Monday, October 26, 2009

Haunting Memories

My father-in-law (whom I lovingly called Dad), passed away on December 31, 2007. He was 84 years of age. My mother-in-law had passed on in 1999. Both left their earthly bonds, in the house that Dad built with his own two hands.

Most of the time when my husband and I went to see Dad, I could feel Mom's presence, especially when I sat on the old tree swing in the yard, or trimmed the rose bush that grew near the east window of the garden room.

When Dad died, I moved in to take care of the house and farm, until my husband and his brother could decide if they wanted to keep the old farm, or sell it. I ended up living there for over a year.

My husband would come stay on weekends but most of the time I was there alone, just me and my two small dogs, yet I never really felt alone. Sometimes I would see Dad sitting at the breakfast table, in his usual spot. Sometimes I would catch a quick glimpse of him in his coveralls and a familiar plaid shirt, walking down the hallway.

Sometimes I would hear doors open and close, or note footsteps in the entry and I'd call out, "Hi, Dad!"

It was not long after Dad died, that I took a photo of the living room, looking in from the kitchen area. I was surprised by the object that appeared in the photo. It was right in front of me, yet I did not see it as I took the photo.

I would make the bed, smooth out the covers and sometimes when I came back in the bedroom, I'd see an impression of a body on Dad's side of the bed. I suppose that was his calling card, letting me know he had been there.

The old home place was sold in March of 2009. New owners have moved into the house and instead of raising hay for sale, they are pasturing horses. The orchards now bear fruit for their stock of peach and pear preserves and new vehicles are parked in the 2 car garage.

I don't know if Mom and Dad still haunt the old place, I haven't heard. If they do, I'm sure it is a peaceful co-existence. If anything, Dad will watch over the house and farm, while Mom will see to it that the roses and Crape Myrtles bloom beautifully, every summer.

Leonel Williams

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