I was 12 years old. You know - that totally awkward age - knobby knees, no boobs, and trying so hard to be cool. I read in some magazine how to read palms. It was shortly after that, that my cousin, Beth, came to visit. She was the oldest of all the cousins, and was so *cool*. She was a psychiatric nurse, and had incredible stories. It was an EVENT when she would come up to visit. I was so enthralled with her. This was the 70's, and she was the stereotype of a 21 year old in the 70's.
I remember her last visit at our house; at least I think I do. I remember her laughing with my parents - they thought she was pretty cool too. And she felt the same about them. And she never laughed at my attempts to be cool myself. I remember bringing her breakfast in bed. I remember reading her palm. And her listening to me so seriously. And I felt bad - like I had done something terribly wrong. Her lifeline was so short. What did I know at 12 years old? No one had died yet in my family. I didn't know anyone that had died. Maybe death was a myth after all. I told her that her lifeline ended at 22. I remember her laughing. And I felt better. She wasn't laughing at me; she was laughing at death. She must be right; I must be wrong. What the fuck did I know about life and death?
It was only a month (two, three??) after that visit that our telephone rang in the middle of the night. I woke at the first ring, and I already knew. Before my parents had even stopped the ringing of the phone. Before they had even said even one word into the receiver. I already knew. Beth was dead. And it was my fault; I had already predicted it. She had just turned 22.
Killed by a drunk driver. She was on her way home from work at the hospital. It was Mother's Day.
And that was both the beginning and an end for me.
I don't look at anyone's palms. I don't predict their futures. I know that you may be thinking - that was a coincidence. I don't think it was. There have been many other unexplainable things that have happened a lot like that, and I'm only going to touch upon a few.
When my grandfather died - I knew it before the phone rang. I was 13 then. I remember my father answering the phone - it wasn't late at all, and my mother coming into my bedroom to see if I was alright. She didn't even know yet, but I did. I couldn't stop shaking.
I didn't tell my parents about either of those events. But, I can tell you, it scared the shit out of me.
When my mother was dying - I didn't see it coming. Didn't predict that one at all. But - the phone rang - a night or two after she died - before the wake and funeral. I told my dad the next morning about the man that I had spoken to that night about mom, her death, and the arrangements. He told me that that was impossible. That man had died over 20 years earlier. I had never met him; never heard his name before. But that is who I spoke to on the phone that night.
When I bought the home I am in now - a house that was my dream house - I remember feeling as if everyone I loved that had passed was shoving me aside to get inside to see it (right before we closed on it, I had to come in and get the water meter reading) - I was alone. It was an incredible feeling - not scary - a feeling of absolute LOVE. That family that I have loved, and that were gone, were actually still there - still there WITH me.
I do believe that people you have loved, that have passed, are able to come to you in your dreams. It is probably the easiest way for them to reach you. Your mind is willing to let them in. I have had my parents "visit" me many times in this manner, and it has usually been a comfort to me. (not so much when my mother visited me and wanted to know why I had given away all of her clothes. that was hard. or when I dream that she is really alive, hadn't died all those years ago, but is dying again. those dreams SUCK).
Anyways. Here is the thing. Whenever I am "visited", I always know who the visitor is. I just know. I can't explain it - their presence explains who they are. However, this week, I had a "visit", and I didn't know who it was. And that was kind of scary.
You know when you are just falling off to sleep? You are kind of asleep, but kind of awake? That limbo time. That is where I was. And someone was rubbing my head. It was so nice. I remember even moaning in thanks for a good head rub. And then I came immediately to my senses. HELLO - there is NO ONE in my bed that would be doing that!!! WTF??? I woke COMPLETELY up. Disoriented. Looking around. Nope - all is the way it is. Estranged husband on other side of bed (I told you before it was complicated) - back turned to me. No dogs up in bed with me. I lie back down. I must have been dreaming. I close my eyes. Start to settle back down. And then I feel someone sit down at the foot of the bed.
I sit bolt upright. No one there. Repeat this entire episode about 5 times. Obviously - not the best night for sleep. And it has been bothering me for days now.
So. To all you ghosts out there - please, at least introduce yourselves. If you think that you are on familiar enough grounds to rub my head, at least tell me who the fuck you are. It is only polite.