* * *
Most of us have an uncomfortable, hidden belief in ghosts, but who can see them and who can’t? Well, apparently, not me. I’ve never had a ghostly encounter until one Christmas my oldest daughter Tonya informed me that our house was haunted.
Seventeen years ago, after my mother died, my stepsister packed up a box of items and mailed them to me. In the box were some items that belonged to my maternal grandmother who had preceded my mother in death. There was a bell pull and a needle-point of a Rembrandt painting that my grandmother had made. I hung them in my dining room where they still remain.
I never knew too much about my grandmother Marge (her real name was Inga) because she never shared any of that history. At the age of 12 she emigrated from Norway. At 18, a happy, fun-loving girl converted to Catholicism and married my stern, hard-working grandfather. Soon she was weighed down by the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood. I don’t think she was all that happy with her lot in life, but she stuck it out. My maternal grandparents were not very affectionate people. No hugs or kisses, no laughter or jokes, no interest in my or my brothers’ existence except that we be good Catholics. Something in their life experience made it impossible to touch a child’s heart.
|Grandmother Marge (on right)|
So when two of her things ended up in my home, apparently she felt the need to check up on them. At that time, my oldest daughter Tonya (age 25 and a nurse) had come home for a Christmas holiday visit. She shared a bedroom with her 11-year old sister Michelle. A couple of weeks after the holidays, Tonya worked up the courage to tell me that our house was haunted. I laughed, but she was serious. She recounted the story of how she woke up in the middle of the night and saw her great grandmother momentarily hovering over her sister’s bed before vanishing. She swore it was not a dream. There was one more incident of waking up and finding an elderly woman standing at the foot of her bed, but she couldn’t recognize the woman’s face.
My take on this ghostly visitation is that Grandmother Marge’s spirit tagged along with the box of her belongings. She hung around just long enough to assure herself that all was well and her belongings were in a safe place. Nothing scary, just Grandmama taking care of business.