I published a posting in July of last year that involved a patient of mine and her future son-in-law.  I recently had a chance to revisit this story with the patient I referred to as Mary.

Her son-in-law I called Mike had been stationed in Iraq.  He described this unusual event while in his barracks.  This time I heard the real version of the story and it is worth repeating.

Mike described lying on his bunk and thinking about leaving to grab a soda at the PX. To his dismay he was unable to get up because he was being held down by an unknown stranger.  The man was older, with short cropped gray hair, a yellow tee shirt with a police insignia, black shorts and black sneakers.  He was quite stong and was pushing Mike on the center of his chest. But Mike felt  no sense of aggression or evil intent.  The stranger seemed determined to prevent Mike from getting up.

As he disappeared, Mike proceeded to get up and leave the barracks when a huge bomb went off in the PX. Shaken, he realized that he  had been prevented from leaving by a mysterious stranger who subsequently vanished into thin air.

When he got back to the States he told his wife and mother-in-law to be, Mary what happened.  Mary smiled and asked Mike if he recognized the man from any of the pictures in her home.    "My God", Mike exclaimed, "that's the man!"

He had pointed to a picture of Mary's deceased father–a retired cop.

Mary had known it all along.

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