Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Heat, Tomatoes and Dead Folks

I was reminded this afternoon about something that happened this last year in our home.

It's very hot here, I tend to only water plants and tend my tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers and various other fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I'm gearing up to clean out the encroaching morning glory vines and pick the ripe raspberries first thing tomorrow morning.

This evening, as the sun was going down, I was picking tomatoes, putting them in my basket and stopping every now and again to sniff the smell of ripe tomatoes in the warm sun, a smell like no other. It's also a smell you're never going to get at the grocery store. As I stood there sniffing and picking I was reminded of how my youngest child when she was 3 or 4 years old had the tendency to make for the ripe tomatoes or the pear tree or the apple tree if you took your eyes off her and stand in the patch picking and eating the ripe fruits of your garden. She would do such things as pull her slide over to the pear tree, pick and eat as many pears as she could reach. We never denied her food, especially not fresh fruits and vegetables, but she seemed to share my taste for fresh out of the garden.

The other memory is the years when I've had a bumper crop and given some to neighbors. Which lead me to another memory.

This last winter for the first time I was approached by the dead in my own home. It was a first for me, even if I've seen the spirits of the dead since I was 3 years old. I've never had one in my own home. That morning I was crossing the upstairs stair landing, looked down and seen a black man at the foot of the steps. I did and didn't recognize him. He'd appeared to me about 6 days before in a local movie theater.

But I had no memory of knowing him in real life. At least up until that moment when he showed me a quick memory of him visiting the man living catty corner from our house. He showed me smiling and waving, walking over to his friend. I was dressed like I would for gardening and had a big basket of picked produce, coming over to the both of them and giving my neighbor tomatoes. I have no memory of that happening, but I don't doubt that I did.

This guy wanted him. He wanted me to pass a message to someone about his death because everyone assumed he'd died in a car accident. But he kept showing me that his death and the accident was due to a head injury that he suffered years before. The person he wanted me to contact is someone I had met before at LSU and had only that one time passing acquaintance with. I did and I don't know what meaning or purpose all of that had. I'm not concerned with what anyone does with the information I'm given to pass on about the death of a loved one. Reaction and action to receiving those messages lies only with the recipient.

Mostly I've kept silent in my blog about my experiences with the supernatural because it tends to freak people out. Plus it sounds crazy, fucking nuts, like some post-fundamentalist Christian bullshit. Replacing one spiritual thing with another, one unseen thing with another. But that's not it. For me this predates just about everything else in my life.

But it's not anything I can control. Boy do I wish I could because when Jim's work buddy Glenn passed in April and we attended the funeral Glenn appeared to me at the service and insisted I tell Jim and his other pals that he passed of a heart attack, it was very quick and he did not kill himself. Everyone, including myself, had speculated that Glenn had committed suicide because he was in the middle of a messy bankruptcy. Glenn was adamant I tell them he did not kill himself and the family wouldn't tell anyone what happened. The only thing any of us knew was that Glenn had missed work for three days before work called a family member and he was found dead in his bed.

Eventually I did tell Jim and Glenn's other friends that it was a heart attack and Glenn wanted everyone to know he would never kill himself. That was one very hard conversation to have. Jim knows though that this happens with me. His friends probably think I'm nuts now.

Now whenever I smell sun-ripened fresh tomatoes I'm going to think about the dead friend of the guy that used to own the house across the street. Funny how some smells can take you right back to a place and time.

One of the big things that has happened in the last six years is that instead of merely seeing the dead I hear them. Every single one I've seen in those years has had unfinished business, or a message for someone on this side. I try to honor that, even if it makes me seem crazy sometimes.



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