smell of cigar smoke returns. Entering inside the store I’m drawn to an item on the front store display. As I go to look at the item, I hear my dad’s voice again. “Don’t look at that! Go to the left of the store and go to the last cabinet and look inside! There you will see yours and your mother’s Christmas gift.” I walk to the last cabinet and look inside the cabinet of products. Then my eyes are drawn to this one item. It was an item my dad wanted the store to order for him. An item that he tried for five years to get and the store wasn’t able to find or import from Japan. They had finally got it. I grabbed every package of the item to purchase and head to the register to cash out. The cashier is surprised to see that I have this entire item they have for sale. She then says to me, “You’re not buying all of these are you? We had a customer who has requested this for over five years and we have lost his phone number. We are hoping he come in and get this. Can you leave a couple of these just in case he returns?” I asked, “Can you describe this man for me?” After the cashier describes my dad perfectly, I reach for my wallet and show her a photo of my dad. “Is this him?” I asked. She replied, “Yes.” I explained to her that he had passed away during the summer and I was his son. She then said, “I guess it was meant to be for you to come in here and buy this.” I didn’t share with her what brought me there; I thanked her and wished her a Merry Christmas. Leaving the store I smell the cigar and hear my dad’s voice for the last time saying, “Merry Christmas!”
I stopped any further shopping and decided to drive straight home. I needed to share what just happened with my mom. When I got home I decided to give my mom her Christmas gifts. I told her she needed to sit down and prepare to hear how these gifts had come to be. I had her close her eyes and then proceeded in the room with the four foot tall angel. She opened her eyes to see this elegant angel and became overwhelmed with happiness. I then told her, “I have one more gift for you and it’s in this bag. First though I need to tell you how I got this item in this bag.” I shared my experience and then handed her the bag to open. Saying to her, “Merry Christmas, from dad.” She gave me a big hug and we both cried with tears of happiness.
Christmas of 1994 is a Christmas my Mom and I will never forget.