My family decided I needed to go home to New York to heal. Though I resisted, I flew home trying to distance myself from sadness. The visit proved to be like medicine, especially time spent with Mami, the grandmother who raised me. She was a strong woman who clung to her old ways and beliefs. One of them was Spiritualism.
I never wanted to know that part of her. I avoided discussions about her seances, her lighting of candles, burning of incense and whatever other strange things she did. Most of all I avoided Amelia, the spiritualist medium who told my grandmother about her future, any surrounding evil, how to get rid of it, what spells to perform. I was clear - I wanted nothing to do with anything Amelia offered.
One day, as I walked from my room towards the kitchen, my grandmother was talking on the phone. I intended to quietly walk by her, but she enthusiastically stopped me. "Oh. Here's Myrna. Come, come talk to Amelia." I resisted with every fiber, every cell , every thought, with all my spirit. But I would never disrespect my grandmother and refuse her command.
Amelia was jovial, I was curt. After the usual social interchange, Amelia was simply rude. "So, you just lost a baby, I hear. Don't worry. As soon as you return to Germany, you'll be pregnant again." I got off the phone as quickly as possible. For a long time I sat on my bed to regain my composure while entertaining hostile thoughts of indignation. How dare Amelia make a prediction I didn't ask for or believe?
Today I remember Amelia as a mysterious, magical woman. Often, I've shared this story with my only daughter - born about ten months after my visit home.
(This is a true story though I've changed the name and condensed some details. It was fun writing this in prose. I've written at least one poem based on this story.)
For Poets United.