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An overview of my ghosts of thanksgiving past and present

My mother reminded me many times that I had the gift.

This I Believe

It all stemmed from a lie I told when I was 4. The way my mother remembered it, I refused to get ready for bed one night, claiming there was a ghost in the bathroom. She was delighted to learn I was a spirit medium. Thereafter, she questioned anything unusual — a sudden gust of wind, a vase that fell and shattered. She would ask me, "She here? When I was a child, my mother told me that my grandmother died in great agony after she accidentally ate too much opium.

My mother was 9 years old when she watched this happen.

When I was 14, my older brother was stricken with a brain tumor. My mother begged me to ask my grandmother to save him. When he died, she asked me to talk to him as well. When my father died of a brain tumor six months after my brother, she made me use a Ouija board. She wanted to know if they still loved her.

I spelled out the answer I knew she wanted to hear: When I became a fiction writer in my 30s, I wrote a story about a woman who killed herself eating too much opium.

  • There were 16 of us;
  • But he was in Italian-appetizer heaven;
  • All chatted noisily and then there would be sudden silence - the sound of 16 people chewing.

After my mother read a draft of that story, she had tears in her eyes. Now she had proof: My grandmother had talked to me and told me her true story.

How else could I have known my grandmother had not died by accident but with the fury of suicide? She asked me, "She here now?

I have come to feel differently about my ghostwriters.

Saying Thanks To My Ghosts

Sometimes their clues have come so plentifully, they've made me laugh like a child who can't open birthday presents fast enough. I must say thanks, not to blind luck but to my ghosts. Ten years ago, I clearly saw a ghost, and she talked to me.

It was my mother. She had died just 24 hours before. Her face was 10 times larger than life, in the form of a moving, pulsing hologram of sparkling lights.

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My mother was laughing at my surprise. She drew closer, and when she reached me, I felt as if I had been physically punched in the chest. It took my breath away and filled me with something absolute: Joy comes from love. Peace comes from love. I believe in ghosts. Whenever I want, they will always be there: More This I Believe Essays.