How My (Dead) Father Led Me to Portland

At this time last year, I was living in the Bay Area and working in San Francisco’s Financial District.  While it’s a beautiful, vibrant city that’s pulsing with opportunity, I was miserable.  The fast-paced lifestyle, the inflated expenses, the sheer volume of people, and the constant, buzzing energy, were enough to make me feel like my sanity was slipping away on a daily basis.  On a whim, I decided to drive up to Portland for a long weekend.  It was my first visit to the Northwest, and I stayed with an old friend of my mother’s.  I hadn’t seen her in at least 15 years, but she welcomed me into her home, showed me around the city, and fed me some delicious, home-cooked meals.  On the second evening of my visit, after touring some of Portland’s scenic treasures, my hostess handed me a paper bag of corn on the cob, and said, “Go husk these, will you Moll?”

I smiled at the use of the same nickname my father always used.  Taking the bag outside, I sat down on the porch steps, and took an appreciative sip of my beer.  My father is always in the back of my mind when I enjoy a good beer, as it was definitely his adult beverage of choice; but at this particular moment, my mind and body were just enjoying the peace of feeling at ease, and being able to breathe without stress.  But when I picked up that first ear of corn, and started to pull away the husk, several things happened at once.  I was flooded with the most powerful sense of deja vu, and in the space of that moment, I realized that I hadn’t husked an ear of corn since I was a child… Not since I used to sit on the porch of my childhood home, husking corn with my father.

A wave of nostalgia flooded through me, as the world around me literally disappeared, and I remembered every detail with crystal clarity – his expression, the way he smelled, the way his hands looked as he made something as simple as husking an ear of corn look like an art form.  I could even smell the Garrett County summer air, and hear the breeze rustle the leaves of the tall oaks that surrounded our house.  From within my body, deep inside my chest, I felt a warm, glowing fire.  I could feel it spreading through my veins, until it reached my fingertips and outwardly surrounded me in a bubble of light.  My father’s presence was so strong, that I instantly started sobbing, without any conscious awareness of doing so.  I could see him, I could hear him, I could smell him… I could even taste him, as strange as that may sound.  His message was clear: “I am with you always.  But most especially, when you feel at home.”

I was dizzy, my vision was blurry… I had to blink away my tears and the stars I was seeing as my immediate surroundings came back into focus, and I felt my equilibrium restore itself.  I felt something cool and wet in my hands.  Looking down, I saw that I was clutching that same ear of corn as though my life depended on it.  My laughter came then, as freely and unfiltered as my tears had been.  Simultaneous laughter and tears, surely a sign of either madness or pure joy… perhaps both.  I picked up my glass of beer, raised it, and said, “Okay Dad, I hear you.  I’m home.”

Yes, this truly happened.  Every word, every detail.  Those of you who are not faith-based or spiritual may be skeptical, but that doesn’t make my experience any less real.  The body dies, but the soul does not.  The energy remains, as does the love.  And perhaps in those moments, when we’re completely at ease, our minds clear, our hearts open – we’re more receptive to these “visits.”

One of the simple, everyday things I’m saddened by when I think of my father, is that I’ll never get to hug him again.  But on that evening, on that porch in Portland, he sure did everything in his power to wrap his arms around me, solidly proving me wrong.

40 thoughts on “How My (Dead) Father Led Me to Portland

  1. Adafred

    This is beautiful, Molly. You are such a gifted writer. What a great way to share in your wonderful journey. I’m so proud of you, my friend.

    • Molly

      Thank you, Adafred, that means so much to me! I heart you!

  2. Linda Rikli

    Proud of you, Cuz. Beautifully written. xo

    • Molly

      Thank you so much, Linda. 🙂 Love and miss you very much, you kept me sane in SF!

  3. Cuz

    Lovely essay, well written. Cheers to you and your new blog!

    • Molly

      Love you, cousin-face!!

  4. Jessyca Chavez

    I have to say how proud I am of you. How truly gifted you are in mind and spirit. I had goosebumps throughout your writing. In *Light* & love~ Jess

    • Molly

      I adore you to the moon and back, Jessy!! Always have, always will. Thank you so much, I am SO proud to know you. Light and love to you, always! xoxo

  5. Melodee

    Lovely, Molly, congratulations! Your experience is very well-written with enough detail so that we can experience it along with you, and get the emotional connection. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    • Molly

      Love you, Melodee!!! Thank you, that means so much coming from a truly gifted writer as well. 🙂

  6. Amanda Friend

    I absolutely loved this! My eyes filled with tears of joy as I was reading. I can’t wait to read more! Congrats on your new blog love! Xoxo

    • Molly

      I heart you! xoxoxo

  7. Kristian

    Absolutely beautiful Molly, I love your writing!! I have always loved writing, I used to do it a lot, in my spare time. I can’t tell you the last time I have written anything! You are such a an inspiration. I cannot wait to read more!! I’m glad you took this bold step and decided to start a blog!!

    • Kristian

      This is Kristian (Cosner) Weigman by the way.

    • Molly

      Thank you so much, Kristian!! Of course I know who you are, silly girl!! xoxoxo

  8. Lisabee

    Congratulations on the beginning of a new part of your journey, Molly. Great writing, and for me, a precious insight into a lovely person.

    • Molly

      Awe shucks, thank you so very much. 🙂 xoxo

  9. Joni Corak

    eee! Molly, I love you and I love this as much as I really really hoped I would!! You write beautifully, and in YOUR voice, which is something I absolutely appreciate more than almost anything else in a writer — being able to feel THE. shine through. Amazing, and btw, I liked your About section as much as I did the first post! Congratulations on this new beginning!! I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to promote the hell out of this to everyone I know!!

    • Molly

      You kidding, of course I don’t mind!! 😉 Thank you so much for your support and encouragement… I can’t even tell you how excruciating it was to write that bio! I’m so honored you like what you’ve seen so far!

    • Sara Exley

      YAY, Joni!!

  10. Amelia Breitweg

    This is beautiful, Molly!!! I love seeing things through your eyes. Your writing is superb and I feel those feelings so closely and strongly, as if they were my own as I read your work. I can’t wait to read more entries and I know that your Dad would be very proud of you, your progress, your point of view, your work and the amazing wonderful spirit of who you are and are becoming. Keep It up, Chica!!!

    • Molly

      Thank you ever so much!!! xoxoxo

  11. Mary Davis

    That was awesome Molly!!! Keep writing because I can’t wait to read your next post!!!

    • Molly

      Mary, that just makes me smile from ear to ear. Thank you so much!! xoxo

  12. Eric Jacoby

    What a great moment and so well written! Waiting to read more!!!

    • Molly

      Eric!! Thank you for reading, that means so much to me!!! More to follow each Monday! 😉 And as my oldest friend, you will undoubtedly show up at some point!

  13. Suzie

    This is so beautiful, Molly! I was right there with you on the porch steps. You write beautifully! Can’t wait to read more. Love you!

    • Molly

      I love you too, Mama Suzie!! Thank you so much!! xoxo

  14. Sara

    This post leaves me absolutely breathless EVERY time!!! I am so thankful with you that you had this experience. It’s amazing how much LOVE there is available to us when we’re in flow with what feels right. I love you so much, Erv!!! SO happy about this adventure you’re on.

  15. Sheila Menchaca

    molly, what can I say?! Growing up my mom and grandma used to say “yer a mess” whenever other words failed to describe! So I say to you that yer a mess! Looking forward to your blog!

    • Molly

      Thank you, Sheila! You are such an important part of my childhood, ALWAYS telling me how beautiful I was, most especially when I didn’t want to hear it. If you ever wonder if you’ve made a difference – you have!

    • Sara

      Haha!! “Yer a mess.” LOVE that.

  16. Tam

    Live your narrative, doll.

    • Molly

      Tam, you are cut from this cloth as well… Wear it with pride, embrace it, and own your beauty!!

  17. Erin Oxford de Natividad

    Familiar moments really do speak to us. You really should be somewhere you feel your soul hugged.

    • Molly

      Thank you so much, my dearest. 🙂 xo

  18. Christie

    Perfection. Love you!!

    • Molly

      YOU are perfection. 😉 xoxo

  19. cele

    I enjoyed reading this, it is very powerful and well written my friend. Congratulations on your blog! I hope to read many more. Your friend, Cele.

  20. Mom

    Muchas Felicidades, Mija
    Te Amo con todo mi corazon…

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