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Jake and I – Death on Memorial Drive

April 16, 2011
General (Canadian Forces Land Force Command)

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You might want to read Jake and I – Friendship Beyond the Veil before you read this part.  It will make more sense to you.

The next day the four of us met in my livingroom again.  We figured it was where Jake found us, and that would make it easier for him to find us again.

That morning, Anne and Sharon had made some phone calls.  Anne had called the the Canadian Army base in Calgary (later called the Canadian Armed Services base), telling them that she was looking for a WW2 soldier named Jake Siemens with the 14th Tank Division.

The reply was that there was no one named Jake Siemens with that Division, but there was a Jacob Peters.  They said he had been killed in action in 1942 and buried in France, since no one had been listed as next of kin.

Sharon had called the City records office and tried to pin down if a family named either Siemens or Peters had lived on Memorial Drive in Calgary…the address Jake had given us in the previous session.  She found out that there was a man named Blair who was living common-law with a woman named Ilse Peters, but it listed a different number on Memorial Drive than the one Jake had cited.

We decided that it must be hard to remember details like that after being passed on for so long, although you would think that Jake would know his last name at least.  The regiment and the approximate time were right…so we took the rest on faith.  Most of us, including me, were still skeptical, but we were willing to give it a shot.

I got comfortable on the couch and the others took their positions around the room.  Sharon asked if anything was happening.  I was very relaxed and fighting against falling asleep, but as far as I knew, no one was there.  I said as much.

There was a disappointed silence, then Sharon started talking very softly.  She had a voice that was both persuasive and healing, and we had unanimously appointed her the person to talk to me and/or Jake.

“Jake, are you there?” she asked.  “You were in a frantic state of mind yesterday, and we’d all like to help you if you’ll let us.”


“We wouldn’t think of hurting you, Jake,” Sharon continued.  “We’d just like to help if we can.”

We all waited.  I wiggled my toes a little to get more comfortable.  That’s when I “saw” him in my mind’s eye.  “He’s here,” I said.

“Good,” Sharon said.  “Ask him if he would like us to help him.”

I did and Jake indicated that he didn’t know how we could help him but we would try.  Sharon asked him to tell the story.

“I don’t know where to start,” Jake said, and I got the impression that he was very nervous.  There was a jittery feeling in my mind and I was pretty sure it wasn’t me.  I wiggled my toes just to be sure.

“Tell him to start at the beginning,” Sharon suggested.

Jake actually heard that directly and I didn’t need to relay it.  The connection was picking up.

“It was 1939,” he told me, and I relayed it along as he spoke.  “My mom had married this bloke, and I hated his guts.  I wasn’t really a ‘nice’ guy, but I wasn’t a jerk either.  I even went to church when I was a kid.”  He groaned. 

Apparently that was part of the problem.  He had a good Christian conscience, and it was tormenting him with what he thought he had done wrong.

“This guy, his name was Blair, was really rough on my mom.  Me too, but I could take it.  Mom couldn’t.”  I was almost in a sort of a trance now, and Jake was speaking through me.

Blair would beat her, and Jake couldn’t stand it, especially when she didn’t cry but waited until he was gone and then would sob as she cleaned herself up.  One night, Jake couldn’t take it anymore.  He went over to her after Blair had slammed his way out of the house.

© Gabriel Blaj |

“Why do you let him do this to you, Mom?” Jake said gently.  His mother jumped and whirled around.

“Oh, it’s you, Jake,” she said and turned back to applying a cold cloth to her newly bruised cheekbone.  “He’s too big…I can’t.”

“Then leave him, Mom, before he kills you.”

 “Where would I go, Jake?”

The house was in Jake’s father’s name.  The deed hadn’t been changed over after his dad died.  So, his mom didn’t really own the house, and the tax bill was sent to the Estate.

Blair had got himself appointed executor or trustee or something.  He had taken the house over, lock, stock, and barrel, and Jake was eaten up inside with rage and frustration.  It took him another two years of taking it and growing increasingly enraged.  Finally, on his 18th birthday, Jake decided to get out of the house.  He didn’t want to leave the city because of his mom, but he just couldn’t watch her being hit like that anymore.

His mom found him packing and sat down beside him.  “Where are you going, son?” she asked, eyeing the kit bag with a kind of sickness in her eyes.

“Leaving,” Jake replied shortly.  “You know why.”

“Yeah, Jake, I know why.  And I don’t blame you, honey.  It hasn’t been any kind of life for a kid like you.”  His mom put her arms around him and rocked him a little.

At that moment, the outside door banged open.

“Joe’s home,” his mom said in a whisper.

“Just stay in here for a while, Mom,” Jake said.  “He won’t go looking for you here.”

But Jake was wrong.  Suddenly, his bedroom door opened and Blair stood in the doorway, scowling.  He yelled at Jake’s mom to get off her lazy ass and make him some lunch.  He swore at her and shoved her through the door after she meekly got up and tried to edge past him.

Something snapped inside Jake.  He could feel his breathing speed up, along with his heart rate.  For the first time in his life, he realized what the term “seeing red” actually meant.

He jumped to his feet.  “Don’t you push my mother!” he yelled at Blair.

Blair turned around fast, then hesitated for just a moment, as he noticed, possibly for the first time, that Jake at 18 was tall, and had worked out for a few years to make himself muscular and fit.  Then Blair laughed.  “And what you going to do about it, boy?”

“If you touch my mother ever again, you will be sorry.  I’ve warned you.”

Blair laughed again.  Jake’s mom had come into the room to find out what was going on, and Blair had grabbed her.

“You mean like this, boy?” he sneered and smacked Jake’s mom on the side of the head.  He probably thought it was a playful swat, but he must have hit one of the older bruises because she started crying…while Blair was still in the same room and watching.

Jake roared with rage and charged the older man, who flung Jake’s mom into the corner.  What happened next was kind of a blur for Jake, but he eventually became aware that he was hitting Blair over and over again, crying and swearing at him.

Soldiers doing exercises with a tank during commando training, Camp Borden, 1941 - Archives of Ontario

He stopped and got up, staring at Blair’s unmoving body.  Blood was running out the older man’s nose and mouth and his face looked like a slab of raw beef.  Jake had a sinking feeling the man was dead.

He turned to find his mom and comfort her.  He didn’t see her in the room and searched the whole house for her.   She was nowhere to be found.  He came back to his room, taking another look around, and that’s when he found her crumpled up on the floor beside the dresser behind the bed.  He couldn’t accept that she was dead too.

That’s when his mind broke under the pressure.  The next thing he remembers clearly was that he was on his way to Camp Borden in Ontario for basic training.

“So that’s why you wanted the help and said you were a bad man?” Sharon asked.

“No,” Jake replied.  “Blair deserved what he got.  I grieved for my mom, but Blair got her in the end, the way I knew he would.  I should have beaten the son-of-a-bitch up earlier, instead of waiting until I was 18.  Still, I was in rough shape and tried not to think about it.”

“Well…what…uh…how can we help you then?” Sharon said, confused.

“That part comes later…in England,” Jake replied.  “But I gotta go.”

“Can you come back tomorrow?” Sharon asked.

“Yeah, sure.”

And that was the first part of Jake’s story.  I couldn’t imagine what he’d done that was so bad he thought there was no salvation for him.  We’d find out the next day, I hoped.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2011 1:07 am

    Nice one again, Gail. I think you have it pegged. Maybe you remembered even more than I did. I like the way you have put it, sort of melding into Jake’s personality for the main part of this part of the story. Ahhh, that was so long ago, but I can still see all of us in your livingroom as if it were yesterday. (*nostalgic sigh*)

    • April 16, 2011 2:16 pm

      Thanks girlfriend. It was a long time ago, but yeah I also remember it very clearly. I guess things that make a big impact in your life stand out more vividly.

  2. April 16, 2011 12:36 pm

    This is fascinating. I’m looking forward to the next part of the story.

    • April 16, 2011 2:35 pm

      Thanks, Angela. It was fascinating living through it as well. I was highly skeptical at the time, this being my first contact with people beyond the veil. At times, I wasn’t sure how much was my very active imagination and how much was actually real. I almost stopped doing it because it bothered me – what if it was JUST my imagination? What happened next, though, went a long way to convincing me that it was definitely real.

  3. April 16, 2011 8:41 pm

    Very cool. Enjoying Jake’s tale.

  4. Anna Barlowe permalink
    April 18, 2011 4:02 pm

    Super cool story! I’m hooked! How did he get away with killing the guy, though? Or was he not dead? But maybe I’m getting ahead of the story. Let me know when Part 3 comes out! 🙂

    • April 19, 2011 4:44 pm

      I don’t want to spoil the story, Anna, so I can’t tell you what happened re Blair. It will be revealed in due course 😉 I will definitely let you know when part 3 is here.

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