When Howard’s Great Grandfather died in a tractor accident during the summer of 1998, he was certain that their time together was through. Having grown up just down the road from Gramps (as he affectionately called him), they had always been close.
“Gramps was 92 so his time was likely drawing near anywhere”, Howard would tell himself but he couldn’t shake the feeling that there still something Gramps wanted to tell him. He had a dream of the elderly man on the night following his death and the very next night, Gramps told him to “swing the vine and there you’ll find.”
Swing the vine? Was Gramps messing with him from beyond the grave and if not, why the seemingly bizarre metaphor? There was plenty of farmland where they lived but not many wooded areas and certainly no trees with vines that Howard could recall.
Howard decided to do something that he had never believed him. He was going to try and communicate with “the other side”. He didn’t really expect much but the nagging feeling of an undelivered message was enough to push him into a mild pursuit of necromancy.
He started at the most logical place and decided to visit a local tarot reader. She had lived in their town for over 40 years and was often the butt of many jokes but strangely, no one seemed to know much about her. Maybe all the laughing at her over the years was simply a cover-up of fear. She honestly just made people a bit nervous.
Howard headed to her residence he and sat in his car, wondering if it was worth it to even knock. He wasn’t fearful of meeting this woman. Her home wasn’t some run-down little shack that you might expect but rather, a nice apartment in the middle of town. It was just the absurdity of the moment.
Howard was trying to overcome a lifetime of believing that once someone is gone, the chance for communication is gone too. Knocking on that door meant, for the first time, that this was more than just a humorous, quick-look for Gramps. He would be actively seeking out the other side and asking for help in doing so. He really didn’t even expect that a tarot reader would be able to directly help him but was hoping she could offer up some advice on what he might try.
The Surprising Tarot Reader
Imagine how surprised you would be if you were Howard, walking to the door and seeing it open before arriving at the porch and hearing the words, “Come on in. I’ve been expecting you.”
You laugh it off at first, certain that this old woman had you confused with someone else. As you start muffing words to explain why you’re there, the woman cuts you off and simply says, “I told you I was expecting you. You want to talk to a relative from yesterday.”
As you begin to realize that you didn’t share your upcoming visit here with anyone, your mind races to try and make sense of how this woman could possibly know what you’re doing here.
She informs you that she knows someone.. an Alchemist. “He knows secrets that nobody else knows and if you want to speak to a dead relative, we’ll need him here. He’s on the way.”
Imagine your heart-rate and excess perspiration as a very small man comes walking through the door and introduces himself as Gene, shyly smiling while submitting to you that he can “help you complete your vision.”
Gene asks if you’ve ever heard of a “paralexor”? He explains it as an environment created by particular formations of burning candles, used by the ancients to create the most conducive environment for contact with spirits on the other side.
You start to wrap you brain around the fact that you are really about to sit down, participate in some sort of strange seance and attempt to talk to the spirit world and just maybe, chat with your Great Grandfather once again.
Can you imagine how completely outlandish and fantastical that moment would be?
The Message From Beyond
You can stop imagining that because it didn’t happen for Howard. Instead, he stared at that tarot reader’s door, laughed at himself for even being there and headed to work. En route, he dropped a stick of gum between the seats. Being his last piece, he decided to retrieve it when he arrived at his destination.
Cleaning out the little bit of trash that had recently accumulated, he decided to head over and do the same in the passenger side. He reached under the seat and found Gramps iPhone. It had been a full week since Gramps funeral and it seemed strange that no one had thought about what happened to Gramps phone but here it was.
Howard sifted through the pictures and though most were images of his own children, they all made him smile. He started flipping through the apps that Gramps used and that’s when he noticed the Vine app. He clicked the little icon and found 33 short little videos that Gramps had made of himself and had never been seen by anyone before.
Was it possible that this was really a moment that Gramps had been leading Howard to from beyond the grave? Nah.. not likely. It was just a pretty cool moment of getting to spend some new moments with Gramps and sharing the new videos with the family.
You can’t really speak to dead relatives because.. well, they’re dead.
And by the way… there’s no such thing as a paralexor either. Seriously.