Last week, my mother told me she had seen my grandfather, my Grampy, walking around in the driveway. Only thing is, Grampy’s been dead for a decade.
My mom sees dead people. Sometimes she smells them. Sometimes they call her name. Sometimes they walk past the window. Usually it’s my Grampy but sometimes it’s my dead Grammy or one of my mom’s deceased relatives. My aunt smells her dead mother’s perfume. My uncle is visited by Grammy, too. She’s traveled all the way from Connecticut to California just to touch him on the arm.
Now you understand why I am so crazy.
Two years ago, I was agonizing over the course I should take after discovering my then-husband’s affair. I prayed every night for guidance. I am not sure if God heard me and sent my Grampy or if Grampy was listening to my prayers. But immediately, I started to dream about Grampy. What was odd was that I was never particularly close to him. He and I did not often see eye-to-eye and I often felt that he thought young girls should be pretty but quiet.I got the first part right.
I was regularly having very vivid dreams about an argument we had when I was a small child. I didn’t understand the meaning but I kept having the dream. And I kept feeling like my grandfather was around me. I felt like he was pestering me about something but I wasn’t sure what he was telling me to do.
Things with my X were very confusing and I kept having this nagging feeling that I was missing something and that my Grampy was part of the puzzle. It got so bad and I was so lost, I went to see a psychic. OK, so my family is totally cracked. My mom sees dead people and I go to a psychic.
Anyway, I walked into the psychic’s office (she’s a professional so she has an office) and she said to me as I walked in the door, “First off, someone came with you. As soon as you walked into the office, my lights flashed on and off and that always means a spirit has come. He’s got something to say to you.”
She proceeded to tell me that this man, a father-figure to me, and she named him, has been trying to tell me something. He wanted to tell me that my husband was “garbage.” Then he said to the psychic that I should “remember my heritage and that I was strong.” She mentioned that two other women were there with him but that he was doing all the talking. Sounded just like my Grampy. He was never the sort of man to let a woman do the talking for him.
My Grampy was one of the kindest and generous men you could ever meet. He spent his life in service to others, first in the military and then as a life-long volunteer in the Boy Scouts and as a very active member of his church. But one thing you did not do was piss off my Grampy. He was Russian. And when he got mad, he stayed mad. Forever.
But what really struck me was for me to “remember my heritage.” My family has struggled but always overcame insurmountable odds. The son of an exiled and later institutionalized former Russian Orthodox priest and murdered mother, my grandfather was raised in abject poverty with surrogate parents in the slums of New York during the Great Depression. He joined the military before World War II where he met my grandmother in Puerto Rico. My grandparents married and after having one very healthy child, they had my mother who was born with a fatal birth defect. My grandfather fought doctors, hospitals and surgical device companies for decades to get my mother the then-experimental surgeries that kept her alive, long enough for science to catch up to the point where her surgery is now performed regularly. And the one unbreakable rule in my family – we take care of one another.
It’s funny but his words and the thought that my Grampy was affirming the decision my gut had made long before was what made me act. Not finding my X at a hotel with his mistress. Not the graphic emails about Viagra, “workouts” at the mistress’ house, “I love you”s. Not the fact that my X lied, and lied, and lied until I had gathered so much evidence that he could not hide the truth form me anymore.
Nope, my dead Grampy speaking to me from the grave through a psychic is what did it for me.
I’ll never know if it was my Grampy, God or my imagination at work. What I do know is that when a psychic says your dead Grampy is in the room and wants to talk, you better listen.