When I approached my fabulous friend and critique partner about posting a ghost story one sizzling Saturday, I expected the elegant prose and engaging style that is typical Sharon Clare. A lover of romance (is there a pun in that descriptor?), I suspected Sharon would carve from her memoirs a bittersweet tale of lost lovers, separated by circumstance in life, and longing to reunite in eternity.
I did not expect my heart, or my bladder, to overflow with fear!
Carve another notch on Sharon’s writing belt. This one’s a scorcher!
Last week, Carole St. Laurent told a two-part ghost story, part one can be found on Carole’s blog, and part two was featured on Romance & Beyond. Her story unearthed a memory of mine, an occurrence from twenty years ago, one I’ll never forget.
I don’t think it’s easy to share real ghost stories. We live in a world of skeptics. If we can’t devise a scientific study for a group of n = a decent number of subjects with controlled variables than we can’t prove anything. I love science. I have a science degree, but I still believe in immeasurable things, things many of us aren’t built to perceive or understand.
But that’s neither here nor there. I have a ghost story to tell.
Actually I don’t even know if it’s a ghost story. I have no idea what visited me the nights my babies came home from the hospital. I accept something happened, but I don’t understand what.
I just want to say, I swear I know the difference between asleep vs. awake, and will swear I was not dreaming. Nor was I sleep deprived since my babies were only a few days old. I was in mother-mode. If you’ve had babies you understand. You don’t wake in the night to a hungry, crying baby, you wake before that, when the baby starts to fuss just a little.
It was my first night home with my second beautiful daughter. She was asleep in her bassinette beside my bed when I woke. She wasn’t fussing, but something woke me. I was instantly alarmed. My body buzzed from head to toe, actually buzzed is an understatement. I don’t know how to describe it. Like an internal earthquake. My teeth felt like they might break.
I couldn’t move.
I felt a hand on the top of my head. I knew it was a hand because I felt the press of five fingers. I was beyond panic. I had nothing to draw on to understand what was happening. It took all my strength to turn my head toward my baby.
(Oh man, 24 years later and I have goose bumps. Okay, carrying on.)
I saw a tall figure in the doorway of my bedroom. It was immersed in light, leaving the room.
The earthquake inside me stopped. The figure vanished. I checked my sleeping daughter. I woke up my husband. You can just imagine that conversation.
I had no way to file this experience in my brain other than in the unexplained, really freaky section, the vault that stays closed for the most part. Until Sherry asks for a ghost story and Carole prompts me with a shaking bed.
I didn’t think of it as related to the birth of my daughter until I brought my son home from the hospital and was visited again. The experience was the same. Same earthquake, same panic, same paralyzed feeling. I don’t remember fingers on my head, but the room was full of light.
Maybe science has a logical explanation for it. I don’t know what it was. I know there’s a mechanism that paralyzes us when we’re dreaming to keep us from trying to fly off rooftops and other such maladies. But I was wide awake—twice.
All I can say about it now, is that maybe it will find its way into a greater story one day.
To treat yourself to a copy, click here.