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This is OC from a personal experience. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy sharing it, it's one of those things that changed the way I handle whatever life throws my way. ~Volkoronado

My parents divorced when I was young and I was left to live with my mother and my sisters, so I looked up to my grandfather as a male role model ever since. Sadly, he passed away when I was 6 or so, so I didn't really have a chance to talk about life with him. However, he taught me a valuable lesson through his stories.

As far as I know, he was horned by a bull, a train rammed his truck (which left him with more than 100 stitches all over his body), he fell to the sea on a fishing trip, got lost and was presumed dead before washing ashore 2 days later, he survived 2 types of cancer (the 3rd he didn't, however) and many other accidents accounted for in pictures, newspaper articles and the tales of my grandmother and her children (my mom included).

The day he passed away, I remember coming home from school to find my mother crying at my grandmother's place dinner hall (we lived 2 blocks away). He tells me grandpa has left the building and starts sobbing, urging me to do so if I wanted. Oddly, I was totally aware of the fact he wouldn't be coming back home from the hospital (where he used to go a couple of times a week for treatment), and did not feel the need to cry, weep, sob, mourn or whatever. In fact, I felt my grandfather was with me at the moment, I just hugged my mom and cheered her up saying "Don't worry. I'm sure he'll hang around for a while."

You may argue I was a child with a totally oblivious idea of death, but having had an accident around that time in which I almost bled myself to death, I was quite calm and had another level of understanding about such themes. I knew my grandfather was there and from then on would follow and protect me as a sort of guardian angel.

I remember the old man used to love fishing. Sometimes we got up real early on weekends and went fishing to the beach (I live in a coastal town) for the fun of it. A week after he died, I had this dream of an ideal lake: your typical Eden surrounded by lush forest and wildlife. We (my grandpa and I) were sitting in a boat, fishing rods in hand, silent, enjoying the weather, listening to the waves caress the shore, the faint buzzing of insects roaming by and the occasional squirrel or deer showing up.

As time went by, dark clouds started to show up on the horizon, engulfing color out of the forest itself. Everything turned dark and withered into a lifeless and rotting parody of the lively picture that surrounded us: trees, plants, the fish, the water, all life forms were consumed, almost as if torched from their very inside. I remember I was calm, though I can't recall how somebody would be calm with such visions of death just making their way around me. The eyes of my grandfather turned into a blazing stare, which I'll never forget, he opened his mouth as in a furious roar and then just vanished. We never said a word, but I knew this was his farewell.

Days later, my mother was looking at some pictures of the old man and amidst them I found one of the place I had seen in my dreams. She tells me it used to be a ranch he owned way back before I was born, when she was very young. I had never been there (not even as a baby) but I described it in great detail to her. She just burst into tears and hugged me.

Some years later (I was like 16 or 17, and lived at my grandma's) I had a very peculiar dream:

I was relaxing and pretty much doing nothing besides one of those old classic cars in the street in front of my grandma's. Nearby, resting on the car's back bumper was a rectangular thing which I can only describe as the frame of a mirror. Out of nowhere, a very sick-looking, water like surface appears in the 'mirror'. Think of it as the effect of the paintings in Super Mario 64, but with enhaced water caustics. A single drop of liquid blasts out of the waves in the surface, and floats until it is about a foot away from me. Then a blinding flash of light spans from the drop and my grandfather appears in front of me.

The mirror in my dream.
 
He looked just as I remembered him: an aged man, half-bald, with a very serene look, his body tanned and more skinny than athletic. However he seemed to be full of life in a way I can't explain. It's like knowing somewhere inside someone's eyes there's a child awaiting to burst into hyper-activity with a sugar rush. He dusted off his clothing and greeted me in a way I felt I was more like a friend of his rather than his relative. Of course by now I knew my jaw was open and I was being severely mindfucked in a dream (imagine that!), but nonetheless I kept my composure and greeted him, asking how was he, telling him how much I missed him and all that jazz. He asked back how was everybody, said he was watching me and was proud of me, that I was doing well and taking care of my sisters and my mother. We chatted about the last years, and I couldn't resist the temptation to ask him where he was and how stuff was going wherever he was.

He says, and I remember vividly, he said 'that place' was like an infinite corridor filled with doors. No matter which door you chose, when you opened it, you could do whatever you wanted, with whoever you wanted and whenever you wanted. I remember he described how he was having a great time horse-riding, taking care of cattle, and spending days playing domino and smoking cigars with his friends (activities I recall where his greatest pleasures in life). There were no limits to what you chose, imagined, or wanted to do. I was amazed by his description, but decided not to ask further.

At some point, he said he had to go back, because he had been granted permission to visit us for the night and his time was about to finish. Once again he sent his regards to the family and two specific messages:
To my mother: he recommended checking herself at the doctor.

To my grandma: he told her she could sell the ranch (times were hard) but he prohibited her from selling the house. He had built it and it would stay in his family forever. No questioning.

As soon as he finished, he waved away and threw himself into the liquid mirror, back into wherever he came from. I saw myself turning around and feeling a breeze in the dream, just as I woke up.

When I woke up, I remembered everything perfectly and pieced all this in my mind as a rather creative and intriguing experience. I was shaving early in the morning when my grandma came around and I decided to tell her everything about the dream. To me it meant nothing, but when I finished I turned around and saw her face distorted into a mix of shock and disbelief. I was more surprised about her expression and asked what was wrong.

"Nothing" she said, "it's just that today is his death's anniversary."

I also delivered the message to my mother. She was confused at first, but guess what. The medical check found a tumor which "fortunately" enough was detected so early on it could be extracted without any risk. She was scared when they first told her, but pulled through and is perfectly healthy now.

I swear I don't know what to think about this, it's been a couple more odd experiences which I will tell another time, but for the time being I trust that somewhere, out there, my guardian angel is enjoying a cigar, watching, proud of his first grandchild. Me.

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