Grandma Rosa

Story by April Rose

As a child my mom told me stories about my Great-Grandma' Rosa (who died before I was born). Grandma' Rosa was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, and she seemed to have a "sixth sense" about things. I call it a "gift." She would have "good" or "bad" feelings about things. She would have "visions" or "dreams" that would often come true.

One of the most unsettling stories I heard about one of her visions was her prediction that one of her sons was going to die. Grandma'Rosa spent her last years on Earth in bed. She stayed sick most of the time and she had asthma. She lived in the mountains of North Carolina and there wasn't the kind of treatments back then that there are today for simple things like asthma. My mom tells me about how the Indians used "herbs" for it...and that was all she had to treat her illness as well as her asthma. Because she was always sick, she didn't go outside or travel much. She had never been very far from home. She had also never seen or heard the ocean.

Her son went away into the Navy. He spent a lot of time at sea. One day Grandma' Rosa was in bed asleep. She woke up suddenly in a panic. She told my grandmother (Maxine), who was still young and living at home, that she could hear waves crashing on the stairs. She said it sounded like the house was sitting right on the ocean and the waves were tearing thru the house. (All this said by a women who had never heard waves and had never been to the ocean) She felt sure of the sound...she knew what it was that she was hearing. She then said to Maxine... "Maxine, I have a very bad feeling. It's your brother. Something has happened to him. He has died. I can feel it...and I can hear it. The ocean has swallowed him and he won't be coming home.

Grandma Rosa was sure of all that she felt and was nearly hysterical. Maxine tried for hours to calm her down saying that everything would be okay. Telling her not to worry. The next day men in uniform drove into the yard. Grandma' Rosa was waiting for them....expecting them. But Maxine was not and her eyes became huge like quarters when she saw the uniformed men get out of the truck and make their way up the front steps. In their hands they held a telegram and a flag. As their eyes met Grandma' Rosa's eyes, she felt calm, knowing the news they brought. But Maxine, in stunned disbelief, starred at her mother as the men started speaking. "Mam, we are sorry to inform you that your son has passed away. Due to a tragic accident. He drowned and there was nothing we could do to help him."

They handed her the flag, saluted her, and walked away. All the while Maxine crying, starring at her mom, amazed. In her mind hearing her mom's prophetic words. "I can hear the waves crashing down the stairs," Those words rang in her mind, over and over again, haunting her.