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Make A Wish And Believe; A Short Story

Since I began writing, rarely do I struggle with not being able to think of a topic for my article.  For me, it usually is the exact opposite.  I struggle with deciding on which of the many topics I have jotted down to do next.  I now go through my days finding articles popping in my head from the simplest interactions.  It could be a passing conversation or a building I pass.  I laugh and make a joke that it is a curse. I wish my brain would shut off and take a time out.

Then enters the rare occasion I experience that Writer’s Block!  I then am instantly reminded of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for.  Wishes can come true.”  I really shouldn’t forget that.  There was a day I wished and dreamed I could have the opportunity to write for others to enjoy.

How soon we forget.

A little over a week now I have had a bit of a “block”.  One day I think tomorrow it will come to me.  Tomorrow then turns into another.  Finally, today I decided enough was enough.  With the urge to write, yet not “feeling” in any particular mood, I turned to our ongoing staff writer’s challenge.  I have now been reminded why I have become such a strong supporter of writing challenges.

March 14, 2017 – One Word Prompt:  VIVID

You see, that is all it takes sometimes.  One simple little word and instantly the creative vision is there.  As much as I have tried to explain what happens exactly in this head of mine, I can’t.  Those who don’t know, will just have to believe me.  I haven’t always been a believer myself.

Image by Pixabay.com

With One random word; barrier is broken, memories flow.

As I looked at our word of the day, the barrier causing my block was broken, allowing memories to flow my direction. Two images were very clear in my mind.  The images were accompanied by a very precise, vivid event from the past.  An event, to this day, remains one of the most precious events of my life.

The Event:  My Oldest Son’s First Communion

The Images:  Grandpa & Grandpa

Being the mother of three sons, as the years past each one had this special day.  However, as like many other things in life, the first go around brings feelings ranging from excitement to anxiety.

In our family, we held our family morals very high priority.  We also felt very strongly, taking our children to church was very important.  Exposing them to beliefs such as “Do unto others.” As well as loving one another and being a good person.

Their father and I were both brought up going to church.  We both felt we benefited from the experience.  We wanted to provide the same opportunity to our sons.  To give them the tools to make good decisions when they became adults.

First born, First Communion, First attempt for Mom to make the day run perfectly.

Two men who had nothing in common, appeared together so vividly.

A little history of Grandpa & Grandpa.

You read me right, Grandpa & Grandpa.  I am referring to two men who were a very special part of not only my ex-husband and my lives, but a special part of my three sons’ lives.  These two men being special in their own Grandpa ways, could not have been more different.  Different on the outside I should say.  However, on the inside they were quite the same.

They both loved their families.  Children, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and beyond.  They both were men who had very set values, neither to shy to tell you all about it should the time arise.  They both said what they meant and meant what they said.  One saying it more gently, in a nurturing way.  The other just flat out saying it, sparing no feelings.  Although, he meant well and deep down inside loved you to the core.  Just a little gruff when letting you know.

His and Her’s Grandpas

Image by Teresa Branam Wilgus, Collective Voice Magazine

One Grandpa being the hugging, cuddling, gushing with hugs and kisses when he saw you.  Almost as if it had been years.  Excitement in his eyes each time.  When it came to saying your good-byes, don’t expect any quick hug or pat on the back.  Schedule in about 30 minutes at least.  One hug and kiss on cheek with an “We’ll miss you so much” would not suffice.  You may not have heard him the first time.

Grandpa Merle was one of most precious men to walk God’s green earth.  He was my husband’s Grandpa.  However, welcomed me into the family the moment we met and referred to me as his Grand-daughter.

Good-byes with the other Grandpa didn’t take much of your time.  He had his own ways and his own terms of endearment.  A man of very few words.  A grandson would lovingly be referred to as “Buster” as he came through the door.   Grandpa was quickly named “Grandpa Buster” by my oldest nephew.  the name fit him perfectly and that he remained to all of his future Great-Grandchildren.

Grand-daughters and Great Grand-daughters all got their own name.    “Indian Squaw” let me know he loved me, I had very long hair worn in two braids as a child.

Image by Teresa Branam Wilgus

As different as night and day, these two men had a lot in common.  They created memories of their own for my children.  In their own way without knowing they were.  I will eternally be grateful to them both for giving the gift of memories to my sons.  Being a part of their lives, even though not long enough.

There is a truth to the saying, “Memories are what you make them”.

These two different men lived miles apart.  One lived in the country and the other in the city.  The Grandpas only saw each other a handful of times in their lives.

Both Grandpa’s became very ill.  My grandpa had been diagnosed with fibrosis of the lung and although he was eventually on oxygen, he lived a fairly normal life.  Grandpa Merle was diagnosed with cancer.  It was unexpected and a shock to all.  Also, a very aggressive form of cancer.  Eventually, it became very apparent, our Grandpas were not going to be with us much longer.

These two men who had worked hard to provide for their families, who’s family values were of utmost importance, were going to be leaving us.  A thought that was hard to accept.  We felt very fortunate for our sons to have had the years they did with these two.  Not every child gets to have memories made with Great Grandparents.

We were indeed Blessed and will always remain grateful for the time we had.  In October of 1996, Grandpa Buster (my Grandpa) lost his battle and left us.  Just a short few months went by before Grandpa Merle’s became tired of fighting.  January 1997,  these two men were reunited.

When you wish upon a star.

We were living in Nashville, TN when we lost our Grandpas.  I  remember a warm evening in late Fall, shortly after my Grandpa had passed.  My mother and I were sitting on our front porch.

Mom was always a strong believer that when a loved one passes, they continue to watch over us.  She also insisted those who had passed could appear or give us here on earth a sign in times of need.  I can’t say that I was a disbeliever, more like my jury was still out when it came to receiving a “sign” or lost loved ones appearing  before us.

Mom sat there talking about her dad, tears filling her eyes as she did.  She was saying she wished she could just know in her heart that my grandpa was okay and not suffering.  Mom became instantly quiet as she was looking up in the night’s sky.  Suddenly, she turned to me and said, “Teresa, Dad’s going to be just fine.”

I was a little confused, thought surely I had missed something in the conversation.  She completely changed course with what she was saying.  When she saw the puzzled look on my face, she explained.  Mom said that as she was mentioning that sign she wanted, she looked up into the sky and a small star became brighter and more than doubled in size.

Personally, I did not see this star.  However, from that moment forward, Mom was satisfied and at piece.

A little wish of my own.

Life moved on, as it always does.  Our boys were getting older, we had moved from Nashville.  We lived in South Carolina for a short year or so and eventually moved back to our home state of Indiana.  Our oldest son, Bradley, was nearing the age when a child receives First Communion in the Catholic Church.

Image via Pinterest.com
First communion location

Time was drawing near and this special day was almost upon us.  Over the time that had gone by since our grandpas went to Heaven, they were thought of often.  Brought up in conversation from time to time and all the memories.  As we got closer to First Communion Day, both grandpas came to my mind frequently.  I would think how great it would be to have them both in attendance on Bradley’s special day.

Being a worrier by nature, I found myself the night before First Communion going over all plans in my head.  I had a hard time getting to sleep.  Did I get all the food made? Are all the boys clothes ready for Mass?  Was my agenda on target?  Most of all, were the younger brothers going to behave during the ceremony?  I tossed and turned  for what seemed like hours.   Wishing somehow I could relax.  That I could be assured it was all fine and be able to get some sleep.

There they were as vivid as one could imagine.

Changing positions again, I rolled over to stare down the hall.  When I did, it was as if time stood still.  I saw an image standing in the door way.  Normally such an event would be frightening.  This was quite the opposite.

Grandpa & Grandpa were there, standing side by side.  Two men who were so different and only saw each other on special occasions stood there in my bedroom doorway.  Nothing was said by either.  I can’t tell you how long I saw them.  They both just looked at me in their own Grandpa way and then it was over.

Some of you reading might not understand this, I don’t completely.  My story may sound a bit unbelievable like my mom’s that night in Nashville.  I can not begin to explain it all.  I can say and strongly believe, a since of comfort came over me immediately that night.

The Grandpa’s came to show me everything was going to be extra special and they were going to be there in Spirit and make my wish come true.


My mother passed May 2015.  She shows me often just how right she was and makes her presence known regularly.





About the author

Teresa Branam Wilgus

In her spare time she likes to get outside and take advantage of the beautiful Pacific Northwest summers and experiencing new adventures with her boyfriend of 5 1/2 years. She is an admitted football fanatic and loves the excitement of participating in Fantasy Football with her sons, boyfriend, family and friends from the Pacific Northwest, Florida and Indiana! The only work she have had published, is a poem published in Creativity Magazine when she was in the 8th grade. She has always enjoyed writing, however it wasn’t until encouraged by a professor and a few friends that she realized writing just might be the “Gift” God gave her. Teresa is preparing her Freelance/Content Writing Services for Launch in February 2017. Services are available for businesses and corporations of all sizes and also to those Bloggers wanting to enhance their own content for readers. Her ultimate goal is to have a book published based on personal experiences in her own life and hopes it is not only entertaining and engaging, but might also help some reader, somewhere, somehow.

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