Today, seven years ago, my maternal grandmother passed away. Yes, I miss her and that goes without saying. The notion of this dawned on me this morning. I was sitting in front of the television. Scratch that. I was sitting on Sarah’s ottoman, playing with her saved cat, Porter, the kitten with the personality of a thousand kittens, when the thought ran through my mind. I think the television was off (damn my short term memory). It just amazes me that she left us seven years ago to the day. I cannot think of anything that would have sparked this realization, but that’s one of the strange coincidences that have been happening.
As I digress, many odd things have been happening. Ryan (my roommate), in my opinion, kicked things off. He and others were messing with my Ouija board one night after hitting up the bars for drinks. In my opinion, they weren’t treating the thing respectfully. Sometime that week an accident occurred. One of the shelves in the cupboard fell from a peg breaking. Most of the mugs fell and broke. Since living in the apartment since 2006, nothing of this sort had happened. A couple weeks later, we had a fly infestation. They came almost immediately and we could not figure out what triggered it. We don’t leave food out, so it had nothing to do with that.
Those incidents happened this summer. I digress. Recently, Sarah and I have been watching more and more ghost story types of shows: My Ghost Story, Celebrity Ghost Stories, and Ghost Hunters. Since she moved into her apartment in July, there has been activity. Shoes have moved. We have heard the front porch light clicking on and off. Her neck pillow appeared out of the blue, follwing a conversation about said objects with my mom earlier that night. The cats stare into space. The television turns on by itself.
The two of us woke up one night only minutes past two. There was a big flash from the television and the screen went black. This was followed by its turning on and showcasing snowy noise as if the channel was incorrect. The cats were at the foot of the bed, staring at the television. I reached over, grabbed the remote, and turned everything off. The television box read APP. Seconds after the room darkened, Cork, the older and older of the cats let out a meow best described as inquisitive. He let out a the surprising one-word sound with a question mark. Normally he is a talkative cat. He said nothing after.
Another incident in the past year happened at the museum, the M.O.S.T. for all the Syracuse people. We, my coworkers and I, know the place has activity, referencing an apparition as “The M.O.S.T. Ghost.” Paul and I were in the vacant area of the museum one evening, a room beyond the storage area. The two of us were talking about the usual sports, politics, love, life in general stuff when we heard footsteps walking around. Paul went to go investigate after thinking it was Chris, another coworker. No one was there. He came back to give me the news and we blamed it on “the ghost.” The conversation picked up again and we were interrupted by a loud slam from the adjacent room. Loud enough to stop our words and turn us white. It wasn’t malicious and it didn’t throw anything. It just let us know we weren’t alone. We were nice and tried to get the presence to flick the lights off and on, but it didn’t.
I know family members have experienced activity, so I know I’m suseptable to the same, but I just wish it would happen more often. My uncle who married into the family experienced several things at his brother’s house in Liverpool (I think): him waking up ont he couch, hearing dogs barking at nothing, cupboards opened, and figures. There have been experiences with mediums. My Great Aunt, my grandmother’s sister, has even seen my grandmother. The same one from the first paragraph.
I think about my family constantly and feel I’m being watched over, but I never have experienced anything to assure me my relatives are in fact there. I am guessing things haven’t happened, because I am not a doubter. When I went to Italy last year, this exact time of year, I knew my grandparents (at least) were with me, pleased about going to the Old Country to meet my family, see where my heritage originates from, and simply going out of my comfort zone to explore life. I was in a country by myself, not knowing much of the language at all. I had a blast.
This morning, I visited the gravesite. My grandparents share a site with my grandmother’s two surviving sisters and their deceased spouses. I think that’s completely fitting. I get to visit many people at once, but specifically went for her today. I blessed myself before saying an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary.” I only stay a few minutes, tell them hello, that I miss them, briefly explain what’s on my mind and if they can help me get through it. I ask for signs to point me in right directions.
I’ve visited before, but my recent going to chuch sparked a rejuvinated mindset to do it more often. This includes going to church. As much of a Catholic as I am, I don’t stand by everything in the books. I consider myself spiritual with Catholic infuluences. I respect all religions as there are similarities in all of them as drastically different as they come across to me. Whenever I’m in a place of worship, I want to follow their guidelines and norms to educate myself and to respect. I’m filled with that mysticism sense of awe and a weight is lifted off my shoulders. I’m always happy.
I just need to keep telling myself to go to mass more often.
When Sarah and I ran into on of my grandmother’s friends at St. Cecilia’s, her spirits were lifted when she realized who I was, that she hasn’t seen me in forever, and that I resemble my maternal side of the family. I feel I have a good mixture, though.
After, before finding my emotions to finally write this morning in Freedom of Espresso, I briefly spoke to a gentleman at the parking meter. He asked me if I was here for the French talk. I said no and that I had no idea of anything with the French language, but assured my wanting to go there one day. He said he was recently there and then went to England to visit friends for a week. He inquired where I have been and was impressed. My thinking of going to four countries doesn’t seem like much and not sure why. To others, it appears I am impressive and educated. Although our conversation was brief, it was a good conversation, defining two of my favorite things: talking to people and traveling. However, this traveling topic is for another day.
To cap off the day, I wrote and visited my grandmother. I feel accomplished. Tonight, Sarah and I are going to our friends’ house for a going away party. The friend’s husband’s cousin is going back to Ireland. I know, another traveling tie-in. This notch adds to the tally of Italy, England, Ireland, and a place I have been currently dreaming about: France.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald