It was my Mother's voice, and all she said was, "keep going, twin, (her favourtie name for me and my twin brother), just keep going". I saw many things then, my home, my Mum, so many images flashing in front of my eyes.
In early 1982 my Mother died. Our family was spread throughout England, so I volunteered to collect my sister from her home in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear and drive her to the funeral in Bolton, Lancashire. Later, after the funeral, I drove my sister back home, maybe a distance of 200 miles, stayed just long enough to have a cup of tea, and then set off on the journey home to Bolton.
It was only when the low-petrol warning light and buzzer came on in my car that I realised I was very low on petrol. My car, a SAAB, had a very reliable and accurate petrol gauge, so I knew I had probably less than twenty miles of fuel left. That is when I discovered in horror that I had left my wallet, watch and other personal items on my sister's coffee table, because they were uncomfortable to have in my pockets whilst sitting down.
I had a choice; park up and either try and beg a few pounds off a passing motorist or keep driving until I ran out of petrol and hope a motorway police car would stop and help. I was on the long, often unlit stretch of the M62 motorwar joining Yorkshire and Lancashire, and notoriously known as 'the place in the middle of nowhere'!
I decided on the second option and continued, treating the accelerator pedal as if it was lead crystal, trying to eek out every drop of petrol, as I still had over 60 or 70 miles to go to my home. After a few minutes of nerve-wracking driving, I suddenly heard a voice behind me, coming from the seat where my Mother always sat, as she had never learnt to drive herself.
It was my Mother's voice, and all she said was, "keep going, twin, (her favourtie name for me and my twin brother), just keep going". I saw many things then, my home, my Mum, so many images flashing in front of me.
For the next hour and a half, I just kept going, the car refusing to stop, despite the petrol warning buzzer doing its' best to get my attention! As I reached my home, my car ground to a dead stop, right outside my dorr. Then the last thing I heard was, "goodnight son".
I went into my home, shaking and unbelieving what had just happened. I told my Father a few days later, and he said he believed that Mum would never leave us.
As a bye the way, a garage had to take my car away and fill all the tank, lines, engine etc. with petrol before it would start again. They said they had never seen a car so dry before.
This event has stayed with me until today, but I will never forget those words. Incidentally, much later, my young daughter refused to sit in that particular seat, because she said someone was already sitting there!
Story written by Graham Coates-Gibson