The Hauntening

IMG_8359My friend is in the hospital for a long damn haul and there isn’t really a whole lot I can do for her from 400km away. I can’t visit, I can’t babysit her kids, I can’t smuggle her some non-hospital food… I can’t, I dunno, become an award winning doctor and provide her with the best medical care of all time (certainly not in a couple of months, anyway)… But I can post blog entries to entertain her, so here we are. Brace yourselves for some mediocre (but semi regular, if I can swing it) content!

Let’s start by talking about my being haunted by my mother-in-law. You know how some people believe in god because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t? That’s kind of how I feel about ghosts – in theory I think it’s all shit, but in reality, I’m too terrified of the possibility that they exist NOT to believe. It’s messed, but I am legitimately more afraid of the dead than I am of the living. I will sleep with my doors unlocked in the sketchiest of neighbourhoods filled with rapists and murderers, but I would not stay alone in a home that is rumored to be haunted.

Anyway, I’m fairly confident that my mother-in-law (who passed away 20 years ago) has been visiting my daughters. The worst part about admitting this is that I am doing so without the slightest hint of sarcasm or irony. Chase’s mom is in my motherfucking house.

Last night, Butterbean was totally out of it with the flu, moaning like a banshee in a half sleep, and I was laying in bed with a killer headache, hoping she would settle down on her own. I was wondering whether or not my head would fall off my neck if I got up when I swear to god I heard someone whisper “ssshhh. It’s okay” and make other calming noises to the Bean. I thought “great! Chase is trying to settle her down” and snuggled back under the covers, but a few seconds later, Butterbean came to my room and said she needed a puffer. I went to her room to get her ventolin and there was no one there. Just then, Chase walked through the front door, home from work. He wasn’t even in the house when I heard the “shhh, it’s okay” in Bean’s room.

I was discussing the incident with Chase and I said “you know, the last time I had a headache like this, you thought you saw someone in Sprout’s room!” Same exact story, except Chase was in the bath and I was sick in bed. Beansprout woke up crying. Chase got out of the tub to investigate and saw who he thought was me bent over the crib comforting her, but when he came to our bedroom, I was fast asleep; I had never gotten up. Chase and I have talked about that night at length and have agreed that it could be his mom. She was about my height and stature with brown hair. In the dark, we could be twins.

We also used to say that his mom was saying goodnight to Butterbean when she was a tiny baby (maybe between the ages of 6 months and a year and a half) because Bean would always smile and wave to someone we couldn’t see and say goodnight to her before we put her down to sleep.

In a way, this is actually a really nice haunting – my mother-in-law seems to show up and help me out when I’m feeling under the weather. In another way, though, it freaks me out. Like, she probably watches me yell at the kids. Maybe she intervenes less because I’m sick and more because she thinks I’m not good enough to the girls. I was certainly short with the Bean all day. I kept her home from school on the condition that she lay on the couch like a regular sick person while I worked from home, but she ran around like a tornado and talked through my conference call. I would like to think my MIL understands my frustration, but maybe not. Maybe she’s actually here to remind me to have more patience. Either way, my girls benefit so, even though I am a little terrified and feeling more than a little guilty, thanks Cindy.

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