Sunday, February 27, 2011

Papa's Music

I found this short story that I wrote last year for my creative writing class. Although I added some details to make the story more descriptive, this story is TRUE. I still remember this experience very clearly in my mind, and my mom and I talk about this even today. This is the only "supernatural" experience I've ever had, but it makes me believe in angels without a doubt. Hope you enjoy it. : )

Papa’s Music
By Julie Carter

“Hurry up, mommy!” I called out impatiently, my white sandals pounding the concrete as I jumped back and forth from the front stoop to the sidewalk. I was 7 years old and had little patience for my mother, who was toting cleaning supplies up to the house that had belonged to my grandparents. My Papa had died when I was 2, and after my Grandma had passed away the previous autumn, my parents had spent several months slowly sifting through all the items they had hoarded over the years. After a huge estate sale and moving some items into our house, the place was finally vacant. All that was left before selling it was some heavy-duty cleaning.
It was surprising that I even had any memories of Papa. Most children forget things that happen to them when they were 2, but I could clearly recall sitting in the upstairs bedroom with him, watching old musicals. Papa loved old musicals, especially ones with tap dancing, and I watched one with him the day he died. Grandma, of course, was still fresh on my mind. At 7, death was still a difficult concept to grasp, and half the time I still expected her to be there when we went to check on the house.
“I’m coming, I’m coming,” my mother replied, exasperated. Looking back, I knew it had to have been hard on her coming there, an only child, to the house she had grown up in with so many memories. But at that point, I was ready to go inside and take advantage of the space for cartwheels and running that the empty house offered me.
I looked back to the car where my Dad was dealing with my 3 year old sister, ready for her afternoon nap and obviously cranky.
“Slowpokes!” I called out to them as Mom juggled her bags and the keys, unlocking the front door. I rushed into the entryway, Mom right behind, part of me still thinking I would hear Grandma calling out “Hello?” like she had for years every time we came to visit.
The sound of music, loud and clear, stopped me in my tracks. It sounded it was from the big band era, but almost before I had time to process what I was hearing, it stopped. I looked at my mother, and she was staring back at me.
“Did you hear that, mommy?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer.
She nodded slowly. “It sounded like the radio was playing, just like when Papa would turn it on when he was getting ready in the mornings.”
I had goose bumps. My friends and I always shared ghost stories at sleepovers, but those involved night time and scary things. This was in the middle of the afternoon, and it was my Papa I thought I heard, not some creepy ghost.
After a moment, my Mom lost the dreamy look in her eyes and ushered me back out into the sunlight. She was worried that there was actually someone in the supposedly vacant house and not just us hearing what we thought was Papa’s music. She told Dad what we had heard, and he walked all over that house, looking in every room, closet, and corner. Nothing. Not so much as a trace of anyone, let alone a radio or any object that could have turned itself on. But we both swore that we had heard the same thing for just the briefest seconds, coming from the back bedroom upstairs. It was as though he allowed us to catch him, making himself known just long enough for us to notice, and then vanished.
Years later, my mother and I would still talk about the day that we heard Papa’s music. Our friends and family tried to explain it rationally, blaming the neighbors, a car driving by, or the wind. But she and I would just smile at each other, knowing exactly what we heard. I like to think it was his way of letting us know that he was still here in some form, watching over us and listening to his music even as an angel in heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment