Sunday, October 2, 2011

A haunting we will go..............

When my Mother died in 2002, it was one of those times that still needs sorting out in my mind. She had COPD and had never recovered from a long ago surgery, but never did I expect that the day we took her to the hospital would be her last.

Frances Elizabeth had been ill for years. She was good at being ill. Poor dear, it gave her the attention that she craved so much and never seemed to be able to command any other way. It was when in 1967 she accidentally poisoned herself with bug killer rose dust and again in 1987 when she had her gall bladder removed but the surgeon didn't complete the surgery and she became septic that she must have realized that her fractured family would come together for her at these times of near death.

Just to be truthful to you the reader, she also threatened suicide at least three times a year, every year since I was in high school. She played around with death for almost half her life, but I am sure it took her by surprise when it arrived on that January evening. I know it took me by surprise.

By the time we reached the hospital (hospice) she was gone. They had turned up the heat in her room so that she would not be cold when my Dad arrived. But, indeed Frances Elizabeth had left the building.

Thing is, I could have bet money that she would scoot her way back home again. The reason I know that is because of how she felt about her house. She gave her kids the notion that things were more important than us. It was a life dream for her to have designed and built her own house. And her dream was still here, therefore so would she be.

Sweet Man and I moved in with my Dad in September of '02 after he tried to burn down the house and knock himself out in the process. I was still taking care of GK during the day, so she was here with me most of the daylight hours. And GK took to sitting in front of Grandmother clock in the hallway which was a treasured present to my Mother, one of the only things that she truly enjoyed besides her diamond ring. I remember once when my nephews were running through the house when they were little and slamming into the clock...Frances had never even fussed at them but I thought she would kill them before they could get away from her. "How dare they touch her clock?"

So GK, just a little over 2, and my Mom, not 8 months dead, struck up a talking friendship everyday in the hallway. The clock had stopped working several years before and  couldn't be fixed, but it was ticking away now. It was interesting to sit in an adjacent room and hear GK answering questions posed by FE. That's how I absolutely know, it was my Mother. She was a questioner for sure and there was no way GK at 2 could have known that.

During this time, I would be awakened from a deep sleep by FE shaking me and I heard her say, "hurry up, we have chores to do" at least once if not two times a night.  I resented that awakening tactic when she was alive, and dead didn't make it any better. She also made her presence know in the kitchen by moving things and messing with the preparation of food. But the worst time was when I was sorting through her things to give away, oh my stars....she put up such a fuss by re-hiding things and putting obstacles in the way of moving boxes. Sweet Man literally would push the boxes out to the garage because in carrying them, he couldn't see what might have been put in his way.

I tried clearing her house but it was still that, her house and my heart wasn't ready to let her go even if we hadn't had the best relationship. At least in death she was close to me. There was a strange comfort in that. 

That is until GK told me that Grammy had asked if she could just rest now. I realized that I was the one holding her here. That, and the things she loved. So I gave the clock to my sister, had someone else help me clear the house and let my mother go where she needed to be released.

In line with her southern belle-ness, she did indeed make a grand exit but not before she appeared to SM and I. It was the night before the clearing, she floated into our bedroom and just hovered over the end our bed. I honestly felt so calm and peaceful for the first time in a long time. We had made our peace and she was letting me know that she was on her way to her next adventure.

Frances Elizabeth had a hard life, didn't cut herself or anyone else a break, held our feet to the fire and expected her view of perfection, but she loved us (me) and made a very memorial exit stage left.

So there you have a ghost story...but only one of many yet to told here at Olde Baggs. Happy Hallowoonie, day 2


  1. What a story!! May FE rest in peace! And I hope you have peace, too about her life, and her death. Thanks for sharing with us!! Hugs, B.B.

  2. How interesting that you learned of your own role in keeping your Mom there and once you let go, she was at peace.

  3. A beautiful and touching story. I love that GK talked to her through the clock. No matter how hard they may seem, it is a rare mother that doesn't love her children. Perhaps that's why they do strive for perfection in us and seem so hard, wanting us to be their idea of the best - even when it is not ours. She was there with you until you could let go, that's love.

  4. You just gave me the shivers, what a haunting that must have been! I hope you've found some peace as she did, beloved olde bagg. *hug*

  5. What an awesome story. Like Robin, I hope FE and you both are at peace now. It was amazing how she could communicate with GK.

  6. It's amazing how when people are lingering so near death for so long, that when they do go it catches us by surprise. My papa had lung cancer, and lived another 13 years in poor health after, still, it rather shocked us when he suddenly dropped dead from a heart attack. Right enough, other than a rather bad fag habit, he hadn't shown any other particular inclination to shuffle off his mortal coil.

  7. Great story I loved reading it!!

  8. Great story Linda! As what Robin said, I hope you are truly at peace and I hope FE is truly at peace too. Big Hugs ;o)

  9. Wonderful story Linda. It gave me goose bumps. Your mother and mine were a great deal alike except that when mine moved on she really did move on and didn't linger a moment longer.

  10. Wow, what an experience. I'm not surprised about your feeling of peace when she was hovering over your bed. It is my belief that all of us have a light spirit, it is the ego that can take over and cover that up. When she was before you in bed, you saw her spirit and felt love.


  11. Very nice story! You've shared a deep part of yourself and life here. I can truly appreciate that. Blessings and peace to you and to FE.

  12. wow. my sister sees ghosts but me? not so much.

  13. Hi Linda! That was a beautiful story! I enjoyed reading it! I think you should write a book some day! ;-)

  14. You know, Linda, right after reading this story, my first thought was that you should definitely write a book. You have shared so many wonderful and interesting stories. And, just as quickly, I realized that you ARE writing a book. Your Blog is a book of your life and all the stories are written here for all to read.
    I believe in spirits and I often wonder how I would react if I were to be visited by one. I hope I wouldn't be frightened and I hope that I would be able to communicate with them.
    I am happy for you that you felt peace when your mom visited you that night, Linda.
    ♥ audrey

  15. Oh Linda, what an amazing story! I am so glad that she stopped by on her way out and left a sense of peace between the two of you. It is so difficult to "let go", isn't it? How even though the relationship was strained, it still held a familiarity that brought a sense of "comfort." Thank you so much for sharing.


I love to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.