Ana practiced "espiritismo" (Spiritism - a form of spiritualism practiced primarily in the Carribean.). She was my grandmother's friend and family medium. Born blind, Ana was healed when she accepted her fate as an intermediary between this world and the spirit world. That's what my grandmother said. I never questioned my grandmother but I always did my best to avoid Ana.
With a blend of Catholicism, prayers, magic rituals and trances, Ana worked hard to influence spirits. My grandmother went to her first sessions with Ana to see if she could help with a situation involving ethnic strife. The spiritual intervention didn't work and the Italians won against us - the Puerto Ricans.
In spite of the defeat, grandmother's faith in "espiritismo" was undeterred. She made my mother have many sessions with Ana. I now realize my mother suffered from clinical depression. It took years, but there came a time, when I remarked that my mother was the happiest person I knew. Whatever Ana did, this time it worked.
On one occasion, my aunt, who also met with Ana regularly, felt so much fear and anxiety during the day that she called her husband at work. She just had to talk to him again about the recurring nightmares she had been having. She dreamt of a huge African man, with tribal markings on his face and who wore some kind of ceremonial garb. This man chased my aunt aggressively with evil eyes and evil intentions. My aunt knew this was a harmful spirit who invaded her dreams. In the midst of my aunt and uncle's conversation they were both startled and shocked upon hearing a loud crash. Apparently, the entire china cabinet had toppled down breaking all its contents. My aunt ran to the dinning room. She came back in fright and disbelief to report that all was in its place. Nothing could explain these paranormal audio effects. Convinced this all stemmed from her contacts with Ana, my aunt never had anything to do with "espiritismo" again. Her nightmares ended.
As I grew older I stopped hearing about Ana and I pretty much forgot about her. Once on a visit home from overseas, I was very sad. I had just lost a baby and doctors said I couldn't have any more children. On my way to the kitchen, I walked by my grandmother who was on the phone. With no forewarning, she handed me the phone and told me to say hello to Ana. I was furious. This was the last person I wanted to talk to but out of respect for my grandmother, I could not refuse. I resented that Ana immediately started talking about my lost baby. She told me not to worry, that I would be pregnant again very soon. My daughter was born less than a year later.
It's been said that we dwell in a world where more is unseen than seen. I think it's true.
The previous post is fiction, but inspired by thoughts of Ana. This post is based on my memories.