With the next stage of their work for Tom completed, the twins and Kelly now settling into their new life at home, it was time for Molly and Will to return to their own home. Before leaving, they shared a pot luck lunch with the new family, just a small gathering with a few close friends for Tom and Kelly to announce the names they had chosen for the twins – Kieran Ross and….Gracie-Mae Pearl! Molly was intrigued that they had chosen Grace, or rather Gracie. What had prompted this? Tom explained to their guests, Kieran was the name of a dear friend of his who had died in a motorbike accident last year, Ross was his grandfather’s name on his mother’s side, Grace is the connection to the house he had inherited from his Great Aunt and Mae was purely because it fitted well with Gracie, they like the sound of it together. Pearl was the connection with the dream Tom had the night the babies were conceived. When Kelly had a chance, she took Molly aside and explained to her the vision of the woman standing in her room and beautiful vivid dream she had the day the babies were born, and that these were the names that stood out for her, amongst all of the small children who had introduced themselves to her. And there had been so many names!
With the car packed yet again, they left their friends for the next stage of their road trip. For this journey home, they had decided to drive the inland road through the Waiarapa, Manawatu and north from there. Molly had organised for them to stay for a couple of nights at a holiday cottage on a working farm on the outskirts of Carterton. They stopped at the local supermarket to get some groceries on their way. Walking down the aisles Molly began to feel dizzy, hot and slightly nauseous. She felt like she was being followed. This time recognising the symptoms, she knew she would need to visit Grace in The Attic – there was a story to be heard.
Whilst Will took care of dinner, Molly get herself ready to visit The Attic. With work and the arrival of the twins, she had not been to visit Grace for sometime. Sitting in the cane wicker chair in the living room of the holiday bach she immediately felt the presence of an older man in Spirit. He sat in the chair next to her somewhat nervously, dressed in a tweed suit his hat sitting on top of his jacket which was folded neatly on his lap, a crisply pressed white shirt beneath a matching tweed vest, neatly buttoned, with just a glimpse of a gold fob watch chain feeding into the small pocket on the front. He was of a short, stout stature, and a few wisps of hair combed over the top of his balding head, a typical style for elderly men during the 1950’s. The vision faded and she started to breathe into a relaxed state, and quickly became aware of herself standing at the bottom of the stairs in her house. Everything appeared a little hazy, not as clear as it had been before. Pausing halfway up the stairs, just before she would feel that familiar zap, she closed her eyes and concentrated on her breathing. This time when she opened them, everything was much clearer. Maybe she had been in too much of a rush. The zap caught her by surprise, having shifted her focus. Laughing at herself, she looked up the last few steps to see the man standing outside of the door, waiting patiently.
“Oh hello, can I help you?” Molly greeted him.
“Good day M’am. I am hoping so,” he replied.
“Come on in,” Molly suggested. He stepped back politely allowing her to open the door and enter before him.
“Hello, Grace?” She called quietly through the open door before entering. “Umm….we have a visitor.”
“Ah yes!” replied Grace, “I knew you were both on your way here. Tea’s made. Welcome Harry, I mean, Mr Taylor,” as she reached out to shake his hand.
“Have you two met already?” Molly enquired curiously, sensing that they knew each other. Shyly, Mr Taylor smiled and bowed his head to Grace, “Good day Miss Grace.”
“Harry found his way here last night. We had a bit of a chat then and I asked him to return when you would be here, so that you can take down his story. Now…let’s have a little tea first, shall we?” Grace offered, pointing to a chair and hoping to relax the nervous awkwardness in the atmosphere. Feeling slightly uncomfortable, he placed his jacket on the back of a chair and sat down again at the small kitchen table, looking around and taking in these new surroundings. He was almost painfully shy. Grace winked at Molly and discretely added a little herbal combination into the pot of tea. Mr Taylor’s face lit up when he saw the tea set Grace brought to the table, a fine bone china tea pot decorated in an Art Deco design with cups, saucers, milk jug and sugar bowl to match. After politely sipping his tea, they could visibly see his body relaxing and before long he was chatting happily, the tea having done its magic, whatever it was that Grace had added. Molly had learnt to keep quiet and not question these moments, and to trust in what Grace sees as being helpful. He was ready to tell them his story.
Mr Taylor was a quiet man, who had moved from Wellington to the Wairarapa to retire with his wife Gladys. He had received his gold watch and a nice sum of retirement funds. Quite excited about setting up a small workshop in the garage of their new home, he was keen to continue his trade by doing small repairs jobs. He had been a watch maker for 45 years and was a master craftsman. They were happy to settle in Carterton, it was a place they had come to for holidays often over the years whilst living in Wellington. Gladys was content to potter in the garden, growing the most beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables. And she loved to bake. They were a private couple, not big on socialising, satisfied with each others company and the occasional visits from the grandchildren during the school holidays. There was always an abundance of produce from the garden which they were more than happy to share with their neighbours.
One day, Harry had been mowing the lawns in the front yard and had come inside for lunch to find the kitchen neat and tidy with no signs of lunch at all. Where was Gladys? He wandered through the house, looking in the lounge and bedroom and outside in the garden, quietly calling her name, and found her sitting on the garden bench under the apple tree. He thought she was resting. But Gladys had been feeling unwell that morning, had kept it to herself not wanting to alarm Harry. Whilst hanging out the washing she had taken comfort in the shade of the tree. When he found her, she was barely conscious, her pulse was weak. He knelt beside her and took her hand, she looked so calm and peaceful. “Don’t worry about me Harry,” she whispered weakly, “Look! Susie’s here and so is Ma and Pa!” Harry looked at her puzzled, knowing that all of these people had passed away long ago. “Now you just take care and know that I am not far away. I’ll be back for you.” And with a flutter of her eyelids, her hand went limp in his. Harry didn’t struggle, he knew there was nothing he could do for her and sat under the apple tree, holding her hand, sobbing. Shock hit him suddenly, grief stricken by the sudden departure of his beloved wife, he sat under the tree with her for several hours, until Nancy their next-door neighbour, overheard the sobbing, came through the side gate. Quietly she sat next to Harry and his wife, her hand on his shoulder, sharing this precious moment. Being a nurse, she knew all too well what had happened. Reassuring Harry that she would be back, Nancy went inside the house to call the doctor.
Harry’s days felt empty, the sadness weighed heavily on his heart, clinging to what had been so familiar to him, he missed his beloved Gladys. And he was unable to see that she was right by his side, in her spirit form. His heart feeling like it had broken, ached in his chest each day until he too went into Spirit. But he clung to the memories in which the house contained, keeping him earthbound, unable to connect with Gladys in Spirit. He watched on as the house was sold again and again, until it became a deceased estate stuck in a family feud and it fell into disrepair. It was then that he saw another old lady looking at the house with the same longing as he did. Together they watched on as the house was demolished and the vacant land provided space for the supermarket!
Not knowing what to do, or how to find Gladys in the Spirit World, he wandered the area that was once familiar to him, unwilling to move on. Seeing Molly in the Supermarket the other day, he noticed something different about her compared to other people he saw, it was like she glowed, and he felt that she was aware of him too. He tried desperately to communicate with her, following her to the holiday cottage, he tried hard to reach her by flickering the lights and interfering with the TV reception, until he was able to concentrate enough energy to appear to her as she was preparing to mediate.
Now here in The Attic with Grace and Molly, he knew that they would be able to help him reunite with his wife. “It really is a very easy process Mr Taylor, umm… Harry,” Grace explained as she came around to stand behind him and placied her hands on his shoulders. “Close your eye’s Harry…..can you recall a lovely experience you had with Gladys, what was the most favourite thing you would do with her?” She encouraged him. A smile danced across his lips, “I loved peeling the vegetables whilst she cooked dinner, with the radio on and would be singing along together. She had the most beautiful voice…” his voice trailed off and the smile on his face grew as he recalled these memories. “Hold that thought now Harry,” Grace instructed him as she waved her hand around the room, transforming it into a 1950’s style kitchen. There was a quiet knock at the door, to which Grace nodded for Molly to answer it. She opened the door to be greeted by a lady wearing a knee length, brightly coloured, floral dress with a neatly pressed apron over the top. Her hair was brushed into a twisted bun on the top of her head and she also wore pearl earrings and matching necklace. She winked at Molly and walked into the kitchen as if it were her own and commenced cooking dinner, humming a tune. As she busied herself at the bench preparing ingredients, she began to sing. Molly watched Harry as he continued to sit at the table with his eyes closed, as yet unaware of Gladys’s presence in the room. She walked quietly over to Harry and placed her floury hands over his eyes. “There is a surprise for dinner tonight Harry,” she whispered in his ear. Opening his eyes in surprise at the clarity of her voice, his disbelief was quickly exchanged for pure delight. He stood up and took his wife’s hand spinning her around and pulling her body into his, dancing, holding her tight. Round and round they spun, the light in the kitchen increasing around them and then with a bright flash, they were gone, their laughter lingering in now what appeared as The Attic again. Molly sat dumbfounded by the intensity of this vision and of the touching beauty of the story she had just witnessed. Grace handed her a glass of water in which she had placed a couple of drops of Dr Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Sipping the water Molly could feel the heaviness of her body returning as the vision of The Attic faded, she found herself back in the holiday cottage in Carterton. Will had finished cooking some time ago, keeping it warm in the oven, and had been reading whilst waiting patiently for Molly to return, knowing better than to disturb her when she was in a meditative state.
“Hello my beautiful Time Traveller! Hungry?” He smiled fondly at her, as she blinked her eyes adjusting to the surroundings she now found herself in and that she was back with Will. It was the weirdest sensation, one she was still not yet accustomed to. She looked up at Will, tears filled her eyes, the appreciation and love she had for him overwhelmed her. Without a word, he helped her onto her feet and pulled her into a hug, holding her tight, helping her to readjust to the sensation of her physical body. “I love you Molly, beyond words and beyond worlds. You are amazing!” After dinner, Molly wrote the story down whilst the vision was still clear in her mind, and shared it with Will. He loved listening to these intriguing bedtime stories, eager to hear of the incredible adventures Molly was privy to, with just a tad of jealously.