"Tommy... was here"

This is the first time this story has been told outside our family:

Many years ago (1977) I was living in a mobile home with my 2 sons, ages 5 and 7 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. One day, my 5 year old began to talk about a new friend that visited him at night in his bedroom.  I asked what his friend's name was, and he told me it was "Tommy".  He asked if Tommy could stay with us, and with a smile I agreed, believing Tommy to be an imaginary friend.

I played along with my son when he asked that we include a chair at the dinner table, and make sure there was an extra pillow at night for Tommy, and include Tommy in bedtime stories, etc.

Over the next few weeks, late at night, I would hear sounds coming from my son's bedroom; toys being moved and played with, and soft voices.  I would get out of bed and go to his room, only to find him sound asleep. The door to his bedroom would always be closed, although I left it open after tucking him in at night.

The sounds and voices progressed to the point where I would actually wake my son and ask if he had been playing with his toys.  Each time he would say no, it was Tommy.

At one point I was so alarmed by the noises and voices that I could not bring myself to open my son's bedroom door to look in. Fear gripped me at the thought of what I might actually encounter.

After a month of including Tommy in everything, my son suddenly began to cry when I would ask him to go to his room to pick up toys, or go to bed at night; he refused to sleep in his room and told me he no longer wanted Tommy as his friend.  I asked why he was mad at Tommy and my 5 year old son told me the following:

"Tommy came into my bedroom through the window.  He was very sad and hurt.  He asked if he could stay with me and I said yes.  Tommy said his mommy and daddy were bad to him and he was crying.  I told him we could play together and my mommy was nice."

Then my son went on to say that Tommy's mommy and daddy "found Tommy" and they were looking in his bedroom window at night.  He said he and Tommy were very scared and Tommy cried all the time.  After talking with my son for awhile, it was clear that the arrival of the "parents" caused my son to want to avoid sleeping or playing in his room, and he wanted me to make them all go away.

I wasn't sure what to do, but I knew I needed to show a strong, brave face to my 5 year old son.  I took my son's hand and we went to his bedroom.  I opened the bedroom window and I shouted loudly, "Tommy, you have to go now. I am sorry you were hurt by your mommy and daddy, but you have to go away and leave this bedroom.  Then I shouted, "Tommy's mommy and daddy, if you are here, you have to leave too, you are not welcome here and I do not want you looking in this window anymore!"

I will never forget my little boy's reaction; he squeezed my hand, and with a big smile said, "their gone".   From that day forward he returned to sleeping in his room, and no more sounds or voices were heard at night.

A year later we moved from that mobile home, and as I was cleaning out my son's closet when I noticed a small hand print on the inside wall.  The print was outlined in green crayola with the name "Tommy" written above it in a child's handwriting.  I was stunned!

My son is now 30 years old and refuses to talk about that incident; he says it gives him the creeps and he does not want to recall it.

It is my belief that something more than an imaginary friend visited my son all those years ago.  My prayer is that Tommy has found eternal peace... wherever he is.