The Awesome Lights


I first met my cousin Patty when I was eight years old. I had heard that one of my grandmothers great nieces had moved to our town and had a little girl my age. They settled about seven miles away from our house, in a big, white, house, high on a hill overlooking the highway.

Everyone was on their way to church on a crisp Sunday morning when I saw a girl that I thought must surely be a princess. She was so pretty, wearing a navy blue princess style spring coat and matching hat, with white shoes and purse.

She walked up to me and said, "I hear youíre my poor cousin, well, I am going to take all your friends away from you." Then she walked on.

I was crushed. I thought, what have I done? We arenít poor, we have good food, good and clean clothes with no patches. Why doesnít she like me ? She doesnít even know me.

Shortly after that, I was playing in our side yard and I saw my friend Ann and Patty walking up the hill toward the church. When they reached the church yard, they spread a blanket and it looked as though they were having a picnic.

I went inside crying and told my grandmother of my meeting with Patty and what she had said to me and that I guessed it was true because Ann, who had been my best friend forever, hadnít even waved to me.

My grandmother gave me a hug and said, "Donít you worry about it. If she can take Annís friendship away, then she was no friend in the first place. But I have a feeling things will work out o.k. You and Ann have been friends all your life. You just go on back out and play and pretend you donít notice them."

When I went back outside, I saw Ann and Patty coming down the hill. I turned my head but only far enough that I could watch them from the corner of my eye. It was not long before they were in my yard. They walked up to me and Ann gave me a smile, saying, "Hi, Patty wants to tell you sheís sorry for being mean to you."

I looked at Patty and she looked at me. I could see she was on the verge of tears when she said, "Iím sorry for being mean to you. I donít know what made me do it. Will you come and have a picnic with us?"

After that, Patty and I became the best of friends.

The following summer I went for an overnight at Pattyís. My aunt and uncle were there playing cards with her parents and we took an old quilt out on her front lawn and lay there talking and watching the stars.

Something very strange began to happen in the sky. Huge, brilliant lights appeared, they came together and formed a giant star, then more came and formed a cradle, even more came and formed a cross and they just hung there, not moving. I was in awe, I couldnít speak. I finally managed, "Do you see that?"

"Yes. said Patty, in a frightened voice, What do you think it is?"

" I donít know, I said, but lets go tell everyone, maybe the worldís coming to an end."

We ran inside as fast as we could and told the adults.

My aunt said, "Oh, theyíre just shooting off fire works at the army base. Go on out and play."

When we went back outside, the lights were gone.

My grandmothers health was failing and shortly after that my aunt and uncle sold my grandparents home and moved us all to live with them on a farm in Louisiana. I lost all contact with Patty for over fifty years.

Six years ago I contacted an old school chum of my brothers who still lives in the area and asked if he knew anything about Patty. It so happened he did as he had kept in touch with her brother and he sent me her address.

I sent Patty a letter telling her who I was but not mentioning the lights. All I asked was if she remembered my spending the night with her and what we saw laying out in her front yard.

A few days latter, I got a phone call from her. She said, "Those lights! How could I ever forget those lights? Iíve wanted to talk to you so many times but didnít know how to contact you." Then she described exactly the same thing I saw that night.

I still donít know what the lights were. They were definitely not fire works. But they are definitely something that two little girls will remember all their lives.

A golden memory from childhood.

 By Lora Cox 2001