I was a child of eight years when I had my first experience with a ghost. I shared a room with my twin, and some nights I had a hard time falling asleep. Well, this one night, I looked at the doorway of the bedroom and I saw it. You know when it's dark and from a distance a person who stands in front of a light source is seen as a dark silhouette. It was like that, but having a light silhouette instead. I could tell by its shape that it was a man; however, I saw no eyes or features otherwise. I thought to myself, "What is that? What am I seeing? Is that a ghost?" It frightened me, so I whispered to my sister to wake up and look at the doorway. I didn't want to say what I was seeing because I didn't want to influence her. I would know from her reaction if she could see what I was seeing. Sure enough, without saying a word, she threw the covers over her head. I knew at that moment my twin could see it too. It wasn't my imagination! We lay there under the covers scared, daring the other to look again, until we both agreed to look again on three. One, two, three... We looked and he wasn't there.
Years passed without my twin and I saying a thing to others about the incident. We were kids and back then, "kids were seen and not heard." We didn't think anyone would believe us anyway. Then, one day, my older sister had friends over and they were sharing ghost stories. I decided to tell them about the man in the doorway. I looked at my two older sisters' perplexed facial expressions and said, "What? I'm not lying. It's true!" To my astonishment, they said that they knew I wasn't lying because they saw the same thing on more than one occasion.
I immediately ran to my mother and told her the story and asked her why a ghost would be in our home since it was built for us and no one had died in it. She said, "It must have been your Grandfather." My grandfather died when I was three years old. Although I was very young when he passed away, I remembered him. I remembered the love he had for me and the love I felt for him. She said that he would stand in the bedroom doorways and watch us for a bit as we slept. She added, "Your Grandfather was an immigrant from Yugoslavia and was happy with just the simple things in life. He was proud to be an American and of his grandchildren. Oh, how proud he was of his twin granddaughters. He would visit frequently and always push the twin carriage around the neighborhood. It got to be that the neighbors knew your Grandfather better than they knew your Dad and I."
Here's what I didn't mention. I was also eight years old when my father left us. It was a very rough patch in our lives and it put a real financial strain on the family. We had little in the bank and my mother had just obtained her driver's license. She had been a housewife since the birth of my brother and when dad left, my brother was just about to turn eighteen. My father left a note for my brother telling him to take care of the family. Mom told him he was to go to college as he planned with scholarships and hard work. So, Mom had to get a job in a hurry and typing was all she knew. I remember her practicing again and again. I did my best to encourage Mom as I timed her and she went over her mistakes while wiping the tears from her cheeks.
Thank God my brother was, and still is, a bit of a genius and through everything was able to obtain his doctorate in chemistry.
Once I talked to my mother, I believed the man in the doorway was my grandfather. I truly believe that he, somehow, felt the trouble in our lives and was trying to be there for us.