When my dead cat Coe took me to the World of the Dead during my first stroke in 2004, he showed me that it would one day be important for me to put my burdens down, and one of he ways to do this is to forgive everyone who has hurt me during my lifetime. But perhaps this is a two-way street–maybe even ghosts need to put down their burdens and face what they’ve done as well.
I’m pretty sure I’ve forgiven my Dad, who’s been turning up lately, but it will be extremely hard to forgive my stepmother. After my real mother killed herself, she married my father and was extremely cruel to me. But I’ve realized I’ve got to do it: This is the Big One. Am I up to this degree of "soul cleansing?"
I sensed my stepmother’s ghost was around, but it wasn’t too obvious. It started with a box of missing baggies. One of the ways I fancy myself to be ecological is that I reuse baggies, drying them off after I used them. Lillian was a rather fanatic housekeeper who made me clean like some sort of Cinderella, and relegated me to the basement the rest of the time, away from the rest of the family. I was called by a buzzer when it was time to go upstairs for meals.
There were strange little indignities–for instance, wasn’t given any Kleenex (I still blow my nose on toilet paper today), and when I used too much toilet paper, I was told I was going to be given the "rough stuff."
Whitley actually remembered taking a baggie from the missing box, so their disappearance was a real mystery. Then I thought: Maybe Lillian is saying that she was too strict–that I should be easier on myself that she was(on herself and on me). Perhaps it’s a stretch to say such a small thing is a message, but maybe not. Maybe she’s telling me to take it easy, and not make some of the mistakes she did. In any case, no matter where the guidance comes from—chance or Mom or wherever—I can still make use of it!
If you’re there, Mom, I’m listening! Heck, if you can’t learn from the dead, who CAN you learn from?