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My Aunt Gertrude

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“Oma”

My grandmother “Oma” died in 1971.  Then I started having dreams.  The dreams came daily, then weekly then every month or so.  I kept having them for years but it was every so often. My parents sent me to therapy.  The therapist said I was young (13).  That it was the first family death I had experienced and that I loved my Oma very much. 

 

 

 

 

THE DREAM

I’m sitting on the left side of a sofa. My Mom is sitting in front of me in a chair.  Then there’s a lamp on an end table and my Dad sitting in an identical chair to my right.  We’re talking and there is someone on the couch with me but I can’t see them.  A knock come at the door.  Mom says, “Answer that”.  I get up and go to the door.  There’s a window to the left and a curtain that just covers the window.  I open the door.

My dead Grandmother is standing there.

I Scream and back away from the door.  As I do this, she peeks into the room through the gap at the right side of the window.

SKIP TO 1982

We were stationed at Laughlin AFB, Texas and expecting our second child.  We invited my parents to Texas to share in the blessed event.  But Timmy was late and the two week visit turn into a two month marathon.  My Mom had their mail forwarded to Texas.

Aunt Gertrude and Uncle Hans about 1943.

A letter arrived for Mom.  It was from her older sister Gertrude.  This was a big surprise because Gertrude was listed as dead in Germany after World War Two.  Gertrude wrote:

Dear Helene,

I’ve managed to get to Texas and am visiting my step-daughter in San Antonio.  I have no money.  Can you send me some so I can visit you in California?

Your Loving Sister,

Gertrude.

San Antonio was right up the road from Laughlin and Mom us packed to go in minutes.  San Antonio is a big city so the plan was to check into a motel and have Gertrude come to us and lead us to her step-daughter’s house.  Did i mention my Mom was german?  To impress her sister, she got a suite that we’d use for about an hour.  Max.

THEN

We were sitting around waiting.

My Aunt Gertrude. 1982.

I’m sitting on the left side of a sofa. My Mom is sitting in front of me in a chair.  Then there’s a lamp on an end table and my Dad sitting in an identical chair to my right.  My eight month pregger wife is sitting on the right side of the sofa with our three year old son in her lap.  A knock come at the door.  Mom says, “Answer that”.  I get up and go to the door.  There’s a window to the left and a curtain that just covers the window.  I open the door.

My dead Grandmother is standing there.

I Scream and back away from the door.  As I do this, she peeks into the room through the gap at the right side of the window.

My and Dad wanted to know what’s going on.  My wife knows, she’d seen me have this nightmare for years. Mom says, “Open the damn door.”

I do.  My aunt Gertrude is standing there with a very confused look on her face.

 

 


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