The Crash

My mom was given six months to live in January, 2012, diagnosed with moderate brain atrophy and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). In September 2017, since she was still trucking but she could no longer speak, walk or perform tasks independently ALL WHILE BEING FULLY AWARE OF ALL THIS #mostcruelillness, she required very individualized care which facilities couldn’t provide.

So I brought her home. We turned our dining room into a studio apartment with a deck and a short view.

And, in the beginning, it was just Mom, my husband David, Hemi, our rescue Mastiff, and I. And we did our best to get adjusted. Mom seemed to come alive when we brought her home which knocked her hospice team off their feet.

She loved the view of our tiny backyard which was lined with beautiful roses and flowers which had been lovingly planted by the previous owner who had lived in the house her entire life.

Essentially, the entire first floor became Mom’s space as our house was not large. Thus, we moved our TV from what had been the living room into our bedroom upstairs and placed Mom’s TV in her new bedroom on the first floor, to the left of the patio door.

And it was in front of that first floor TV where we experienced the most crazy thing one night at the end of November, 2016.

It was as if the house was bitching about not being included in the decision about bringing Mom home. Or maybe it was just super excited and wanted to show off for the new occupant.

In any case, a few weeks after Mom moved home, David and I were laying on our stomachs on the floor in Mom’s room, watching a Badger basketball game. Mom was asleep behind us in her bed. And Hemi was asleep in her bed which was behind us in the living room.

And, suddenly, the sound of an incredible crash stopped all other activity.

The game on the TV kept moving but we had frozen.






This is because it sounded as if something incredibly large had dramatically and loudly crashed through the front of our house behind us.

It sounded as if the picture window had been shattered and the walls were actively giving way due to the impact.

It was a deafening, disastrous roar and the sound lasted for how long it would if a vehicle crashed through the front of your house and landed in your living room.  

When the sound stopped, I opened my eyes and realized I had physically braced for impact. My shoulders were raised, my arms were tightly drawn to my sides and my fists were clenched. I did not relax my body but instead lifted my head to look to my left to see that my husband, who was staring back at me, was looking just as wide-eyed and shocked as I felt.

As if on cue, my attention was then redirected to Hemi, who, again, had been fast asleep in her bed in the corner of our living room and who, at that exact second, wildly skittered to a stop in the kitchen doorway, her legs askew beneath her and her eyes wildly looking back to where she had escaped.

I followed her eyes and slowly turned to look behind me, afraid at what I’d see.

I glanced at Mom behind us in her bed and saw that she was no longer asleep. In fact, her eyes were also wide open, her eyebrows raised, and I could see her chest quickly rising and falling. She looked very shocked and her eyes were fixed on mine.

I stared blankly back at my mom, feeling like I was moving in slow-motion, though only a few seconds had passed, and finally turned all the way round to look back at our living room to surmise the damage.

I had expected to see a destroyed car with crushed metal and the remnants of what had been the front of our house. I had expected to see smoke and small fires and bodies and electrical sparks.

I had expected to see a monstrous scene that would require me to get up and shrug off my shock.

But our living room looked just as it always did.

I blinked a couple times.

I looked back at my husband and he got up. I did the same and squeezed Mom’s hands as I walked by her, telling her it was okay even though I didn’t understand how that was true. David and I walked into the living room behind us and… well, we were simply gob-smacked.

It didn’t make any sense.

We walked outside to see if there had been an accident on our street. We walked further to see if there had been an accident on the busy intersecting street beyond but all was quiet.

There was nothing. Nothing at all. But there had to be an explanation so we returned to search the house.

This wasn’t footsteps or a door opening on its own or any kind of feeling.

This was a violent crash which we all heard, and it happened right behind us. There had to be some explanation for the incredible cacophony of noise that had launched itself into our quiet evening.

We checked the furnace. We checked the freezer. We checked the vents as much as anyone can check vents without taking shit apart. It felt kind of unnecessary because… the “crash” didn’t happen in the walls or downstairs or upstairs… it happened right behind us in our living room at the front of the house.

I went on Facebook to ask if anyone who lived near us had experienced anything and to see if there had been a freak earthquake in Madison. I went on Nextdoor to see if anyone in our neighborhood had also heard or experienced anything. I texted our neighbors.

But no one else had experienced anything similar to what we had and there had been no explanatory phenomena.  

Friends suggested it was the pipes, ice on the roof, a gas leak, the freezer, the water heater, aliens and Jacob Marley.

I joked that perhaps it was the weight of Christmas joy which was plastering the interior of our house at that time and House was feeling all upset that the decorations were hurting its haunted house rep. No self-respecting haunted house had stuffed reindeer and polar bears and holly and red satin ribbons and manger scenes and multiple Christmas trees filling it like ours did.

I fucking love decorating for holidays. That house was on fire with Christmas cheer.

Or maybe House was super into Mom being home and was overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit but it was just a being spaz about it because it was rusty and couldn’t express its celebratory mood appropriately.

House as Awkward Snowman

Regardless, when friends suggested the crash we’d all heard had been paranormal, it just seemed crazy.

I had never before heard of such an event. This was not an unearthly roar or a disembodied scream or creepy singing or lights flickering or a tall shadow or a pale face in the window or footsteps on the stairs or a “bad feeling.”

And this was not a little unexplained bang.

Rather, it sounded as if a freight train had ripped through our glass window at full speed, knocking down our giant bookcase in the process, causing all of its big hardcover books to tumble down and pile on top of the carnage of metal, smoke and fire below.

Thus, if that had been paranormal, it was unlike anything I had ever heard of. It wasn’t spooky or creepy.

It was unacceptable.

Eventually, after not coming up with any kind of reasonable explanation which would have explained what had happened, I told David that, even though we had shifted bureaucratic mountains to get Mom moved into our house, none of us were going to live there if things like that happened.

That was too much.

That felt violent.

A friend told me that she’d read on Reddit (a source of pure truth) that unexplained loud crashes in a house signify that a demon had entered.

What? 😳

Naturally, I couldn’t help but giggle because demons must have seriously low self-esteem if they have to make a big hubbub whenever they arrive anywhere.

In any case, if a demon with a histrionic personality disorder crashed in to visit my mom they probably soon found out that they’d picked the wrong lady to fuck with.

In any case, we had no idea what had caused that noise but Hemi, traumatized as usual, refused to return to her bed in the living room that night. We had to move it into Mom’s room for a short time while she recovered.

And we never heard anything like that throughout our remaining time in that house. Maybe the house realized it had taken it too far that night and felt appropriately chastised.

In any event, David, Mom, Hemi and I all heard something which made each of us react in our own way.

And, personally, that’s great. Because if I had heard THAT on my own? If that had been my own, individual, subjective experience? THAT noise?

I would have checked myself into Mendota Mental Hospital that very evening.

Because that was just CRAZY.

3 thoughts on “The Crash

    1. Hahahaha yes, my kindred! Not at all an accurate portrayal, I imagine. OR that demon is really sick (I mean, it’s a demon so… ) and that’s the look it gets while it’s [insert atrocious act]. Demons have no friends.


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