Monday, May 4, 2020

Yvonne Koecke (1935-2020): Third Eerie Premonition About Death Came True

Mom told me that she didn't fear death; she feared the mode of death. When she explained the difference, it didn't have anything to do with her cause of death. It had to do with the third of her three eerie premonitions that came true. I'll get back to that.

Mom was born on May 31st, 1935 in Leith, North Dakota. Her parents, Roy "Clair" and Dorothy Kamrath, packed everything up that July, and moved to Oregon with their oldest child. 

She told us tales about growing up in the logging camps, and various homes and farms, as her father moved the family seeking regular work during the Great Depression. The family would grow with Clarence, Bill, and Eileen added to the pack. Pa, as we used to call him, found regular employment with Oregon State College in Corvallis, and the family settled into its permanent home.

Mom also found work as a secretary at the college where Dad had enrolled in the dairy husbandry program. It would be sweet if I could describe a long, romantic courtship, but Dad took her to the demolition derby on their first date and proposed to her on their second date. They married on December 12, 1953.

Mom and Dad had five children. Maureen was first, I was second, Kathy was third, and Bob was fourth. The fifth child, David, was the subject of her first eerie prediction that came true. David was born in December of 1964 and died in March of 1965. There are very few pictures of him, and my memories of him were from the very short time he was not in the hospital and a rather vivid memory of him lying in his coffin prepared for burial.

She had a dream when she was pregnant with David. In it, her two dead grandfathers, William Kamrath and Franklin Suttliff, pulled up in a car with a lady she did not know. They came up to her and told her that they would watch her child for her. She didn't want to give them the baby, but she was powerless to stop them. She told Dad about the dream, and her fear that they would lose this baby.

Dad told me that he didn't take her seriously at the time, and really felt that his handling of David's birth, illness, and death was the one time he had let her down. He confided in me that he told her that he would not fight a divorce if she could not forgive him. Fortunately, she forgave him. 

The eeriest part of that premonition would happen some four years later.

After Grandpa Koecke died in 1968, Dad inherited his father's photograph collection which included the negatives of long lost photos. He blew up one of his family with his father holding him as a young toddler. Mom gasped and started crying immediately upon seeing it. Dad's mom, Goldie Dovie, was the lady she didn't recognize in her dream. She died in 1937 when Dad was only five years old.

The second premonition is one that seems to not have come true, but, figuratively, it did come true. 

Mom told me about another dream in which she was reading her obituary. She was certain that it was a similar dream. The one problem with the obituary she saw is her thumb was blocking her age. It was either 51 or 57 that her life would end.

With her passing yesterday at 84 years old, it appears that premonition about death did not come true. However, in a way, her life to that point ended in 1992 when Dad died. She never dated again. She traveled some, but her life was never the same after that. She lost her constant companion when she was 57 years old.

Her third premonition was one that absolutely could not come true for that would be in our control to prevent. Mom told me that she didn't fear death; she feared the mode of death. I didn't understand the difference. She explained that it wasn't dying that she feared, but she had the fear that she would be put into a nursing home and would die alone.

Yesterday, after being put into a nursing home for rehabilitation from some complications from a minor surgery, mom died alone with her family watching from afar through a Zoom meeting. None of us have been able to see her for more than a month.

All of her family loves her. She was a beautiful lady who tried to avoid conflict, but would stand up for herself and her family. There is no one who I know who has bad memories of her. Even the punishments she doled out when we were children were justified and executed by a loving parent. I could literally name a hundred people who would have stepped in to be by her side to prevent the fruition of her third premonition.

Just as she was helpless when her grandfathers and mother-in-law came to take David, all of us were helpless to prevent her third premonition from coming true. Now I understand what she meant about fearing the mode of death, but not death itself. She imagined it was because we didn't care, which is what we all believed she meant. 

That part was not true. However, even knowing her fear about the mode of her death, all of us were powerless to stop it.

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1 comment:

  1. Tom we are sorry for your loss. But we smile when we think about all her stories.