Posts tagged ‘ghosts’

July 3, 2013


“mom, do you remember all of the other days? when you were someone else?”

June 2, 2013

a mother used to live there

i left my children today, playing happily with their neighbors and friends. their father, competent and casual, was supervising and socializing, and all were relaxed, thoroughly enjoying the sun and the company. i left them, briefly, to travel across town to another home, a home where i’d never been.

i brought with me food that i’d carefully prepared, considering allergies and dietary preferences of a man and a child that i don’t know.  admittedly, i also felt casual, just “running errands so the boys can be boys” as my three year old summarized.

it’s true, it had become a to-do task, having signed up a couple of months ago and some of that raw sympathy having since eroded by our own day to day.

when i pulled up to her home, the sentiment, dormant, hit me. i saw the address, permanent, the cooler beside the front door, temporary, the art projects in the window, frozen in time. getting out of my vehicle, i heard the baby crying from the open windows- raw sounds, as only the really young make.

was she hungry, maybe? my body swelled in concern, betraying my semblance of composure and i had to shake from my head the passing notion of offering help to the stranger i knew would soon respond to my clumsy knock.

he opened the door, bottle in hand, before i regained my ground.  “hello, i’m heather, it’s a pleasure to meet you” i unfortunately said. “sorry” i blustered out, my eyes catching the eyes of the five year old at the top of the stairs, taking me in, taking it all in.

driving away, i couldn’t help but weep thinking of them, those two girls, wondering in which ways they yearn for her, their mother who is no longer able to nurture and provide for them. their mother, who is no longer alive.

i wept for him, broadsided, now alone to raise their daughters, one whose grief must be so complex and one, so new, who might still root, even, looking for her.

i wept for her, no longer being able to join them in their living.

i left my children today, for a short while, and then i came back. i joined my babies in the sun and i wiped the perspiration from their brows. i tucked them in before they napped, held them close when they woke, and aided them, with gentleness, to transition back to our day. i sang to them with the windows open as we drove to celebrate the birthdays of two of our little friends. i visited with the other mothers and celebrated life, in my head counting all the more years to come. i bathed them and read to them and rubbed backs and heads and necks goodnight.

i came home to my children today. our home, where we all live, alive.

January 28, 2013

a ghost just needs a home

a week before christmas i was on the ferry to vancouver island when i found myself in front of a large and unforgiving mirror in the poorly lit ladies bathroom.

my baby was being love hushed to sleep by my spouse and my three your old was running laps, quite literally, around the washroom- offending some with noise as he slapped opened doors; terrifying others as he bent down to peer in curiously; humoring grandparents who delighted in his high energy squeals, echo experiments, and relentless questions; and irritating those without children who were used to navigating their lives, or at least their time in the facilities, without the nuisance of interruption.

it was an early ferry, full of other families who don’t consider having to arrive 1/2 an hour prior to an 8 am ride unrealistic. i don’t much mind. i was always a fan of the morning and at this point i’m well used to waking up 7 days a week to bright eyes and high needs. i was tired, though, and looking at myself straight on i was undeniably pale and weary appearing.

it was the first time since my husband went back to work after our baby had come home that we were all together with no frantic functional weekend hustle to contend with. just us, just space. baby was fed and was learning how warm and strong his dad’s arms were and our big boy son was trapped near me, given the too heavy door back out to the open boat. plus, he was happily terrorizing the public. i kept looking.

it had been a long and grueling 6 weeks with my spouse away from the home from dark to dark and with me having over scheduled myself and the boys in fear of feeling suffocated by home life. it showed.

i remember that i felt very calm and that i perceived the moment to be very quiet, something, i think, the other women who were around me would contest. i felt as though i had time, one of the few reasons i don’t resent the boat travel as many others do, and i stood there for awhile, taking myself in. scene was the same: black tights, black tunic, black boots, black cardigan, black purse. hair straightened, hair up. shira bracelet on. no make up. lip gloss applied.

i recall that on that day i had planned it so i could at least stand myself. i had chosen a comfortable travel outfit that was also cute enough to allow me an opportunity to run into any number of possible ex people i once shared life without wanting to cringe, or feel like i had to make excuses for my life. i smelt good, and that goes a long way in me recognizing myself.

it didn’t work. looking in the mirror i found that i hardly made sense. it got quieter. i blinked, shook my head a little, eyes still fixed. this calls for water, i thought, and i lowered myself to the sink. my body whined as i moved or, rather, my back screamed and my pelvis ached, moaned, and shifted with an audible clunk into another gear. my hands, stiff and clumsy from dehydration and the damp, found the faucet- an irritating push and receive with no option for agency- and they were soon filled with a safe tepid water. in a routine gesture, i applied to face, rubbed eyes, blinked some more. i fanned away the excess and rolled my spine up, neck and head having no choice but to obey. there she was again.

the woman looking back at me wasn’t old looking, per se, but she was so worn. she looked okay, if you knew the context, i suppose, but she didn’t look happy. i winced for the immediate pang of guilt.

it was too quiet, suddenly. i shifted focus to the external, again. feet planted, i cocked my head, listening for the sound of boy child. he was quickly located, making friends with a woman changing her baby. my eyes shifted down and i stood, listening. “i have a little baby too. he’s max, he’s so cute. mommy pushed him out her ‘gina. her bum hurts now”.

a smirk found my face and a chuckle bubbled in my throat. my eyes flicked up. gaze met gaze. there, i thought, she looks familiar.

December 28, 2011

hungry ghost

today is new years and looking back at recent blog attempts, it would appear that my ghost ate the latest blog post, aptly titled hungry ghost, as above.  perhaps said post was too tempting? received as a challenge? confrontational? regardless, i think i need to take this as a sign. okay ghost? no more threats… i will feed you more, promise. 2012 has your name written in the stars.

May 17, 2011

have you seen my ghost?

it’s okay, i hadn’t in a while, either. but, then, while sitting on the edge of a sandbox, watching my moo play like a big boy with his shovel and pail, my neighbour came out onto his deck and began singing to his plants. it caught my attention, i mean, he was really serenading them, and in that moment, with miracle moo and my neighbour who clearly believes in magic too, i think i felt her around. i’d missed her.