The Grey Lady
When I was a little girl I woke up in the middle of the night being covered up by a very lovely lady with dark hair in a bun and olive complected wearing a long grey, satin dress with a lace collar around her neck held by a cameo broach and smelled of lavender. I had been very sick with high fever. I was not afraid and smiled up at the Lady. She did not say anything but smiled back at me with the sweetest and most loving smile I had ever seen. She pulled the covers up around my neck and tucked me in. Then smoothed my hair, smiled and left. As she walked out of the room I could hear the swish of satin and still smell her sent of lavender (a Mediterranean mint leaf with purple flowers tied up in little sacks and used as sachets when I was a child). I felt very calm and fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning my fever had broken and I was hungry. I went into the kitchen where it was warm and my Grandma, Pinkie, was sitting in her rocking chair drinking "cowboy coffee" (boiled coffee with an egg shell strained through cheese cloth) and dipping snuff with her willow brush. I crawled up on her lap and put my head on her shoulder and asked her who the nice Lady was that came into my room last night. She looked at me and asked me what she looked like. I told her and she said very calmly, "Oh, that was the "Grey Lady" she has looked over our families sick younguns since anyone can remember. I remember her when I was a little girl like you and she always smelled like lavender."
Both of my daughters were visited by the "Grey Lady" when they were little girls and not feeling well. My grandchildren Joshua and Gabrielle know her too. None of us have ever feared her for she always brings comfort and healing. My oldest daughter Vicki, who most resembles my side of the family says she still feels her presence and catches a "whiff of lavender" from time to time even though it has been a long time since she has seen her.
A ghost story by Sue Bumerts.
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© Sue Bumerts, 1998, 1999.