I‘m taking a break from the old Mourning Loop to brighten the Dog Days of a difficult summer with two very bright pieces of news: Elle Magazine has picked American Ghost to feature in its November issue (which conveniently comes out in October, just prior to publication) and I’ll be speaking at SIBA in Naples in September, and the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading on October 20th and a whole tour full of bookstores Near You, including Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, Texas.
Being a loyal southern daughter, I haven’t let these miraculous happenings undercut my essential melancholy. I don’t quite feel that I have wrung the last tear from the hankie (as they say around here) and am still, sadly, in mourning for Mama. I’m also still in the process of redistributing yarn, crochet thread, Precious Moments, clothes and 800 pair of shoes. So far, I’ve found homes for the yarn, crochet thread and most of the shoes. In the process of cleaning out Mama’s bedroom, I found her 15-year-old copy of My Brother Michael, so well-worn the golden ribbon was frayed. I opened to title page and read the inscription, addressed to Cissie Catts and signed: Gabriel and it was a curious moment, sitting there on Mama’s bed and reading my own dedication.
I talked to Pops this morning and asked how he was doing – and incidentally, like widowers everywhere, he has come to loathe the question – and he said he was doing OK, that he was still seeing ghosts and hearing thangs, but other than that, fine.
He said it so casually that we went on to speak of other things (probably more crochet thread) and it was only later in the day I thought: ghosts? Could it be, like the hard-head she always was, Mama has decided her earthly business is not complete, and she’s still baking biscuits on 13th Street? I can tell you: it would be so much like her.
I’m going down tomorrow and having daddy clarify the situation. If he and I both, simultaneously, see an apparition, I’ll report it and try to snap a picture on my phone. If not, you can file this post under the category of “gone ’round the bend.” And no worries if we have. We’ve been there before. We have maps to find our way back.