Your Experience & Thoughts ยป Inexplicable Encounter

  • Terence Hegarty
    Terence Hegarty Holliston, MA
    Following on your two pieces on miracles, Steve, I have this to relate. It happened when I was about ten years old, and it's never been explained. I was walking home from school, by myself, along a major city street. A heavily made-up middle-aged (or so it seemed to me at the time) woman, approaching on the sidewalk toward me, accosted me, actually crouched and grabbed me by the shoulders, looked intensely at close range into my eyes and said with extraordinary urgency: "Where are you going, Terry?" She sounded like she came from some distant part of Europe -- I knew French and German and Spanish and Italian accents (this was the mid-1950s, and I Iived in a city where WWII refugees had been welcomed), and it wasn't any of those. I was nonplussed, but I answered something like "I'm just going home," and after a moment she let me go and moved on past me. None of my brothers or sisters, or my parents, could enlighten me as to who she might have been, and nothing I've learned since about my family environment at the time has shed any light. She knew my name, and I was intensely conscious that she recognized me and was concerned for me. Not a miracle, but something for which a rational explanation is elusive. The incident has remained central to my imaginative life.

    Following on your two pieces on miracles, Steve, I have this to relate. It happened when I was about ten years old, and it's never been explained. I was walking home from school, by myself, along a major city street. A heavily made-up middle-aged (or so it seemed to me at the time) woman, approaching on the sidewalk toward me, accosted me, actually crouched and grabbed me by the shoulders, looked intensely at close range into my eyes and said with extraordinary urgency: "Where are you going, Terry?" She sounded like she came from some distant part of Europe -- I knew French and German and Spanish and Italian accents (this was the mid-1950s, and I Iived in a city where WWII refugees had been welcomed), and it wasn't any of those. I was nonplussed, but I answered something like "I'm just going home," and after a moment she let me go and moved on past me. None of my brothers or sisters, or my parents, could enlighten me as to who she might have been, and nothing I've learned since about my family environment at the time has shed any light. She knew my name, and I was intensely conscious that she recognized me and was concerned for me. Not a miracle, but something for which a rational explanation is elusive. The incident has remained central to my imaginative life.

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