I lived with my paternal grandparents most of my childhood. When I was about 5 years old, my grandparents sold their large Victorian-style house to move us all into my great grandmothers tiny shack of a home. My great grandmother was in poor heath and had Alzheimer’s. My “Nanaw”, “Pop”, Uncle Bennie, and I all pitched in to help care for Grandma Grace. About a year later grandma Grace passed away in her sleep in her bedroom. I remember how strange it was that morning when I woke up and looked in her room and she was still asleep as she was usually awake before I was. It was our morning routine that I would wake up and go into her room and sit in the chair beside her bed and visit with her while she and I waited for my Nanaw and Uncle Bennie to prepare our breakfast. The morning was the best time of day for her because she was clear headed and more herself. She knew who I was and we had very pleasant chats. I looked forward to our talks in the morning, because by the afternoon she was calling me one of my cousin’s names and was very hateful to me.
But that morning she wasn’t awake. Once the ambulance arrived and took her away, I realized what was going on. I knew she had died. Shortly after her death we repainted her room and my uncle settled into it. I, myself, could have never stayed in a room where someone died, but I guess he found it to be better for him than sharing a room with my grandpa.
When I was 8 or so, my Nanaw woke me up so I could get washed up and ready to start my day. Usually, while I was washing up she or my uncle would press my clothes and prepare my breakfast so that I could eat and then get dressed directly after. I was in the bathroom washing my face and neck when I heard someone run by the door and push it open. It wasn’t just a slight push that barely opened the door, this was a forceful push and the door swung open scaring the hell out of me. After the shock of what had just happened, I poked my head out of the door and looked to my left and then to my right and saw no one. I stepped out of the bathroom and peered into my uncle’s room only to find it empty. (his room was directly across from the bathroom.) Furious I marched out of the bathroom and into the den where I found my Nanaw and Uncle Bennie sitting and drinking coffee. Angrily I said
“Uncle Bennie, why did you do that? You scared me to death!”
He looked puzzled. “What are you talking about, Baby”? he asked.
“You pushed the door open on me while I was washing up!” I huffed.
At that point my Nanaw had heard enough and quickly let me know that my uncle had been sitting in the den with her the whole time and had not left.
“Well, then, Pop did it.” I accused.
“Young lady, Pop when to the store to get milk for YOUR breakfast.” she informed me.
I thought for a second. There was no way I was even going to imply that my Nanaw did it. She was a big, “old south” black woman and didn’t have time or patience for nonsense. Once I gave it more thought, my uncle wore a brace on his leg and walked with a limp and painfully slowly I might add, so there was no way he could have ran that fast by the door. And just like Nanaw said, Pop returned home with a gallon of milk and a lottery scratch off ten or so minutes later. I began to question my sanity and if what I thought had happened really happened. I know it happened. It is still fresh in my mind to this day 20 years later and none of the details have ever changed. I thought it could have been a gust of wind…but from where? There wasn’t an outside door anywhere near the bathroom and all the windows had plasic covering them.
I was puzzled by this for a long time until other strange things started to happen. I got a computer one year for Christmas and we put it in my uncle’s room on his dresser. the dresser was on the same wall as the door and the computer sat right next to the door. The bedroom was small so I could sit on the edge of the bed to play the computer. I was facing the door so no one could come in or walk past without me knowing. Suddenly the air in the room would change. The only way I can explain it is if you are in a room and your back is facing the door and someone walks in. Your back is to them and you can’t see them and you didn’t hear them enter the room but you can feel the difference in the air from them being in it. That is how it would feel. I would feel someone sitting on the bed next to me but of course no one was there. It was startling at first and then it hit me…It’s Grandma Grace. I soon realized that it was probably her who pushed open the door letting me know she was there. I got used to the feeling of her being around and when I would feel her enter the room or sit down beside me I would greet her and talk to her and it felt just like it did when we would sit and chat in the mornings.
Submitted by Vic Moscoe
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