Witness: Melissa Thomas
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Date of Encounter: September 12, 2010
I love this time of year, Halloween is my favorite holiday and always has been since I was young child. But this year is my second Halloween alone since I lost my husband to lung cancer in January of 2009. Paul was a kind and very gentle man. I spent 20 years of my life with him and will miss him all the rest of my life. He was also a very busy man: a "worker bee" or a "drone" is what he liked to call himself and it was a more than apt description of himself. Beyond being an electrical engineer at a 40-hour a week job he was also a part time commercial lobster man with his own boat and gear. Yet his most prideful moments came from his work around our home. Not only was he a crack electrician but his knowledge of carpentry, plumbing, and heating systems was beyond compare. A real Handy Man for anything you may need done around the home.
These days, as I am an aging and chronically ill widow, I miss those handy traits of his here in my new home. We lived in New Hampshire when Paul passed and I soon learned that I wasn't going to make it in a place where I couldn't shovel myself out of the snow, so I moved to Florida (where I lived throughout my 20's) to start a new life in a place without snow and cold. I've been here about a year and a half and since the home is fairly new I've had very little trouble with it. However; I did have a few small household mishaps a few weeks ago that upset me somewhat at first. One day my plastic lettuce drawer in my new refrigerator just cracked in half and would have to be replaced. Just five minutes after noticing this, I leaned on my kitchen cabinet door by accident and ripped it entirely out of its socket, the screw snapped and it hung there by a thread. Well it was late and I had to get to bed because one of my best girlfriends was flying in to Tampa from Boston the very next morning. There was nothing I could do about the cabinet that day. The next day I went and picked up my buddy at the airport and we went straight back to my house so she could relax and unpack after her flight. I showed her right away how my plastic refrigerator drawer had cracked and when she reached in and pulled it out I realized right away that I didn't need to replace it because it gave me just the extra space I had needed all along! I then showed her the kitchen cabinet and she thought we could go to Home Depot and figure out how to fix it on our own, I was doubtful but it was better than having to pay someone right away, at least we would try to fix it ourselves first.
We had a great time that night we stayed up late talking and catching up. During the night my dogs were barking a lot for no reason. It was strange because they are very small dogs and usually sleep through the night with me. I assumed it was the excitement of my friend being in the house. A stranger. When we all got up the next morning, well, my kitchen cabinet door was fixed! Yes! Completely fixed like it had never been broken at all. Like brand new even. I called my friend in right away to ask her how she did it and she said she hadn't touched it! I'll never forget the feeling I got, at that moment, in the pit of my stomach and how the hair stood up on my arms and neck and I wasn't the only one! My friend had the same feeling at the same moment but only she spoke the words: "Paul fixed it," she said. And we both knew it to be true. It just was. There was a noise just then, like a cabinet door closing, but none of my cabinets were open so they couldn't of closed. We both heard it. My friend said she didn't smell the smoke from a cigarette that wafted by me in my non-smoking home, nor did she hear the footsteps that crossed by me heading toward the garage… but I did and I'll never forget it.