August 14, 2012

Craft Your Better Self: Believe in Life Beyond

Once, when I was a kid my dad had taken our boat to his friends house to have him fix it. I tagged along for the short trip. Arriving at his friends, my dad parked the boat in the driveway. After discussing repairs, they had a few beers together. This left me bored so I climbed into the boat to play around. Boats on land were infinitely more interesting then on the water. I don't know why.

The drivers seat, in this boat, was more like a a wood bench that extends the full width. Sort of like the picture below (this was not his boat). I entertained myself by jumping and skipping, front to back and and so on. After a few repeats of this game something happened.

As I stepped down from the front seat onto the floor. When my foot landed, I felt a hand grab my ankle from under the seat. It startled me, to say the least.  With a second step the grip released. I glanced at my dad and his friend but they continued talking, implying to me  they didn't see or notice anything. I bent down, looked under the seat. There was nothing.

(By the way, not only does my dad not remember this story, he doesn't even remember the friend or that we dropped the boat off for repairs. I blame the beer.)

Since then, I've been a firm believer in ghosts or spirits or whatever you want to call something that isn't physically there but has a presence none-the-less. It's not a religious belief.

I live in NYC but grew up in a suburb of  Buffalo.  My next door neighbors were family.  Aunt Ruth.
 I always felt a deep connection to her. I can't explain it. She lived in NYC for a time in her life, before returning home to care for her mother.

Like me she never had children and never married (She was engaged once, as was I, although she planned on getting married had her fiance not passed away. Me? not a chance.)

When she returned to Buffalo she brought a little NY swagger with her. Straight up martinis with an olive and cigarette's (before it became uncool). She was wonderful.

  Anyway... A few months ago while looking through my scrapbook I came across her business card. She worked for General Cable Corporation as a purchasing agent. I've seen this card a million times, but this particular time I was awestruck.  I read the address where she worked.                                
 420 Lexington Avenue New York New York 2-2920

 I scrambled to find my business card just to be sure. When I say a chill ran through my body it'd be an understatement.

The company I work for moved to this exact location about 6 months ago.  My Aunt worked on the 29th floor, suite 2920.  I'm on the 29th floor as well, suite 2903. Neighbors. I walk past her office everyday.

"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world"....

The story gets more interesting. On our floor, offices share a centrally located restroom. When I walk into the restroom the sink, in the handicap stall would automatically turn on.

I felt it meant something. I just didn't know what. Now I know.  My BFF Ana, said it best, "It's Aunt Ruth letting me know she is with me."  There's that chill again.