Thursday, October 28, 2010
Am I Awake or Am I Dreaming?
“Am I awake or am I dreaming?” The first time I had to ask myself this question was in 1983. I was almost six years old. There was nothing out of the ordinary except that I was awakened from my sleep to the sound of someone yelling for help. I laid there in my bed wondering, am I awake or am I dreaming? The call for help didn’t go away, it got closer. I got out of bed and pulled the curtains to the side and that’s when I saw her; a girl in a long white dress with long black hair running down the sidewalk while looking behind her calling for help. She was being chased, but by what, I’ll never know. Before she faded away, she looked up at my window, into what felt like my eyes, and asked me for help. I’ve never seen her again. Later research led me to believe I saw a White Lady ghost which has been known to be a Harbinger, bearer of an omen.
Six months later I had to ask myself, “Am I alive or am I dead?” We rented an old house when my family moved to Ely, Nevada, an old mining town, for a short time for my dad’s job. One morning, not long after we arrived, my dad woke up for work to the furnace blowing black soot through every vent in the house. Since we moved there in the dead of winter, the furnace had been going on and off all night. Panicked, my dad ran around the house waking all of us up to get us out of there. We were all covered in black soot. We weren’t sure how long we had been lying there breathing it in but the curtains and walls were blackened when we woke up. We spent a week throwing up after that, lucky to be alive.
It didn’t take long for me to ask myself if I was awake or if I was dreaming again. This time I wasn’t the only one seeing ghosts, both my sister and I constantly heard, felt, or saw something unexplainable going on there in that rental in Nevada. One night I woke up and thought I heard my sister playing music on her clock radio. I didn’t want my parents to get up and yell at us so I went next door to her room and said, “Turn it off! You’re going to wake mom and dad up!” She wasn’t awake though and never heard me. I stood there listening to the radio changing stations by its self. I ran back to my room and hid, asking myself, “I am awake or am I dreaming,” over and over.
We moved back to our home in Utah after only six months in Nevada. Whatever was going on didn’t stay there, but then, it didn’t start there either. It was 1987 and I was ten when I found myself asking, “Am I alive or am I dead,” once again. We lived in a split entry level home where the front door opened to a set of stairs that went both upstairs and downstairs. Upstairs from the front door was the doorway leading to the kitchen where the kitchen sink was located. That’s where I was standing doing the dishes with my Walkman turned up practically all the way to Motley Crue. On this particular day I was annoyed that my mom kept bothering me while she was going around the house cleaning, forcing me to turn my music down, and ask, “What?” repeatedly. I decided to just crank the volume and ignore her the next time she said anything since I only had a few pieces of silverware left to wash. Just like I thought, my mom started calling my name, “Patty. . .Patty. . .PATTY!!!!” I dropped the silverware, left the water running, turned around, and yelled, “WHAT!?” at the top of my lungs at the same exact moment lightning struck our front door. I went blind momentarily and our television was blown out. The damage to our house wasn’t nearly as bad as the house behind us whose carpet caught fire when that bolt of lightning went through the swamp cooler onto their roof. Little did I know, my mom had been on her way upstairs with a basket of laundry when she heard me yell, “WHAT!?” She asked me why I did that and I said, “Because you were yelling at me.” She said, “No I wasn’t.” I’m lucky to be alive. If I had spent another second washing that silverware under the running water, I would’ve been electrocuted. My mom and sister both talk about that moment to this day, wondering who alerted me.
My ghost stories continue throughout my life but I didn’t start seeing full bodied apparitions until 2001. In 2002, my daughter was born with kidney problems that required two surgeries. It was 2004 and my daughter was scheduled for her second surgery, a stressful time in our house. I dreamt one night that my neighbor from across the street came over and said, “Someone died in the bedroom upstairs.” It woke me from my sleep. When my eyes opened there was a little girl standing at the foot of my bed. She seemed real. She had short brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a dress that might have been a school uniform but not from this era. When she didn’t go away I shut my eyes and rolled over seeking comfort from my sleeping husband. One week later, my neighbor came over to check on my daughter’s health and while she was there she said, “Did you know someone died in the room upstairs?” I tried not to panic. I asked for the details. She said the previous owner’s mother died up there. I ran into the previous owner at the store one day and asked her about it. She became defensive, saying her mom died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and not in the house.
So, I ask you, have I been awake or have I been dreaming? Am I alive or am I dead?
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