My Mother…My Brother…And Me
by Doug Holloway
On one eventful evening, during an infrequent visit to my mother’s house, I found myself involved in a strange incident that had never happened before or since. While sitting on the front porch at just about twilight, or dusk dark, I happened to find myself fixated on one particular star in the eastern sky. It seemed smaller, yet brighter than all those around it. The night was clear and the moon lit sky was full of stars. But there was something about this one little star.
As I sat there, I noticed that it started to twinkle as stars often do. While I enjoyed the twinkle of this particular star, I glanced around in search of the “Big and Little Dipper.” These were the only two images I could readily find, so I always looked for them. After I identified them in their usual positions, in the heavens, my attention was drawn back to the little star that was still twinkling. As I watched it, I noticed it appeared to be moving in a vertical motion. This didn’t surprise me much, because I had always heard, “If you stare at a fixed object long enough, it would appear to move.” But this movement was different. The star was moving straight up and straight down, in higher and lower degrees, but always returning to its center position. I observed this for at least 5 minutes to be absolutely certain that I wasn’t hallucinating.
I slowly got up from my chair and eased the front door open, being ever wary of the star, as I felt it might stop these motions if I took my eyes off of it. I called to my brother who was inside visiting mama and when he came out, I pointed to the star and told him to watch it for a minute as I had done. When he looked, the motions of the star were barely perceptible but after a few seconds it started to repeat the maneuvers I described earlier. We both stood there and watched in utter astonishment, not daring to say a word so as not to disturb this particular moment.
After about 10 or 15 minutes of this, the star returned to the center position, stopped and flashed or twinkled a few seconds, then started to maneuver horizontally. It moved left and right in an ever widening straight line across the eastern sky always returning to its center position. We looked at each other to assure ourselves that we were seeing the same thing and softly speculated on what we thought we were seeing. Now my brother and I did not get along well and I had drank a short can of “Bud Lite,” but I was certain about what I saw. Having been in the military we established a point of reference to have some idea of the distance this thing was covering. We used the neighbor’s house across the street as a reference point. By this time my brother and I were in total agreement that we were witnessing something out of the ordinary.
I asked him to keep an eye on the star while I went inside to get some binoculars. While I was inside I asked my Mother to come out on the porch, so I could show it to her. To me there couldn’t ‘ve been more concrete verification than mama’s testimony! We showed it to her as it continued the same, even more exaggerated patterns. She, like us, stared in disbelief. Noone said a word as the light show continued, for another 15 minutes or so. We passed the binoculars back and forth among us trying to get a more definite picture of whatever this object was, but it was too far away and no matter how we squinted it still looked like nothing more than a far away twinkling star.
After a time it seemed that our entertainer had somehow become aware of us! The same feeling of fear and panic went through the three of us at about the same time. The star seemed to sense this also because after another 3 or 4 minutes of performing these same maneuvers, it returned to its center position, sat there and twinkled a few moments and in a whhooooosh, like something from “Star Wars,” moving into hyperspace, it went backward, deeper into the eastern sky, at a fantastic rate of speed until it disappeared from our view.
In silence we stood there, no one daring to disturb the moment. Of course after 5 minutes of this awkwardness we, almost in unison, asked no one in particular, “Did you see that?” The reply, almost in unison, “Yes!” After standing there in mental communion with my brother and me, mama slipped back into the house. We talked about the wonder we had just witnessed and came to the agreement that now we knew why others who had seen such things were viewed as being kind of strange. Our one redeeming factor, the witness who would make this story credible, was mama, and we knew it. After awhile, when we went back into the house to include her in our discussion, we found her reading the Bible, as she often did, so we respectfully did not disturb her. We also knew that we, like many others, could never speak about this to anyone aside from ourselves because, no one would believe us, “Hell!,” we could hardly believe it ourselves.
Around Thanksgiving all the kids and family, met at mama’s for the traditional dinner and family festivities. At the end of the evening while everyone was inside digesting, my brother and I went out and sat on the porch. Our thoughts immediately went to the last time we had met like this. Individually, we went over what we had seen that night. We both wanted to be sure we weren’t influencing each others memories of that event. To solidify and validate our secret we went inside and got mama. She grudgingly tore herself away from the moment of pleasure she was having with her children and family and came outside with us. As we patiently refreshed her memory of the events of that fateful night it was obvious from her reaction that this was a memory she didn’t want refreshed, despite our persistent encouragement and assurances.
When things had nearly reached the point of torture she finally blurted out that she hadn’t seen anything, didn’t know what we were talking about and our persistence was driving her pressure up. Needless to say this was not the expected reaction and my brother and myself were spiritually crushed. Now, speaking of spiritual. My mother was a very spiritual person who based all her beliefs on biblical scripture. I soon realized the magnitude of what she had witnessed that night had caused her to allow the possibility of things unexplained in the universe. Seeing this phenomenon for herself may’ve even planted a mustard seed of doubt in her explanation for all things, her spirituality.
Needless to say, I was disappointed in my mama’s reaction to this incident and I tried several times over the years, before her passing, to get her to recall that night to no avail. To this day, I haven’t seen anything that even comes close to what I saw that night and anyone who could give this story validity has long since passed, but I still have the burning memory of that hot spring night. Strangely, it was this one particular night and that one particular star, that unified my mother, my brother and me, in an additional life long bond that we never dared speak of again.