Sunday, June 04, 2006

We're Being Haunted


I had a very strained relationship with my biological mother. We tried to reconcile many times during my 34 years of bitterness, with either her or me making an effort, but never both of us at the same time. It never really worked. She died last summer.

Last July, just a couple of months before she finally lost her battle with cancer, she came out to visit and to meet her grandson for the first (and last) time. Predictably, it wasn't a very enjoyable trip due to the imminent, looming threat of death, and the years of things that probably should be said, but neither of us were strong enough to actually say.

One of the conversations we had during her visit was when she told me, tears filling her eyes, that if Chunk ever tells us that he sees her, we shouldn't scold him for making things up.

"Children can see spirits," she said, "and I'm going to check in on you guys."

(or something like that... it's not a direct quote, but pretty close)

What could I do? It was an awkward week and one of our weirder conversations, so I just nodded and mentioned that Denver Mom and I saw a Dateline that was about how some children claim to see spirits, its eventually confirmed by psychics, sometimes the children are downed World War II airmen, etc. etc. I played along, despite rolling my eyes around inside my massive, empty head.

Fast-forward a year and damnit if she's not haunting us.

No, really. I mean it. I think she's haunting us.

Do I have proof? Does anyone ever have proof they're being haunted? It's like having proof you've gone on a date with the missing link. A credit card receipt isn't very compelling, but this is what I have:

Chunk has a vast and annoying collection of toys that sing and play music and make a variety of obnoxious noises, despite all of the solomn conversations Denver Mom and I had while she was pregnant about how we weren't going to do that. These's toys occasionally just turn on, for no reason, in his room. Usually, they are the toys that my bio mom got him.

Now, I'm not an electrical engineer or anything, but I do have a decent understanding of how devices work... you have to turn them on and activate them, before they'll work. I know, I know, my technological intelligence is a marvel, but I'm not kidding about this. Periodically, Chunk and I are playing in the living room and from his bedroom comes, "Pooh and Roo! Let's play! Follow the lights!"

Huh? Who did that?

Or....

"Heheheh... that was silly!"

It's starting to freak me out. Nothing else in our place does behaves like that, and believe me, I have tons of gadgets just waiting to go off for no discernable reason. Some of them even make noise, and yet, they don't.

So, is my biological mother making good on her threat? Is she haunting us? Frankly, I don't think that's fair. You can't just DECIDE to haunt someone and tell them about it. You know, like, "Hey, did you watch Will and Grace last night? That episode was HIGH-larious! Oh... and when I finally go, I'm coming to your house."

What?!?

I guess, to a certain extent, it doesn't bother me that she's hanging out in Chunk's room. But, what if I'm sitting on the toilet? Or picking my nose? Or, worse, SINGING to my son? I don't want people, spirit or otherwise, to have to see that. How do you differientiate between "okay to haunt" and "you should go play bridge with Casper now" time?

(That's a picture of Chunk with Julie during her visit. She was pretty sick and I was worried that would frighten him, but he did just fine.)

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