Ghostly Encounter

Ever since my darling baby Bug kicked it I mean passed away, I have suffered from sleep disturbances. It seems as though I am unable to find my zzzz's, and when I do manage to slip into slumber, I am awakened by dreams. Dreams of different varieties. My favorites are when the little dude comes to see me in my dream wearing his denim overalls and we pick up where we left off: with him in my arms, drooling all over me. These dreams are so real I can smell his scent, feel the soft prickle of his freshly buzzed head, feel the heat from his body. Inevitably I wake up and spend the rest of the damn day moping. But I wouldn't trade these dreams for anything, because they are a tangible reminder of who he is, a type of reminder I am unable to summon up during my waking hours.

The other variety tend to be the scarier type. No matter what, I can't save him; I have to relive the shame of telling my mother my boy died. In these dreams, my brain isn't content to relive the reality of his passing. Oh no, my darling imagination has to kick into over drive. My most favorite (said with just an ounce of sarcasm) is when I go to my deep freezer to pull out a roast and instead find my lovely son floating face up with his eyes wide open.

Between that dream and the Monday Morning Massacre, I have begun giving that freezer a wide berth. Now when ever I need something, I just send in one of the troops. Gotta love having kids.

This past week has been of the hellish variety. Besides all the bendy sex the hubs and I enjoyed (and let's all thank my Yoga instructor for my ability to get OUT of some of those positions), my subconscious has decided to kick my ass. Not so subliminally. I have been waking up in a cold sweat, or panic, yelling out Bug's name or attacking my husband in the wee hours of the morn.

Normally he wouldn't mind being attacked in bed by a woman, but this type of attack has left him spooked.

We started talking about heaven, and angels and ghosts. I am a Christian, so I like to believe my boy flew heaven-bound and sits around all day eating bonbons while watching Oprah and laughing at me and his siblings. My husband's version of heaven is slightly different (read:boring). He believes our Bug is up there and that is enough for him. He doesn't have time to imagine the goings on of Heaven. He has to work for a living. To support me.

(Note the slightly passive aggressive way in which he delivers said line. Generally accompanied with a loud and long sigh.)

Still, as a mother who has a type A personality and control issues, it is hard to just leave things be and to trust he is where he is supposed to be. After all, he wasn't a typical almost five year old. The boy had no speech, could barely toddle about and was developmentally delayed. He may have looked five, but he was really only about 18 months old. What if he didn't go towards the light? What if he was directionally challenged and didn't know his ups from his downs?

What if, what if, what if? It's those damn what if's that will get a grieving mother every time. What if he's lost and scared? What if he's floating about with unfinished business and refusing to go to the other side? I'd like to thank CBS and the writers of Ghost Whisperer for fueling my obsession. I'll just forward my therapy bills to your accounting department.

Then there are the mediums and the psychics who claim to be able to talk with the dead. They appear on national television programs, reaching out and contacting lost love ones. I wonder if they are frauds or if they are the real deal. Could they find my Bug? Could they just put my mind at ease and let me know he's not banished to the pits of hell because he was a little confused when it came time for the big crossover?

I can just see Bug rolling his eyes (and not in a seizure-induced manner) and telling John Edwards that I hounded him in life with all my demands for kisses, now he can't escape me in death either...

Perhaps I should just go downtown and trust my fortune and my money to one of the ladies with a cardboard sign in the window advertising fortunes read for $5.00. I can just imaging walking into the back of a dark shop, shouldering myself past the beaded curtain and sitting at a table, anxious and hopeful that my boy will appear and not some other lost soul looking for a mommy figure in his death like he was in his life.

But lately, with my inescapable dreams and Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever. barking and growling into the calm air of the night, I have to wonder, is my boy lurking when he should be upstairs with the heavenly? Why else would my dog's ears stand on end and he suddenly go alert and beserk for no reason? Don't animals and small children see what we adults overlook?

Last night was one of those nights. The dreams haunted me and Nixon took to his growling out in the wee hours of the morn. The house was still and I was tired of being held hostage by these what if's. So I did what any brave and independent woman would do. I turned on a lamp and tip toed out into the darkness.

I was going to tell my darling little angel boy to get his ass back to heaven and leave me the hell alone. I'm tired of these bags under my eyes. Nixon kept growling and snorting, but he followed behind me, visibly upset.

I looked about and saw nothing. Felt nothing but the cool breeze of the ceiling fan against my skin. I took a deep breath and told my son I loved him but to quit haunting my dog and I. And then I waited for a response.

Nothing. So I flicked on the kitchen light, half relieved, half disappointed.

And saw a fucking mouse run between my feet and into the laundry room.

Unless my son has been reincarnated as a rodent, I do believe my ghost mystery has been solved.

After Nixon and I got down from the kitchen table (cause there is a mouse in my house!!!) I sighed with relief.

It looks as though I won't have to call for an exorcism. Just a damn exterminator.