Remember yesterday? My father playing and singing music no one would have thought in a million years he would have played and sang? Putting it into perspective, it would have been like Bing Crosby doing a nude scene.
In that same visit my mother had a cassette tape she demanded I hear. One recorded in 1968.
That year, at the age of thirty-seven, my father suffered a massive heart attack. The doctors gave him a ten percent chance of surviving, even so young.
My frightened mother sought out the assistance of an elderly astrologer. According to the old man, the charts indicated that he would survive, despite the medical world betting he would die.
Though my father spent over a month in the hospital, he survived.
"What?" I asked, before she started the tape. "The old man said Daddy would survive, and he did. What's the deal? You told us that at the time."
"Rock, you've got to listen to all of it," Mom said, rubbing her forehead, chain smoking. "I didn't tell you everything. And to be honest, I forgot until this morning."
Mom said he had been nearing ninety years old at the time, and his voice bore that out. Getting past the Mercury in retrograde speak, he did indeed predict that my father would survive. And that he'd never he'd never have heart problems again.
“Okay,” I reminded her. "I'm cool with that? What's got you bummed?"
“Just listen. I don’t want to influence you.”
Mom asked several times about my father's survival and the old man exuded confidence that Daddy would survive, even against all odds.
“But here. Here,” he said in a more animated voice, and it sounded like he tapped the chart several times. “This is a time of concern. He must be careful around this time.”
“His heart?” Mom asked.
“No. I told you his heart will be fine, but ... I can’t ... I can't see exactly what, but he'll need to be so careful. So, so careful. I see blackness surrounding him at this time.”
“What time?” Mom asked.
He launched into astrological jargon about such-and-such reaches a certain point somewhere.
“But when will that happen?” Mom demanded.
Pause, pause, pause. “About mid-June ... oh ... let me see ... about ten ... no ... not ten ... eleven years from now, I'd say. Yes. Definitely. Eleven years. Mid-June 1979.”
"You're sure?" Mom asked.
"Oh, yes," the old man said, and I could almost sense his eyebrows rise through the tape. "Oh, yes. Watch for that time. Be prepared."
My father died June 16th, 1979.