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Strange and Wonderful Ghosts of Christmas

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A MOST WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS GIFT

by Bob M.

Jerry, an older friend of mine, passed away in November, 2010. He and his wife had moved here to Richmond, Virginia, from New York about 15 years ago to be closer to their only child. His wife passed away only a couple of years after moving here. He was very unhappy in Richmond and talked often about moving back to New York. I think he lacked the financial resources and could not bring himself to leave his daughter, who attended college here.

He was a very interesting man. He worked as a doorman at a large hotel in the Jamaica area of New York City and had met many interesting and famous people. He also knew many of the mafia guys, such as John Gotti and such. Over time we developed a close friendship. He and I both loved to watch the horses race. Neither of us were gamblers, as most of the people who hang out at the OTB were. We just enjoyed watching them run and talking about all types of things.

I felt bad about his passing. He passed in his sleep. His brother came down from New York to claim the body and took it back there for burial. Consequently there was no funeral or memorial service here. I felt bad that I could not pay my respects or say goodbye.

On Christmas Eve morning, 2010, the dogs woke me up, but I was able to get them to lie back down and go to sleep. I was wide awake, though, and could not fall back asleep. Finally, I dozed off.

While asleep, I had a very strange dream. It was very different than a normal dream. My first thought was how strange to be dreaming in color. I do not ever recall having a dream in which the first thing in the dream is realizing that I am dreaming.

I was in a room that had four booths in it. The seats were dark green. Like an old diner would have. The walls had dark wood paneling. My friend Jerry was sitting in the back booth facing me with his back to the wall. I walked over and sat down, and he told me that he "just came to say goodbye." We did not say anything else, but just sat there and looked at each other.

I sat there and studied his face. He was so pale. Jerry was of Puerto Rican-Italian heritage, so he had kind of a swarthy complexion anyway, and his pallor was very noticeable. As I sat there studying his face, I could also see his face was drawn like a corpse, and I was sitting there very casually thinking, "Yeah, this guy is dead."

I have never had anything like this happen before. I believe this was my Christmas gift from Jerry. The dream was so real. The surroundings were only detailed enough to provide a basic background for our meeting. I must admit that I do not feel as sad over his passing as I did. I hope his spirit is at peace.

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