Rachel

You can't see her, but Rachel's in the picture.

Rachel….where do I begin? Maybe by saying I’ve watched 4 episodes of Paranormal Activity. I happen to believe we’re surrounded by those who have passed on. I think there are times when our loved ones who have passed are right here with us and I believe they give us signs of their presence. I know for some, it’s really scary, but for me – it’s more of a blessing. Sometimes I can smell my Maw Maw’s scents. Crazy as it sounds, when I smell Listerine and Noxzema cold cream, it makes me think of my Maw Maw Nellie. She thought Listerine was the cure all for everything – mosquito bites, cleaning the sink – you name it, Listerine was the answer.

I remember sitting on my sofa three years ago and dozing off while waiting for a phone call. I felt something on my face and when I woke up, it was a feather that had drifted…from somewhere. Less than five minutes later, there was a knock at my door. My entire family was standing there. My sweet nephew, Ethan, had passed away. He was such a blessing while he was here and remains so now. He fought a tough battle his 16 years with us. I still have that feather – along with many more that have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I know too Ethan put them there.

Rachel was my imaginary friend when I was a little girl. I adored her! She looked just like the girl on the Blue Bonnet butter packages. Remember those? She wore a little blue dress and a matching blue bonnet with blonde ringlets poking out. She kept me company for hours. We’d skip around the yard, run around the porch that went almost completely around the house. She played jacks with me and I can’t tell you how many times my Mom would say, “What?” thinking I was talking to her only to find out, it was Rachel I was having the conversation with. Ah..but Rachel kept me in trouble, too. First, she disliked my little sister. A lot. That worked well for me, though. I disliked her too. Of course, I outgrew that, but she was a hellion back then. I was a girly-girl and little sister was the epitome of a tomboy – which didn’t bode well for my tea sets and baby dolls. At any rate, Rachel kept it stirred. Mom would tell me to clean my room or pick up my mess, to which Rachel would promptly direct me to tell Mom that I’d do it “when my hair grows out”. I did. And it usually resulted in Mom’s evil eye or threats to not let me watch Bewitched or Gilligan’s Island or whatever show I wanted to watch that particular day. Rachel was my very first best friend.

They say kids with imaginary friends are really kids with friends no one else can see. Nothing imaginary about them. It’s also been said kids aren’t so jaded as adults and are more likely to take something at face value, especially when it comes to things they see. That makes sense. No one else saw Rachel – but I did. I guess I outgrew her or maybe she went to another best friend who was closer to her age. I know, though, she was real and even if she wasn’t, you’ll never convince me she was only in my mind. You’ll also never convince me those feathers are just coincidental findings.

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