One of my patients who has followed by writings over the years offered me a fascinating personal anecdote, one he knew I would find both interesting and compelling. 

Such stories fall under the CQ ( credibility quotient) conundrum.  In other words– how can the reader believe them to be true and valid? As far as I am concerned, this particular story is true.  The reason I believe so is the credibility of the individual involved.  You as the reader don’t know him.  Some of you do not know me.  And none of us know Mr Rodriquez ourselves.  But bear with me as I describe the story John told me.  Ultimately we all have to judge for ourselves. 

My patient, John’s mother was elderly and suffered from a gradual decline in health and autonomy.  Mr. Rodriquez and his family lived in her building and help out.  For his efforts he and the family lived rent free.  Apparently John’s mother enjoyed the families attention and company.  When John’s mother had to be hospitalized for the last time and it seemed as if she would soon die, she asked John to notify Mr. Rodriquez when she did pass.  She was adamant about this and reminded John how he and his brother often forgot to follow her wishes.  John confided in me that this was true.  He emphasized that even at her advanced age, his mother retained an amazing memory. 

Within about a week John’s mother passed away.  The distraught family was busy with funeral and wake arrangements.  As John drove passed the house he saw Mr. Rodriguez and immediately recalled he had forgotten to notify him of his mother’s death. 

When he stopped Mr. Rodriguez to apologize he replied,   “that’s OK, I know she died.”  When asked how he knew Mr Rodriquez stated, “the other night when I was asleep, your mom came to me in a dream.  She was knocking at my door.  When I opened it she was standing in her favorite robe.  She smiled and told me that she had died but insisted that she needed to inform me personally since her sons would probably forget to do so.  She looked good.  I woke up sweating. It was so real.  I’m not even sure it was a dream”. 

John laughed, “guess mom was right after all.   My brother and I forgot to notify him.  Guess she wanted to remind us that she was right again.  She always was.”

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