My friend Jean had a parakeet that loved to ring its bell. That parakeet has been dead many years, but Jean and her houseguests often hear that bell.
I recently had a houseguest who asked me when we’d gotten a new dog, and how did we get one that looks just like Buffy? My houseguest assured me that this dog had run up to us as we opened the door.
I don’t have a dog at the moment, but I’d love to find one who looks just like Buffy, my all-time favorite dog on the planet.
Perhaps Jean and I are being haunted by pets who loved us.
There’s another kind of ghost I’d rather not encounter – the kind that I thought was a dim memory of an unpleasant encounter. Shortly after we moved into this house about 20 years ago, I hired a neighbor to fix the roof and put on new gutters. He gave me a 10-year warranty. The first rainstorm, which happened about a month after he did the work knocked the gutters down and showed that we still had a leak. I had asked this neighbor to come fix it, as he had promised in the warranty. He said if I wanted more work from him I’d have to give him more money.
I hired somebody else, and the roof stayed good for about 15 years. The gutters are still on. This inept roofer no longer lives in the neighborhood. But, yesterday, as I was carrying my bike up the stairs to my living room, he came up to me. “I used to be your neighbor. Could you help me out?” I said no. Nancy Reagan was right – Just Say No. Why go into long explanations? Why prolong an unpleasant conversation?
And finally, another kind of ghost. A ghost that serves as a trigger to action.
When I logged into Facebook, George Takei had posted an appeal to make 2012 the year Joseph Kony stops terrorizing children in Uganda. Kony has been kidnapping children for 26 years. Takei had linked a YouTube video in which a young boy whose brother had been killed by Kony talked about his conversations with his dead brother. I shared that post on Facebook and Twitter. I made a STOP KONY 2012 sign and posted it in my window. Next, I’ll write to my representatives and try to get the UN involved.
No more ghosts.