Back in March I posted about an experience I had, one of feeling the presence of someone near me on a stressful occasion, someone who had died. It was a calming experience. I knew that one day I would write about the one other time in my life when something similar happened.
The thing is that I was only five years old. It was shortly after my maternal grandmother (Mammaw) died. Having been so young when she died, I really don't remember that much about her. I just have this image in my mind when I think of her. I have very vague memories, if that is what they are, of her being around. My sister being seven years older than I, was very close to Mammaw, and I know it was a hard time for her and my mother.
I have this feeling that Mammaw wasn't a real happy person. When I do think of her, I picture her as in an old photograph we have around somewhere. She was only a a couple of years older than I am now when she died, yet when I look at the photos of her, she seemed so much older. I guess life was harder then. I've heard she was very different than Pappaw. He was the playful, silly one; she was the serious one. My mother was their only child. Maybe my mother will talk to me about her one day in a little more detail.
What happened is that I believe Mammaw visited me, and I feel she did so to say goodbye to me. All I remember is being in bed in the bedroom I shared with my sister. I remember waking up and opening my eyes. I felt her presence and I saw what I believe was the dark outline of her...like a shadow. Of course, being five years old it frightened me to no end and I hid under the covers and eventually fell back asleep.
That memory has lived with me all my life. I haven't shared it with too many people. I once worried that someone would think I was off my rocker. Actually, the response has been an overwhelming belief that this was a real experience and I should have faith that it was just what I feel it was. For many many years I never told my mother, but I eventually did. I still think about it once in awhile. It had to have been real. How could a five year old's brain retain something like that? I have no answer to that question, but I did and still do think about that event, now 48 years later.