The Sight

spirit, muse, life, deathTHEN

The longer Gertie watches her mother, the more confused she is. Gertie is 6 and never knew that her mom has tears.

“Why are you crying? Gertie asks.

“Your grandmother died today,” her mom answers.

Gertie closes her eyes. Nanny is right there beside them. When she opens her eyes again, a soft yellow light grows and surrounds her mom.

“Don’t worry,” Gertie soothes. “Nanny is fine. She’s right here.”

Shockingly, her mother cries even harder.

As the yellow light dims, Gertie decides to keep her observations to herself.

At 10 years old, Gertie creates an altar in the corner of her blue-wallpapered  bedroom. She  worships the sound of silence. Humming a tune from nowhere, Gertie sits cross legged and closes her eyes for long times.

Her parents worry and scuttle her outdoors: “Go play, ” they insist. sunset, sunrise

Two years later, Gertie stands in front of her bedroom window that overlooks a postage stamp front lawn. A maple tree shades new-green grass that speaks of a sweet June day. When Gertie’s feet float off her bedroom floor, the grass turns a deep purple. The leaves of the maple joyously change into a brilliant blue; the sky dazzles with a million diamonds.

She knows better than to tell anyone, so decides it’s “just her imagination.”

For the next 70 years Gertie continues to look out her windows, but her vision is clouded with the inconsequential longings of an adolescent, and then the flirtings of a teenager. She becomes an academic, and then a wife, a mother, a cog in the wheel of life.

As Gertie’s vision becomes worldly, her spirit diminishes, and the years roll by.

AND NOW….

family, greatgrandmother, ancestorGertie’s  6-year-old great grandson, Charlie, approaches her this morning where she’s seated in the “social room.” The powers-that-be call it the Memory Care Unit.  Gertie believes they try to “lock down” her memories, but whispers to herself – good luck to that.

The room is full of the noises of the half-gone: groans, grunts, gruesome laughs. Her visitors, including her grandson, Charlie’s dad, think she doesn’t know their name for this place: The Halfway House to Heaven or Hell.

“Great Gram, why do you keep looking over my shoulder?” Charlie asks.

Charlie is still young enough, Gertie decides. Charlie will understand. “See that window?” she answers, pointing to the bright light shining through the dirty glass.

He nods, walking closer to the window, and then stands stock still. “Ohhhhhhhhh!” he exclaims, “where does this come from Great Gram?”

Gertie beams in delight. Charlie has the sight now. If only he can hold onto it longer than she did.

Suddenly, Gertie feels a spark as she inhales. With her last exhale she finally understands:

The Sight is always within us.

  Charlie’s dad runs toward Great Gram, panic in his eyes. “She’s gone!” he shouts out to no one in particular, tears in his eyes.

“Oh no, Dad. She’s right here!” Charlie exclaims.  “Can’t you see the light?” 

137 thoughts on “The Sight

  1. This story reminds me how grateful I am for: 1) The way writing helps us process, and 2) How it helps us escape difficult things in life.

    Thank you for sharing ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I observed this special vision with Aunt Ruthie. Her hearing remained sharp. She always “knew” and “saw” even when she didn’t. Here’s to the comfort and joy you bring us (and possibly yourself) with such poignant posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Blessed are those with “the sight” Pam, you definitely have it. Light and sight make us life worth living! Thanks for the enlightenment, sometimes we nudge it away but an accomplished wordsmith knows how to capture it. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s the clue to why so many don’t see or believe in the “sight,” Balroop. The idea of en-LIGHT-enment is nudged away, and yet, how much difference it can make in our lives! Peace and blessings and thanks to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pam, your story is absolutely wonderful. It fills me with peace and I can
    sense strong love and open spirit.
    As Gertie found, the spirit is always within us when we shed the inconsequential. 💕

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do believe that people experience unusual happenings at the end of their life. My dad saw things that we couldn’t see. He seemed happy and not bothered by these visions. We will only know what it’s like at the end of our lives. How you come to write these stories is amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The Sight | John 4:48 NIV “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

  7. Perfect, sweet and sad… I feel Grace’s presence all around me. We put her to sleep this morning at 11:36am. It’s been a horrible day and Wayne and I have cried a lot but I wouldn’t change a thing. I just wish I had more time with her. My life is better since Gracie entered and left… ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A beautiful story Pam…especially for those of us a little closer to the “light”. I just wrote a blog post about a weekend with my grandsons…your story gives me hope that someday, they might see and remember my light especially about the times when we were together.
    Happy Weekend my Friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There is too much truth in this to be “just a story.” Children very often stop seeing because they are forced to look away. You are so on target with this ‘story’. I got lucky. I stopped seeing as much but still hear…if I listen. 🙂 I LOVED. this. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right. There is more ‘truth’ than fiction in my post here. But it’s interesting how uncomfortable people can be, hearing about the things that are right in front of them (and to the side) , and yet still unseen (by them). May we learn to not stop children from seeing what we adults have covered up in ‘reality.’ I love reading that you “hear” things now. I need to attune myself more to that. Maybe you’ll write a blog post about it sometime! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow, Pam. That’s so beautiful. I hope Charlie can keep his knowledge of the light longer than Gertie did but, as she realised, the light is always within us, we just need to acknowledge it. I’m sure my daughter was aware of the light, at least until she was seven. Interestingly enough, on the day that my Mum passed, she spent all afternoon looking towards the window as if waiting for someone to arrive. As soon as the day started to fade, she was gone. Your story had a very peaceful ethereal quality to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading my SIGHT post and commenting about your daughter’s ability to see the light while a child. Yes, I love the fact that she kept looking toward the window the day your Mum passed. Children are often afraid to tell adults what they see, because they’re afraid they won’t be believed.
      Hugs to you, Norah.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. WOW!,,, had to wait a minute Pam for the tears to clear from my eyes, What a beautiful circle!.. such a lovely insightful read..
    IF ONLY more would encourage ‘The Sight’ to blossom in our younger generation.. Maybe then there would be much more LIGHT shining through every window in every home..
    Very poignant right now as our elderly neighbour passed as she wished in her own home on Friday..

    Sending LOVE and Blessings Pam..
    You are such a talented writer.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read your comment soon after you wrote it, Sue, and took it in with much love and thanks. Finally able to comment back. Thank you for understanding every nuance in this post. I have firm memories as a child of seeing things clearly, but being told that I couldn’t possibly see them. Finally, when we reach our pre-adolescence, most of us unfortunately believe what the “grown-ups” say. I listen very carefully to what my young grandchildren ‘see’ and say, and we make up wonderful fantastical stories based on their “sight.” It’s fun! Blessings to your neighbor – may she be surrounded now by the Light.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I see “the light” shining in between your words. Ahhh, the sadness of being conditioned into pre-approved cultural norms. Ahhhh, the joy when we can shake ourselves awake into the actuality of what’s actually here. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I read this last night, Pam. Tears streaming down my face, I could not see the keys to type. Children lead a more unfiltered life than we do. They are closer to the before and the after. We have had a few surreal experiences with one of our granddaughters. She seems to pick up on a certain energy, light. You wrote the words “fictionalized truth” in a comment. Is this something you have experienced, or do you just know it to be true? A very beautiful story that reads like a poem. A poignant and timely story. My husband’s sister passed away two weeks ago and we are heading to her Celebration of Life. Our 1 year old grandson is named Charlie. Thank you. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, we share so many ‘coincidences’ from this, Erica. Reading your comment gave ME goosebumps. Yes, this is fictionalized truth. The first part is my experience as a child – all real, but fictionalized from my adult memory. The second part, about elderly Gertie, I use my mom as a role model. (“Charlie” is my grandson – seen in the photo.) She is in deep dementia yet every once in a while she looks behind my shoulder and sees someone, like her sister (who has predeceased her). My mom’s memory is gone – she doesn’t remember me, even, and we’re very close, but every once in a while a spark lights in her eyes, and I know she’s in there, and she feels my love. I send you deep sympathy on the death of your sister-in-law. May her spirit always be felt within and around you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. What a beautiful post, Pam. It made me all teary, as you can imagine. I read through all the comments to see if your mom has passed on. My heart is with you either way and full of love. I’ve heard so many stories from children (and from adults recounting their childhoods) where spirit is something fully present. Colors, angels, music, strange rescues from harm, and whispered voices. It’s so sad that these experiences are dismissed as flights of imagination and that we learn to shut them down. Three cheers for Charlie for reminding Gertie that they are real. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for drinking in my post and understanding every liquid drop. I suppose I should have had a disclaimer or something at the end of it. My mom is still alive; I recently visited her and so saddened that her memory has lessened to the point of not knowing me at all. My past experiences merged into this post. My wish for her is to see the Light that will help her leave her world of darkness and shadows and find peace. Many thanks for your words of comfort; I hug them in, and send them back to you doubled. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pam, this is such a precious story that has touched me to the core … I feel slightly shaken! In such a short piece you traverse life, its passing, how we never really leave, the insight some have of us all, how this is passed on in the next generations. A humbling and poignant piece – and one I guess is partly based on events in your own life.

    After reading the stories a few times, I was touched by all the wonderful and heartfelt comments – a compliment to you both as a writer and person. hugs xx ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so appreciate readers’ comments on our posts, Annika, as I know you do. To think that our story, our muse, our creative thinking, touches others is an amazing gift. Your description of what you felt as you read this post made me think of Kate Atkinson’s masterpiece Life After Life. Not sure if you’ve read it, but it’s quite special. Many thanks for your praise – it means a lot. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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