Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saints and Ghosts by Margaret Ullrich

Paul and I were lectors at mass today. Funny how sometimes things just happen at the right time. Father's sermon was on the Communion of Saints, about how loved ones who've passed away are now with God and the other saints. It was almost like going to a funeral mass.

I don't know if I'm simple minded or what, but I'm totally comfortable with the whole idea of a huge group of people all together, looking over our shoulders and caring about us.


Last week I got an e mail from my cousin. She'd written about my sister Rose telling her that Ma'd been saying that she saw Pop everywhere. Ma had told Pop's sister that she'd been looking out the window and, when she turned around, she'd seen Pop sitting on the couch. The day Ma died she'd told Rose that she didn't know that Pop had the day off. Alice said that Ma had really meant that she saw Pop.


I wasn't surprised. Ma had this hobby of seeing dead people. Maybe she was the inspiration for Ghostwhisperer.


In 1993 Ma told us she'd had a dream in which she was in her kitchen talking to Paul's Mom, who had died 5 years earlier. Ma was telling her that they were coming to visit us.

Paul's Mom had told Ma, "How about if you buy Paul some twinkies. He used to love those when he was a kid." Then Paul's Mom disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Years earlier Paul had told his Mom that twinkies and other snack foods weren't available in Canada. But Ma wouldn't have known that. Ma bought the twinkies and brought them for Paul.


Then there was the time I was in New York for Ma's mother's funeral in 1978. Ma came down one morning and said, "I feel so much better now. I talked to Grandma. The first thing I told Grandma was 'Ma, I miss you so much.'
Grandma said, 'What for? I'm gone. You have to get on with your life.' "
And that made Ma feel better.


My parents had a good long run and I'm grateful for that. Pop's brother Tony and Tony's son had died before they reached 50.

Nobody knows how long he'll have.

Live now.

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