By Maribeth Graham
My daddy, he was somewhere between God and John Wayne.
—Hank Williams, Jr.
“My Kong is falling from the building,” I whispered into his ear as he lay dying in the hospital bed. Since I was a child, I called my father my Kong, after King Kong. I believed that he was just as strong as the giant ape. As he faced death, I did my best to help release him to the next life.
Two months after he passed away my sister called to ask if I would like to go see Lisa Williams, a well-known medium. I was familiar with Lisa from her show on Lifetime, and since I was eager to get a sign from my father, I agreed to go.
The center was packed, with every one of the nineteen hundred seats filled. We were in the second to the last row, way back from the stage.
I clutched my father’s gold-plated watch (my sister suggested I bring a personal item of his) and listened as Lisa helped audience members communicate with their loved ones. I knew it was only going to be a matter of time until Lisa directed her attention our way. “I have a grandfather-like figure with me and he is speaking about his granddaughter Julie,” she announced. The audience was quiet; no one raised a hand. I nudged my sister and whispered to her that this was Dad and he wasn’t saying “Julie,” he was saying “Jilly.” My third child and my father had a deep bond and he called her Jilly, short for Jillian.
Although I sensed his presence, I wasn’t confident enough to raise my hand. I needed something a bit more concrete, something indisputable.
“This man is letting me know he had cancer,” she continued. I nudged my sister harder and assured her this was him. I raised my hand and was disappointed to see a woman in the middle row raising hers. Lisa asked both of us to stand so she could figure out which one of us she needed to speak to. She went on to say that this person died in June (my father had died June 8th). There was swelling of the legs (he had severe edema in the last few days that required special stockings). At this point she was still uncertain which one of us was the correct party.
“Important information,” she called out. My heart pounded. I jumped up when she asked, “Which one of you is holding his watch?” I waved the watch in the air.
“Happy Birthday,” she said. It was September 15th and my birthday was one week prior on the 8th. “He wishes you congratulations also.” My fourth child was born three weeks after he died. I was in shock and could not believe I was getting a chance to hear from my father, yet I knew our bond was strong enough that if he could come through he would. She banged on her chest like an ape and apologized, saying, “I don’t know why but he wants me to do this like Tarzan.” It didn’t resonate with me until my sister called out “King Kong!” I was convinced. No way could this woman have ever known a detail that intimate and single me out in a crowd unless Dad was communicating through her.
Each bit of information she gave us was just as meaningful. She ended our session by informing us that he would send us dimes. The very next day I found six dimes in various places; they seemed to have come out of nowhere. Even in death he is my Kong, and he remains an important of my life.
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