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Tell us a Haunted Tale … Plinky Prompt !!!

I’m bored … and dinner is not ready yet. And the movie wasn’t showing today.

Hubby woke me up this morning with his announcement that he checked the theatre website and our film was not on till tomorrow. So we rescheduled and added a third person to join us on the adventure. So that will be good.

I thought about inviting a friend along with us tomorrow, so I cleared it with my sponsor and made the call. My friend is going through treatment for prostate cancer and I’ve been keeping a close eye on him, calling him and just being kind.

I think it is easy to be complacent – but much more important to be kind.

Well, what do we have here ??? It’s been a long time since I have written a Plinky Prompt. The website is a collection of writing prompts that wordpress encourages us to use to get the “creative juices” flowing.

I don’t think I’ve told this story, so here it is.

This story takes place a long time ago in my timeline. I was a teen-ager living with my parents. Whether or not you believe in the here after is not a question, but this happened to us.

My uncle Paul, lived in Connecticut. He was old and died when I was young. One day my uncle John, was blacktopping the driveway and a Bluejay flew out of a tree and landed right where he was standing.

Birds are birds right, they don’t usually fly up to people for no good reason.

This was just after Paul died.

And where ever my uncle John went in the yard or even in the house, the bird would fly to whatever window was closest and peck on the glass. This pecking went on for weeks and weeks. And at one point uncle John went outside and called to the bird to stop pecking.

The bird stopped pecking …

My grandfather died while I was still living at home. He was suffering from a stroke, alcoholism and fading age.

A couple of days past his funeral, I was in my bedroom doing whatever. And there was a huge tree, well, there were several. A 50 foot oak, a smaller flowering tree and a grapefruit bush.

On that particular day a red headed woodpecker appeared at my window and began to peck. This bird followed me up to the bus stop at the end of the street, it would be there when I got off the bus and it followed me all over the house, pecking on the windows. The pecking went on for weeks and weeks.

It got so aggravating that we would walk out and say to the air, “get out of here Al!” which was my grandfathers name. And the bird would stop pecking. But it did that for a long time.

Weeks and weeks went by and two pecking bird stories were shared by two families 1500 miles apart.

At some point, Al was ready to move on … and he did eventually leave us.

But a couple of weeks later my uncle called from Connecticut saying that Paul was still hanging around the house, and then he added that a woodpecker appeared with the bluejay at their house, 1500 miles away.

They both pecked for a while then they took off. Neither bird was ever seen again.

My grandmother (on my dad’s side) lived a while longer than my grandfather. She had a massive stroke and was disabled when she died. I was living with Gloria not far from my childhood home.

I went to the funeral and it was a very sad time for me because grammy was my whole world. I missed her terribly.

I had brought a couple of flower arrangements back to the house and kept them in my bedroom. I just had a feeling …

It wasn’t long after that that she appeared to me. Grammy would always silently stand at the foot of my bed and watch me. The first time she came she scared the shit out of me, I was like, “don’t do that …”

Her apparition stayed with me for a couple months.

Time would pass, I would move three times, I was in my 26th year of life and I was living in a small apartment not far from the bar I worked at when I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994.

It was a one bedroom flat with a living room, kitchen seating area, a walk in closet and a small bedroom. I would sleep at night in my room, with the door shut at night.

Things started happening in the apartment. Pictures on the wall would move, magazines on the tables would move and drop to the floor. I could not explain this, but I was sure I wasn’t alone.

I was seeing a Tarot Card reader at a shop just up the block from home. He was a gifted man whom I trusted for advice. I mentioned the “happenings” to him in passing and he offered to come and see what he could find.

So one afternoon he came over and walked into the apartment and sat down. Almost immediately, he had a face, hair color and the answer to my question.

He saw an older woman with red hair and a kind face. When i was a child, grammy had fire red hair, I have pictures of her from that time period.

He said that she was hanging around watching me and that she asked him to tell me not to sleep with the door shut because for some reason, she couldn’t get through the door. I knew it was her.

Never did I sleep with the door closed again. And she stopped moving things around. She stayed with me for a long while, when I got sick. I needed her strength.

Some years later, my memere died. (my mother’s mother). Again, my world was shaken by her death. My mother did not want me to go to the funeral because of my gayness and my HIV positive state of being, and she made that perfectly clear to me. I had stashed enough cash aside to afford a ticket to fly to Connecticut, but I decided against it.

For weeks after her death, memere visited me. I saw her in my sleep. I had fits of writing compulsively in her hand, with her words. I knew it was her and I progressively wrote these letters to my mother – from her, and the things she wanted me to tell her.

I am sure my mother still has these letters, and that she probably thinks I was crazy, but I will never know anyways.

That’s three for three.

My parents returned with mementos from the funeral. Statues,  photographs, paintings from both my grammy and memere. They sat in my personal shrine and they went with me on the slip that almost killed me.

I lost everything that I owned on that slip. Including my mementos.

Fast Forward to Montreal. I met my great aunt Georgette at the Grey Nun’s Convent just up the street from my apartment. I visited often for meals and Eucharistic Celebrations. And she shared stories with me of Memere from when she was a child.

My great Aunt Georgette’s family in the 1920’s during the Spanish Flu epidemic  that killed millions of people had claimed the lives of Memere’s parents, and they took her in and raised her as their own.

I learned all this history from her over the 2 years that she lived, she was well into her 80’s. At one point, I got a call from the convent that she was in hospital and that it was terminal.

The doctors said that they would operate to take out the cancer, so we waited and hours into the operation they came out and told me that it was a no go, that there was way too much cancer and that nothing could be done to save her.

The convent came together and the sisters came to visit her. They were all she had and I was as close to the next of kin as you could get. Her brothers and sisters lived in Atlantic Canada and would eventually come for the funeral service.

When it all got too painful for her, they took her up to the ICU at the Montreal General Hospital and there were machines galore, bells, whistles and flashing lights. She did not like this at all. It scared her. When they tried to place an oxygen mask on her face she went crazy.

Then they decided that the only other choice was Morphine …

They turned off the machines and the lights, and strung her up with an IV line dripping morphine. I sat by her bed through the night I was reading the Bhagavad Gita.

The surgeon who worked on her came by in the middle of the night, prior to our last conversation, to check on her, shouting loudly, as if she was trying to communicate with a dead person.

At 3 a.m. she stirred and grabbed my hand and asked me to find her a priest. I did not know who to call, so I asked her ICU nurse. It was late in the night and she wasn’t sure she could locate one.

I stood over her bed and listened to her tell me that the devil was trying to take her and that she needed a priest and prayers. So I put my book down and began to pray over her and with her. We said the Lords Prayer and she faded off into lala land.

Her eyes had rolled into her head. And she was gone.

The next morning came and the shift nurse came on and the sister’s came for morning watch. I kissed her cheek and said that I would be back shortly. I was going to walk down the hill to home, take a nap and go back.

Around 11 am that morning I was laying in my bed and I felt her move through me and past me. Shortly afterwards the phone rang and the nurse told me that she had passed. I did not return to see he at the hospital, but opted to greet her when we buried her at the Mother House.

I have her picture on my sacred shrine in my bedroom. Along with the items I received from the nuns. A rosary, my relic that she carried close to her heart. And a Marian statue.

Whatever memory remains, must be written down so as not to forget it. They are all I have today. The women who meant the most to me are long since gone. But people are never far away if we remember them on a daily basis.

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