Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
By Dani Ferguson of The Musings of a Middle Aged Woman
Now, I’m not a superstitious person or anything like that but I am definitely someone who tries to remain open to all sorts of possibilities and explanations. I had never given much thought to stories about spirits until I had an experience of my own that I could not explain.
It was in 1992, following the death of my father. I was especially close to my dad growing up and being the youngest and only daughter, we had a unique and special relationship. I was always concerned about how I would survive if anything ever happened to him. He was definitely my safe place to fall.
But, as it sometimes goes, we find we are stronger than we give ourselves credit and at age 42, I did survive the unimaginable. My loss was somehow softened by the fact that I still had my mother and so all my attention went naturally to her.
It wasn’t long after my father’s death that shortly after going to bed I had the first strange encounter.
I had just climbed into bed and reached up to turn off the light when I felt the weight of something or someone sit at the edge of my bed. My first thought was that it was my dog Katie so I turned the light on again but she wasn’t there. I chalked it up to imagination and went on to sleep.
A few nights later again I climbed into bed and just after I turned off the light there it was again. I felt the definite impression of something weighing down the edge of my bed. This time it moved across the bed and I was sure it had to be Katie so again I turned on the light and again nothing was there.
It wasn’t until this had occurred several times that I began to think of my dad. I was suddenly reminded of how he would come into my room when I was a little girl and sit on the edge of my bed. I would always laugh because he was a big man and his weight would always cause me to roll toward him.
He would listen to my prayers and then kiss me goodnight and that was our routine until I was about 10 years old. I wondered now if he had returned to hear my prayers and sit on the edge of my bed. I didn’t question this idea I just accepted it and even felt very comforted by the possibility.
Though I was accepting of the possibility of my father’s night-time visits, I didn’t share this information with anyone for fear they’d think I was nuts. It wasn’t until about three years after my father died that I was having dinner with my mother and the rest of my family when we began to tell stories about my dad that suddenly, out of nowhere, my mother spoke up and said, “You know your daddy sits on the edge of my bed at night.”
I’m telling you I about choked. I immediately told her about the experiences I had been having and she just smiled at me with a look that told me she knew and accepted what I was saying as only someone who had shared the same experience could.
After that I just accepted the fact that my father came to reassure me or maybe to just let me know that he was still very much a part of my life.
There was even one incident several years ago when it literally felt as if there was more than one person jumping on my bed. I silently laughed and said, “Daddy, I don’t mind if you come to sit on my bed but you will have to leave your friends at home.”
His visits became less and less frequent until they stopped altogether and I’ve only felt that physical sensation once in the past 14 years. Last year, three days after my mother passed away, I went to bed and just after turning off the light I felt his weight on the bed, rolling me toward my safe place to fall.
I knew he was there and that my mother was with him and that for the remainder of my time on this earth I would never have to feel alone.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]