Ghosts of Our Lives Past

Wednesday morning I was waked by a finger poke to my side. It wasn’t painful but meant to get attention. I was startled but thought it was Dee, even though she wouldn’t come into our bedroom at such an early hour. We trained her long ago to treat our bedroom as off-limits. I had an open bedroom policy for her when she was little and it was just her and I, but once Rob and I coupled, I decided it was time to go old school like my folks. We kids weren’t allowed in their bedroom under pain of pain. I can remember standing at the door in the middle of the night, sick as a dog and still not daring to put so much as my big toe in their room without permission.

Dee knocks, a very soft rapping, or if she is unwell, she calls from her room.

I half sat up and found no one.

They’re back, I thought.

The house has been quiet and empty of spirits for a while. That feeling of being watched had disappeared after the cat incident on Rob’s birthday. But that poke in the side woke more than just me.

I didn’t mention it to Rob. It was just a poke. There was nothing behind it other than a call to attention, and I figured I would know what I was supposed to be paying attention to so enough. Ghosts, I have come to discover, are resourceful.

The next morning was 6AM Ashtanga. Yeah, I get up at five and drag my sleepy self out into the cold, drive into town and pretzelize myself with a vigorous yoga workout for an hour. Rob, sweetheart that he is, sets his alarm to wake me because my alarm is alarming and lost since May when we ripped up the hardwood in the bedrooms to prepare for new, smoothly delicious looking hardware (which is down now and gorgeous in case your mind was inquiring).

Shortly before five, I hear the soft knocking on the door that I associate with Dee. I am instantly awake and waiting for her voice, but I hear nothing. I sat up and looked toward the door, thinking that I would see light. The doors are back up but the trim isn’t and if Dee’s light is on, I can see it.

It was dark.

I laid back, thinking that the alarm should be going off soon and pondering when I heard the stairs creak. Our stairs are in needing of a good screwing down and make quite a distinctive sound when anyone comes up or goes down. This time, the creaks were descending and as Rob’s alarm went off, I found I was not in a hurry to follow.

Now I have never seen a spirit/ghost/whatever your preferred pc term is in the time I have been living here. Heard a voice. Being shoved and poked and watched, but haven’t seen anything.

“What is that overhead?” Rob asked.

I looked straight up and there was a white light twirling just about our pillows. It reminded me of  similar experience Rob had in the early morning hours last year when we were in the midst of dying fathers through the fall and end of the year. The light swirled like dust caught in a sunbeam.

“I don’t know,” I said. I didn’t tell him about the knock on the door. Mostly because I didn’t think the sign was for him at the time.

Reluctantly I crawled out of bed and headed downstairs. I wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d seen someone in the living room or office at that point but saw nothing but dark. I put on my yoga togs, had some tea and toast and headed into town with a bit of trepidation because the early morning traffic that races by our hamlet on the way to the plants is careless and will someday kill someone. I crawled through the intersection and drove in no great hurry to town.

The street where the yoga studio is located is deserted at just before six in the morning. The building is right next to a bar/flophouse where the clientage run mostly to people who flirt with homelessness on a monthly basis. I have been heckled and ogled and generally creeped out by the inhabitants to the point that I avoid walking directly past it, so I park right in front of the studio.

Yoga passed and I did not fall over from exhaustion but I was tired. I’d lost a lot of sleep with Dee’s being ill. She had been up in the night and I was running on not quite six hours. In days of yore, I could do 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night for weeks on end but these days my body will not stand for the abuse. It literally punishes me with all manner of threat of collapse.

After yoga, I climbed into the truck, wondering still about what I was supposed to be paying attention to. The radio was set to the XM 70’s station and the song that came up first was Cheap Trick’s I Want You to Want Me. I first heard that song the summer before high school. The next door neighbor’s had a grand-daughter visiting from California who was my age. She attached herself to me without my permission and I was forced to entertain her for the month she was there. She was vapid, willfully illiterate and thought poking sticks at the local in crowd was a fun pastime. Her only redeeming quality was a collection of the latest hits on cassette tape. She had a Cheap Trick cassette that she let me borrow and copy which is where I first heard this song. Decades later, I marry Rob and come to discover that this same song was “their song”. That love song that all couples have. The one that played when they first met or danced or kissed or had sex or simply dogged them through their first weeks/months together.

Now I am confused. Why would I get a song sign from my husband’s late wife?

Later in the morning during one of the several phone conversations Rob and I have during the day (we used to email back and forth all day when I was in Iowa and he was here – now we call each other), I told him about the poke and the knock on the door. He had no explanation, but later called me back to say that perhaps our house was s conduit for recently departed spirits. An older gentleman down the alley had died recently and maybe it was him.

Loathing that idea very much, I told Rob about the Cheap Trick song.

“Well, that shoots my theory to hell, ” he said.

Which was fine with me because I do not want to live in a conduit for the recently deceased.

That evening as he was going through his blog reader, he happened upon the posting of The Zoo for the day and what was their song video du jour? Yeah, Cheap Trick.

There has been nothing since. I don’t know if we were just getting Christmas greetings or if it was a heads up. And you might wonder why Shelley would contact me first instead of Rob but it’s not much different from Rob getting dream visits from my late husband as opposed to Will showing up in my dreams. Our passed on spouses appear to be quite comfortable with our choices in second mates.

It’s all very fitting for the season I suppose. Very Dickens. We haven’t neglected Christmas here this year but it has been rather lackadaisical and low-key in terms of preparation. I believe this is an outgrowth of our discomfort with the materialism though.

If I should discover deep meaning in the visitations and signs, however, I will let you know.

8 thoughts on “Ghosts of Our Lives Past

  1. I got a good shake the other day, my house gets busy this time of year too.

    Jake has his visitors too, who seem to be making peace with whatever it is keeping them scurrying about. According to him peace is being made, at least. I never question him about anything, I only let him talk.

    1. When my daughter was young (3 and 4), she often saw her dad. According to her, he came to play Candyland with her or just watch her as she played. I think very young kids are still in closer contact with the dimension we come and go to throughout our evolution. It’s cool, and it’s comforting.

  2. I’ve had those “lights over the bed” experiences twice, both very early in the morning when it was still dark. I don’t know what to make of them, but they’re definitely there.

  3. well, it sounds as if you’re doing your best to listen. that’s all you can do for now. keep track of the bits and pieces of information and maybe a picture will evolve. me? it’d freak me out.

  4. I wonder if spirits are more active this time of year, what with religious celebrations and winter solstice, or if we are more aware at this time of year. This month is laden with birthday celebrations and memories of loss for my family, with two dates that hold both ends of the spectrum for us. This month I find myself tuned to words, music, messages, and connections unlike any other time of the year. I have had nothing as significant as a poke, though.

    1. The poke is new though I have had toe grabs which freak me out as well as felt something push or sit on the bed next to me.

      It could well be the time of year when thoughts of those absent are bound to come up more. I love songs signs and such but physical manifestations – though I know are not harmful – still give me a start.

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