This has to be one of my earliest ghost memories, yet, it was evidently not my first. I was somewhere between five and seven years old.
We had recently watched 'The Diary of Anne Frank' and the sounds of the sirens in the movie had chilled me to my soul. I am not sure why this aspect is included, but it has always seemed to feel important.
I woke in the middle of the night, not knowing exactly why, but thought I had heard the same siren sound as from the movie. The sound was unforgettable, the combination of movie fears and reality, and creates shivers to this day. "Someone was in trouble!" was my first thought as I cautiously climbed out of bed, and searched our house for my family.
In the kitchen, wearing pajamas and robes, is my mother and my older sister silently standing out the kitchen door window looking down the hill to the next door neighbor's house, Polly and Murray. Polly was a gracious, dark haired woman who always had time, or cookies, for the two little girls next door. Her husband, Murray, was an older gentleman, rather loud and boisterous, grey haired and plumping at the middle from many a beer, attested to by the Budweiser calendar in his garage. I was always fascinated by that calendar! The pictures above each month revealed slightly clad young women with abundant cleavage in seductive poses.
There, in front of Polly and Murray's house, was some sort of station wagon type automobile or ambulance, but there were no flashing lights. It may have been a coroner's wagon. Mum was crying, Sue was silent and watching
At my repeated questions, Mum finally told me that Polly had died. I became immediately confused. When I peered out our window, I could plainly see Polly standing on her front lawn in a long, white nightgown with her long dark hair down, something that I had never seen before. That day and age was when women always wore their tresses wrapped up in public. She was smiling and calm happy, waving to us, completely undisturbed by the scurry of activity all around her, people walking all over her prized lawns! I could see her as clear as day from the kitchen nook window to the left of the ktichen door where I perched on the bench on my knees to see, arms akimbo on the window sill. What was Mum talking about? Polly was just fine!
I was about to speak but I thought better of it as I had gotten into trouble for "telling tales" before. It did make me wonder at such a young age, "Then, what exactly IS dead?"