40. I think I’ve shared this story here before, but when I was around 9 or 10 years old, my family had a big family reunion at my great aunt’s house (a giant Victorian-era mansion with a huge back yard). I remember there was nobody there my age, and all the adults became eventually drunk, so I wandered around the house and quickly found the upstairs library that I thought was neat because it also had a back hallway with a tiny bedroom and full bathroom (probably the nanny’s quarters back in the day). I remember I was sitting on the library rug I think playing with a black and gold check-printing machine, when a kid in the hallway suddenly said “You’re not supposed to play with guns, Bill.”
I wasn’t playing with guns, and my name wasn’t Bill! But I thought cool, another kid my age. I looked back and didn’t see anything, then I hopped up and went around the door but he was gone. I went down the stairs and found my mom and asked if she had seen a kid my age (no). I looked all around and there was nobody there my age.
Then when I was a late teenager, my mother told me that her father (Bill), who had died before I was born, had killed his friend with a gun accidentally when he was 13, in that house. Nobody ever talked about it in the family.
Fast-forward 40 years later, I was now driving my great-Aunt, Bill’s sister, who had stayed in that house until she was 90, back to her assisted-living apartment (age 105 now). I asked where Bill had shot that kid and she said in the upstairs library.
41. When I was 9, I woke up in the middle of the night positive that my aunt Hope had died. The feeling was so real that it scared the daylights out of me and I ran to my parents room crying. I told them what happened, and they kept saying “its just a bad dream, everything’s OK, aunt Hope is fine” but I couldn’t calm down.
After some 10-15 minutes of this, the phone rang. My dad got up and went to answer it. It was my uncle calling to tell us Hope had just died.