Do you believe in either?
I believe in both, but sometimes I think they are the same thing. I guess it depends on what the spirit in question is doing… Like I’m convinced my Mother In Law’s spirit is still with us. When something invisible made Lala and Loopsy giggle when they were babies, or when I feel that I’m about to fall down the steps but somehow find my balance in the nick of time, then I consider her an angel. When I swear I see shadows moving out of the corner of my eye or when weird electronic things happen, she’s a ghost. Or maybe the perception is in the eye of the haunted/visited.
For instance, for as long as I can remember, I’ve thought that my Grandmother’s aunt is my own personal guardian angel. Eva passed shortly after I was born, and my Mom tells me that relatives who die around the birth of a baby often stick around to watch over him/her. She’s been convinced that Aunt Eva watches over me. There’s even some (sorta) evidence- a rocking chair that my Dad gave Mom to rock me to sleep often creaks as if someone is sitting in it, even if no one has touched it for days. I still have this rocker and it still creaks. When we were roommates, Bestie was terribly spooked by that.
Maybe that’s why Eva appeared to Bestie. Eva the Angel or Ghost? Depends on whether you ask me or my friend.
About a month before I’d met Hubby in Atlantic City, while Bestie and I were still roommates, she called me at work early one morning in a frenzy.
“I need to see a picture of your Grandmother. Not your Mom’s mom, your Dad’s mom… Do you have one around the apartment?”
“Bestie, what is wrong with you? Sounds like you’ve been jogging. Are you having an asthma attack?”
“No, I just woke up. Listen, seriously…”
“I had a dream about this old lady, I think she must be your Grandmother. I was at a party and she pulled me away and she was very bossy and she said I had to listen to her because she had a message for you and I had to make you understand…”
Bestie went on to frantically explain the details of this dream, including the message and vision that this Old Lady showed her.
I needed to know that everything was going to be okay. That I should relax because he’s coming. He’s on his way. And she showed Bestie a man in a suit packing a suitcase. Bestie couldn’t see his face though. Boo.
I didn’t know what to think except that my best friend seemed to be losing her marbles over a dream. But, I knew there was some merit in her intuitions. (I mentioned a few posts ago that a friend had crashed my car? Well, Bestie called us before we all went out that night and asked us to be very careful. Weird, right?)
That night I showed her pictures of my Grandmother, but no, that wasn’t the woman of the dream. My Dad’s mom died young. This Old Lady was older, gray-haired, was wearing a house dress. I asked if she was sure it wasn’t my Mom’s mom (whom Bestie had met on several occasions and whom was known to sport the house dress like a champ), but she was certain it wasn’t. Besides Grandma was still alive and Bestie thought the Old Lady was a ghost. We kind of just shrugged it off at that point, but I know it was still sticking in her mind.
Flash forward a few weeks and I’m hanging out with her at her new boyfriend’s house. Boyfriend is downstairs playing darts or up in the crapper or somewhere. Bestie and I are drinking beers in the kitchen. The phone rings and she answers. It’s my brother. She just holds the receiver out to me and shakes it. She’s gone wide-eyed and pale and looks like she might vomit. I take the phone and find out that my beloved Grandma has just died. The family was gathering at my Aunt’s house.
After she picked my soggy ass off the floor, Bestie offered to drive me to meet up with my family, and I accepted. I was in no shape to drive.
She stayed with me there too, getting people drinks, trying to make us laugh, fetching tissues, all the things you do when you’re the caregiver type that my Bestie is… At some point, my Aunt pulls out a box of old photos so we can start making a memory board for the funeral. We’re passing them around, and Bestie’s being a very good sport, even though she barely knows these people. Mom finds a picture of her Grandmother Josephine and Josephine’s two sisters, Lilly and Eva. It gets passed around and Mom and my aunts start sharing laughs about how the old ladies used to sit around singing and playing penny poker. Suddenly Bestie stammers, “Her… This one. It’s her.”
My family looks at her like she’s lost her marbles. She hands the photo back to me and points to the old lady in the middle.
“That’s Eva.” Mom explains.
“Scroogy, that’s the Old Lady from my dream…”
Ugh. I break out in goosebumps and Bestie actually breaks out in hives.
We tell Mom the dream story and Mom reminds us that Eva is “in the rocker” and that she’s my guardian angel. Bestie asks what Eva was like. Was she the bossy type? Oh, yes, all the aunts laugh… Very much so. It was definitely her.
Everyone gets the heebies but it only momentarily makes us forget about our loss. We get back to passing around old photos, but I ask to keep that picture of Eva and her sisters. I’m starting to believe in Eva’s dream message.
I’d been dating this dude. He was totally wrong for me, but someone to go to movies with. We’d stopped seeing each other shortly after I started working with the man who would become Hubby… I was sure I’d never meet the right guy, never get married, never have babies. Eva’s message gave me some hope.
And turns out Eva was right…
Did I mention that the first time I met Hubby at Caesar’s that he was wearing a suit? Or that he’d packed a bag in case we had too many cocktails and needed to stay the night?
Ghost or angel, it still gives me goosebumps.