I was miserable and extremely tired of menopause. “Crap, now I have to pee,” I muttered. As I swung my legs over the edge of the bed, I shuddered; the cold seeping through the century-old windows in my husband’s and my farmhouse was brutal. Being only just an inch over five feet, my feet didn’t quite reach the floor unless I scooched a bit closer to the edge of our king-size bed. Whoever had decided it was a good idea to make king mattresses this deep had probably been tall and lucky enough to have long legs. As my feet hit the cold floor, I winced.
Stumbling back from my nightly visit to the toilet, I stopped in my tracks. There were two people, two women, standing in our bedroom. Glancing quickly at my husband, Andy, I dared to hope—absurdly, I had to admit—that he was awake. I quickly realized that he would be no help at all, and my eyes darted back to the figures. Heart pounding, I was frozen in place.
Some part of my brain was actually working, though, and I recognized one of the figures: my long-deceased grandmother. Funny the thoughts that raced along the pathways of the brain when it was trying to make sense of an absurd situation. Squinting, I recognized her steel-gray hair, curled with a fresh perm and even shorter than mine. She hadn’t changed a bit. Well, except for the being dead part. My facial muscles contorted into a puzzled frown.
“Nana?” I finally ventured once my voice worked. A huge smile appeared on her face. “Peg, sweetie.” Now I knew I must be in the middle of a major stroke. To my way of thinking, when you started seeing dead people, the probabilities of your imminent death were rather high.
“Well, at least I am finished with menopause,” I told her spirit.
Her familiar ornery laugh echoed in my ears. “Oh, babe, you’re not dying. You’re merely seeing all of life fully for the first time.”
My heart finally started to slow down enough that the pounding in my ears was no longer the bulk of the sound. Does that mean I’m hearing my nana with my ears or my brain? I wondered, my mind reverting to a type of logic I could wrap my head around. Here was a bizarre situation right in front of my eyes. Was I really trying to figure out what part of my head had the ability to absorb her words? Just went to show how much we craved normal, whatever “normal” might be at any given time.
“Fully? What the hell does that mean?” I asked, a part of me convinced I was experiencing a brain malfunction. I knew menopause could cause breakdowns; was that what was happening to me? Just because I had to pee in the middle of the night? Jeez.
Before Nana’s death, her skin had been soft and smooth, despite her age, and I had loved it. That soft face now smiled before me. “You are fine, Peg,” she assured me. “You’re just seeing the spirit world for a moment. Enjoy the experience.”
“Nana, I can’t afford to go nuts at the moment.” All I wanted was for the sensation of imminent throwing up to recede.
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