Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I get to dress up and feel like a kid all over again. However, a few years ago, Halloween became a bittersweet day. It was the day my grandmother, the woman who essentially raised me, passed away after a horrible battle with Alzheimer's and after 30-days in a coma after a crippling stroke. Still, in some not so subtle ways, I think she reminds me that she is still around, watching over me, with love.
While I was never a diehard believer in the paranormal, I do sincerely believe there are things in this world that are beyond our comprehension. So yes, I have a ghost story, but it's not quite the ghost story you might imagine when you think of All Hallows Eve. Mine is a little more benign, but still (to me) beautiful.
It All Started a Year Later
About a year after my grandmother had passed away, my grandfather was dying. I flew the 3,000 miles home to see him and to say my good-byes. As I walked into the house that I hadn't been in for years while awaiting Hospice one chilly fall afternoon, I was immediately greeted with the smell of peppermint tea; the drink my grandmother always made for me whenever I was sick or down in the dumps. Only trouble was, there was no peppermint tea in the house. Yet suddenly, all the apprehension and fear I felt about losing my grandfather so close to my grandmother's passing melted away into a strange sense of peace. I carried on with my chores.
Then, Something Amazing Happened
The next day, my grandfather, who was out of it and on regular doses of Morphine, swore up and down that he could see the love of his life; he swore she was there with us. I sloughed it off to his medication-induced haze and went into the kitchen to get his lunch. All of a sudden, I again smelled that familiar peppermint aroma. As I walked back to my grandfather's room, there, sitting on the edge of the bed and rubbing his feet (one of his favorite things) was my grandmother. But not my elderly, frail grandmother who had been riddled with Alzheimer's for years; but rather, the vibrant, beautiful woman she had been in her 20's and 30's. He laid in bed staring at her, love and tears in his eyes. He lifted his frail hand toward her as if to draw my attention to what I already saw as clear as day.
I dropped the tray holding his lunch. My jaw was on the floor. I could feel his food leaking on my feet. I couldn't move. I was in shock. Without missing a beat, the apparition looked over to me and smiled encouragingly. Then, she vanished. And he fell asleep.
Ever Since Then
Even after my grandfather passed away, I swore I could still feel my grandmother's presence from time to time. Whenever I have been down, whenever things aren't quite right, my thoughts instantly turn to her. And, each year, on Halloween, as I take a moment to pause and remember her, I get a whiff of peppermint tea, and I know that she is still with me, even if it's on the other side.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Shauna Zamarripa is a mother of three, parenting guru author, freelance columnist and financial expert. Check out her ramblings on her personal blog, Miss Adventures, her stellar money advice on Penny Pinchers or follow her daily dose of snark on Facebook and Twitter.