Saturday, October 7, 2017

When Your Grandmother Comes to Visit

Most people like when their grandparents visit them. Who doesn’t love hugs and homemade cookies from their “Nannies”? The problem begins when the visiting grandparents should NOT be there….because they died many, many years ago.

The house described in this blog is where my mother and son now live. My mother was born there. My grandmother, Elizabeth (“Lizzie” as she was known by), was also born there. And so on, back to about the 1870’s. She died in 1981 at the age of 91. However, I am not sure she got the memo about how you shouldn’t hang around your former residence after you pass away. There have been plenty of signs over the years that she is still there.

Firstly, people have seen her. My son was upstairs in a bedroom using a computer when he was about fifteen. Suddenly, he could sense someone peeking in the partially open door from the hallway. When he looked, he saw an old lady standing there, sort of glaring at him. He was stunned and looked back at the computer and then back to the doorway but she was still there. She stood there for several minutes.

Scott looked away from her again and when he looked back she was gone. He had seen enough pictures of her over the years to recognize her. Gathering all his courage, he bolted from the room and flew down the stairs, waking his grandmother with the story of what had just happened.

We suspect this is not the first time Scott’s great-grandmother has visited him from the great beyond. When he was younger and we lived there for a while, he clearly remembers on several occasions, someone creeping into his room after I had tucked him into bed for the night. This “person” would usually sit down on his bed and lay their hand on his back for a few minutes. He was terrified so he never took his face out of his pillow to see what was there but it wasn’t me or his grandmother and we were the only other ones in the house. We cannot ascertain for sure that it was his great-grandmother but it certainly could have been, given her history.

Secondly, my nephew also had a sighting of my grandmother in the house. When he was about seven or eight and visiting for the weekend, he came in the kitchen one day to ask the family about the old lady he had just seen sitting on the bed in the upstairs spare room petting the cat. My mother asked him what the lady looked like and he described Lizzie perfectly. She had been dead many years at this point.

I had an aunt who visited every summer from Ontario and she reported that one night while sleeping in that spare upstairs bedroom, she awoke to find Lizzie standing right beside the bed with arms outstretched, like she was reaching towards her. Again, the woman had been long dead.

She also seemed to manifest herself in other ways. My mother often reported smelling a sweet perfume in certain areas of the house that she associated with Lizzie. And she is quite convinced that Lizzie even called her on the phone one Easter Sunday many years ago. When she answered the phone, she could hear a lot of static and a far-away woman’s voice saying “Hello? Hello?”, which she is certain was her mother.

Lizzie was an interesting old lady, to say the least. She was perpetually cranky, had her favorite relatives and shunned the rest. We moved in so my mother could look after her when I was five years old but she did not interact with us grandchildren the way most grandmothers do. I don’t remember a lot about her but I do know she was rather fussy and set in her ways. always had a crock pot of her homemade wine brewing and she wasn’t the easiest person for my family to live with.

But she loved her house and was adamant about never leaving it. And I guess she didn’t.

(This is not a true representation of my grandmother
but you get the idea)

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