I Talk To Dead People. No, really.
I have a weird pact with my dead grandmother.
No. I’m not kidding.
Today, she made me cry.
Annie, my mother’s mother, was an eccentric Italian woman. She had poofy hair, soft, wrinkled skin, and hands that shook with age and worry. She told fantastic stories that ranged from life as a USO singer during the war, to ghost tales about a woman she once saw fly through the room wearing a long gown and sporting green saucer shaped eyes. She told that last one so convincingly, my sister and I never ventured upstairs in her house alone.
My grandmother passed away the spring I turned fifteen. She wasn’t there when I graduated from high school or college. Or when I got married and had kids.
But none of that matters. Because we talk every day.
No. I don’t believe in ghosts. And, although a church wouldn’t burn to the ground if I entered unexpected on a Sunday, I’m not a deeply religious sort. But I believe in signs. In superstitions. (I wrote two romance novels about baseball players, how can I not?) In the universe aligning in ways hard to explain.
And I believe in Annie.
Because when times are tough, she’s who I turn to. She’s been my guardian angel for years.
My husband doesn’t know this, but Annie’s favorite flower was the gardenia. As a young woman, she used to wear one tucked in her hair. This spring my hubby came home from a Home Depot run with two bushes for our front porch. Gardenias. He asked if I thought they could live in that spot that doesn’t get much sun. Having no real clue, we planted them in the pots beside our front door and hoped for the best. I have a perfectly good brown thumb that forgets how to hold a watering can, so neither one of us actually prepared to ever see them bloom. I’ve watched and waited.
Today, I came home to find a UPS box on my front porch. Tucked inside were these two paperbacks with my name on the cover.
Sitting beside a bush full of white blossoms.
Annie died when I was young girl. But she’s never missed a milestone.