Witness: Charlee Harris
Location: Tehachapi, California
Date of Encounter: June 2005
My youngest son, Jordan, was the darling of our home. His older siblings diligently looked after him from his birth; since he was my "baby," and possessed of a sweet, trusting disposition, I was always rather protective of him as well. And in return, Jordan often told us that someday he would take care of us, too. Two years ago, on June 27th, 2003, Jordan was killed in a tragic and senseless hunting accident. He was just six weeks shy of his eleventh birthday. He has not seemed to have left us since.
Several times, things have happened since Jordan has been gone that showed my two older kids and me that Jordan was still with us. But, since I seem to have had the most difficulty coping with his loss, Jordan seems to have appointed himself Mommy's Personal Guardian. One day, late for work and frantically searching for my keys which had seemingly vanished from the kitchen table, Jordan's voice whispered in my ear, "They're under the washing machine, Mom!" Of course, with some probing beneath the washer with an unfolded shirt hanger, I found them exactly there, where they had landed after my cat had played cat-and-mouse with them. Jordan also told me one night while I was blissfully dreaming of him, that I should not go to a friend's for Christmas three days hence, since it was going to "snow like crazy!" This seemed highly unlikely since we were in the throes of an unusual heat wave in December; three days before Christmas, the thermometer climbed to seventy degrees. But nevertheless, regardless of the possibility of the men in white coats coming for me, I warned everyone I knew, prompting either giggles or pitying glances. Jordan was right. On Christmas Day just before dinner, it snowed so heavily in Tehachapi that the power went out for eighteen hours; people lacking the benefit of four-wheel-drive were snowed in for days. It had not snowed on Christmas day in Tehachapi in thirty-four years.
And so my life went, with little reminders here and there that my little boy was still with me, and looking out for me. But the most profound one was this past June, seven days prior to the two-year anniversary of his passing.
I was preparing for a dinner party with some friends. Feeling depressed all day, missing Jordan, I was reticent to go. When my friends arrived to pick me up, I attempted some excuse, but they would hear none of it, and chose to wait while I made ready. I was absently listening to my friends' happy chatting, ironing a linen tunic, the iron set at "scorching hot," when I set the iron down and reached for my drink. While my head was turned, someone grabbed my right wrist and yanked my arm upward so sharply that I nearly whacked myself in the face. Startled, I looked at the iron, which had fallen flat, directly where my hand had been resting seconds before. As I stared, the fabric of the window bench (my makeshift ironing board) began to smoke and burn, so hot was the iron. I spun my head to look for my roommate, my older son, or anyone who would have been standing close enough behind me to grab my wrist like that. But my friends were all in the kitchen, enjoying their drinks, at least thirty feet from me. My roommate asked why I was hitting myself; he had seen it happen.
My wrist still tingled, as skin will when touched firmly. Wrapping my left hand around my right wrist, I suddenly felt so good, so happy! Since Jordan had been gone, the thing I missed the most about him was his scent, that smell that is unique to every child. But as I stood there holding my wrist, I would have sworn I caught the scent of his hair for just a moment.
My Jordan still looks out for his mommy; I see subtle evidence of it every day. My only wish is that, someday, he will let me see his face, his beautiful eyes, one more time.