Friday, May 25, 2012
There’s no name for my type of faith. I believe in some sort of all-powerful creator. I believe there is a Grand Cosmic Plan. I believe in free will and hard work. I believe, mostly, in love and kindness, and the power of believing in things that don’t always make logical sense. I think something wonderful awaits us, beyond this particular life. And so it makes perfect sense to me that the spirit of our loved ones can travel from the wonderful beyond to visit, from time to time.
I’m almost certain my boys experience these visits in a way that is more “real” than what I experience. Something about the way both boys will occasionally stop and focus on empty space, or the way Noah waves at “nothing,” makes me think they are saying hello. One day, Miles asked me, “Mommy, who are your friends?” I asked him which friends, and he said, “Over there, by the couch.” I saw nothing, but I don’t doubt that he did.
Perhaps as babies and young children, we all can see things that are beyond the range of grownups. The same open mind that allows Miles to see dinosaurs walking in our front hall may well allow him to interact with spirits I can no longer literally see. I don’t think much about the word “ghost” and I would expect that these visits are only expressions of love and curiosity, never malevolence. It seems to me this may be how we grow to feel connected to our families, how we share the spirit of who we are and where we came from.
Most often, I suspect visits from Mil and Bob. My mom’s parents, they were always ready for a road trip. They loved their grandchildren so very much, and I know they would have been head over heels for my boys. Miles has been singing “La Bamba” to the tune of “Goodnight Ladies” lately, and I was telling him how my grandma and grandpa used to sing “We love Jenny, we love Jenny, we love Jenny, for she’s a good little girl.” And I sang him a few rounds of “I love Miles” and “I love Noah.” A few days ago, as we went through our morning, he was singing softly to himself, “I love Mommy, I love Mommy, I love Mommy, la bamba bamba bamba.” I KNOW Mil and Bob were around for that moment, singing along.
It’s harder for me to pinpoint specific visits from Gammy, but I suspect her spirit is present when the boys do something a bit mischievous and then turn to see who might be laughing at them. When Noah stops fussing suddenly on the diaper table and focus on the space above my head, I think she might be there, playing peek-a-boo and making funny faces. I think she would particularly enjoy Noah’s determination and his fearlessness. I expect she’ll keep an eye on him when he approaches his tree-climbing years.
So many other family members, too. Aunt Noreen, Uncle George (would love Miles’ poop jokes!), Uncle Don (would have pointers on how we’ve taught the boys to throw and catch), Noble, Larry, and all of Nathan’s family, as well, I’m sure. At some point in the not too distant future, I’m sure Miles, and then Noah after him, will start to understand “real” vs. “imaginary.” At that point, their connection to the family that have gone on will come in the form of stories and old photos and DNA. Now though, I think the love our family members shared with us when they were alive fills this house with spirits.