VISIONS OF ELI
In 1932, at the age of nine, Underwood experiences personal tragedy...
Underwood’s father Eli walks with his two sons (John in front, Peter behind) during a family holiday in Clacton-on-Sea, in Essex. They have been caught on camera by a seaside photographer.
One day at school,
he is taken home early by his mother,
“As I was being helped into my coat at school
that October morning...
I asked my mother what was the matter…”
bravely through the tears,
‘Daddy has gone to be with Jesus…’
I suddenly found myself wide awake…”
standing bathed in moonlight,
stood my father at the bottom of the bed…”
“I sat up…
...eyes wide and unbelieving…”
- he’s come back’
“My Mother, sleepy-eyed...
followed the line of my staring eyes, her arms...
reaching out towards the form…”
“The next morning my mother seemed very silent.
‘It was a dream wasn’t it? But you saw him too, didn’t you?’
‘Yes, dear, I saw him, but we won’t talk about it.’
And she never has.”
“I tried many times to get her to tell me what she had seen
- until sadly,
she was too old to remember…”
“But perhaps I saw my first ghost when I was only nine years of age…”
No Common Task
Memorial stone for Eli, Edith, and Peter’s brother John, commissioned by Barry Underwood, John’s son.