Picture this,I am sitting in the second to the last seat in a row, in my second grade class room in elementary school, in my new schoolroom, that is way, way, too warm. There are milk cartons sitting on a sideboard getting warmer by the minute, which will make them very hard to drink and enjoy before recess. The teacher is sitting silently at her disk in front of the room. She resembles the stepmother character in the animated Disney movie version of “Cinderella”. This is my third day in this second grade class and so far, it is a nightmare. The teacher has a cold, nasty, personality and to top it off she is a perfectionist. We have spent most of the morning listening to rules and regulations regarding our papers and how they are supposed to be ruled with one-inch margins on the right of our ruled papers and with half-inch lines drawn on the left side. If the margins don’t look perfect we are instructed to erase the lines and start over. My head aches, as I am totally aware that this teacher and I are not going to make it through the semester. As I am pondering the misery of the next several months … I hear a strong, clear voice in my head. The voice says, “By the end of the day you will be out of this room.” I immediately feel calmer and I continued to work on my margins as I wait for my release from this hostile environment. The day goes by and just as I was starting to get panicky; the school principal walked into our room. She announced that seven children were going to be transferred to another second grade class with a new teacher. The principal asked, “How should I do this? I think I will choose this row and count.” She chose my row that was the second row out of seven rows. She counted and touched each child’s head. “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.” I was number seven. We all stood up and we were lined up at the classroom’s door and escorted to our new second grade class with our new, young, teacher; who resembled a Barbie doll. Now, you realize I was a young child and I didn’t question the fact that I heard a distinct voice and that this voice got me out of an unbearable situation…. at least it was unbearable to me. For years, I thought that this voice was going to get me out of every bad situation for the rest of my life. When this didn’t happen, I realized how really unusual it was to have heard this voice at all.
My First Ghost,
My father’s mother was a small, very trim, woman who always smelled like sweet perfume and powder. She always was smiling and laughing. I am not sure if I ever heard her say more than one or two words all the time I knew her until my grandfather had a heart attack and had to stay in the hospital for several days. My grandmother relied of my grandfather for everything. My grandfather did all of the cleaning, cooking and shopping. My grandfather worked all day with my father and my aunts and uncles at my father’s business. When my grandfather wasn’t at work he was responsible for taking care of my grandmother. He hired a maid to clean while he was at work. Nothing was wrong with my grandmother … she was normal … she just didn’t do anything but take care of herself. She did tend to her garden and she spent most of her days at church. Both of my grandparents found religion later in life. All of their free time was spent reading the Bible or going to church. Now my parents took us to church too but I must say they were not fanatical about church or religion. When my grandfather was in the hospital my mother and father went to the hospital together; I became responsible for my grandmother. For the first time in my life my grandmother sat with me and we talked. She told me about her life and her childhood and I remember that I was spellbound. Here she was a real person with a real life. She had opinions and she had a history. I felt close to her. I believe I was about eight or nine years old.
My grandmother was never steady on her feet and my grandfather spent much of his time holding on to her arm making sure she wouldn’t fall or trip over something. (I have unfortunately inherited my grandmother’s clumsiness.) With my grandfather in the hospital … my grandmother was on her own in her own home. She slipped and fell and she hit her head on the bricks by her fireplace. It was a terrible fall. Her head was swollen twice it’s size. Now at this time in my life I was very, very, afraid of death. I guess I had just realized that someday I was going to die. It was a frightening discovery for my sensitive soul. I never mentioned this to anyone. I would lie awake at night shivering worrying about my eventual demise. Realizing that death could happen to me or to anyone at any time was scary beyond belief to me. I kept this fear to myself never mentioning this to anyone. My grandmother was seriously ill and in a coma in the hospital. My mother and I were sitting by the phone in our living room. All of a sudden it was as if we were in a vacuum; as if the air was taken out of the room. I felt my grandmother as a spirit … she came in through the living room and she swooped down as a vapor … I heard her say,” Look at the clock. “ I did. I noted the time. Then she said,” Don’t be afraid of death. It isn’t frightening at all. There is nothing to be afraid of.” Then this vapor that was my grandmother, flew up to the stairway and she was gone. My mother was shaken. I told her to call the hospital and that grandmother had died. To this day I am not sure if my mother heard and saw what I heard and saw. I think she did. My mother called the hospital and asked about my grandmother. The nurse put my mother on hold for quite a while. The nurse came on the line and said that my grandmother had died. My grandmother had died alone and the nurse gave my mother … the time of death. It was the time that my grandmother had told us … when she told us to look at the clock. My mother was so uncomfortable with what had happened that she made me promise not to tell anyone what had happened. My mother never spoke of this incident ever again. I however, proceeded to tell this story over and over again to friends usually on girl’s overnight’s. I believe my mother was afraid that people would think we were out of our minds. My mother had a personality much like our first lady at the time…. Jacqueline Kennedy. My mother was very pretty, stylish, but very reserved in every way. This unusual happening didn’t have an explanation and so she preferred to act as if it never happened at all.
My Second Ghost
My mother’s father had a difficult childhood. His father was from Germany and he was a very mean and a very selfish, cold man. My grandfather’s mother was Irish; she died of what was known in the old days as consumption at the young age of nineteen. She left a husband and four boys behind. What kind of life must she have had being a wife and mother of four boys and dying at nineteen? My grandfather and his brothers were put to work as children. Grandpa was working at a candy factory as a very young child. Grandpa was brilliant but he never got to go to school beyond second or third grade. My mother’s brother was very smart and graduated with a college degree from IIT. My uncle worked on the brain of the first computer for IBM. He worked on all kinds of secret things during WW II and after … working for Boeing. My mother got to see the Stealth Bomber testing in the late 50’s and early 60’s while it was still a secret project. My uncle told me that my grandfather was the smartest man he ever knew. That was saying a lot. My grandfather took a particular liking to me. I think it was because I listened to him and asked questions. I also paid a lot of attention to him. I sent my grandparents letters and information all though college and sent them gifts. I am pretty sure I was my grandfather’s favorite grandchild.
I married a Frenchman and moved to Metz, France. My husband and I were married for about four years when we decided to move to the South of France. I heard from my mother that my grandfather was very ill and in the hospital. While we had started to pack up our apartment I heard that my grandfather had died. I spoke to my mother and my grandmother and as we were in the middle of a move it was decided that I wouldn’t go to California for the funeral. I did think about my grandfather a lot around this time and I told my husband stories about my grandpa. How I wish that he could have gone to school and graduated from college … he was always inventing things. He could take apart a television set and put it back together. He built a radio when I was little and we would listen to Big Ben on his radio. We could hear London. The night before my husband and I were going to leave to move to the South of France and we were staying at my In-laws home, in a little village in Northern France. We were all involved with packing up a truck for the move. It was about a week since my grandfather had died. As we were packing I saw a man walking up the stairs of my in-laws home. I didn’t think too much of it as I figured it was a friend from the village. I forgot to mention that my grandfather dressed just like a typical European. He wore suspenders with baggy pants and a sweater over his pressed shirt with an open collar. He also wore a beret when he went outside. All of a sudden the man going up the stairs turned around and looked at me. It was my grandfather. I didn’t tell anyone what I saw. Who would believe me anyway? I pretended that nothing had happened, until I was getting ready for bed I saw my grandfather again. He walked up the stairs and was walking toward me. I rushed into the bathroom and shut the door. I spoke out loud. “Grandpa, I see you but seeing you scares me. If you want to go with us when we move you can come but I just can’t see you again. It frightens me.” When I opened the door he was gone. I went into the bedroom and my husband was sitting up in bed reading. Now, my husband is very scientific. He doesn’t believe in ESP or horoscopes or fortune tellers. He is an atheist. I said, “ I have to tell you something. I saw my grandfather tonight walking up the stairs and walking on the second floor.” My husband looked up from his book and said in a nonchalant manner, “I saw him too.” I was in shock. My husband told me what my grandfather was wearing. My husband is now my “was-band”. We have been separated for a long time however, we are friends. To this day he refuses to say that we both saw my grandfather’s ghost. My ex says that we both had the same hallucination at different times. BTW we weren’t drinking and neither of us are drug takers.
Well, these are only a few examples of the unexplainable phenomenon that have occurred in my life. I will add to these in the weeks to come. If you are still interested… please keep reading my blog.
Until Next Week…