Colleen tossed and turned in her small bed, trying to sleep, but something was pulling at her, urging her to wake-up. She opened her eyes and waited for them to adjust to the darkness of her room. She felt him before she saw him.
He was standing at the end of her bed, looking down on her with that sad, sad face. He was crying softly. He didn’t have to say anything, she knew what he wanted.
She looked him squarely in the eye and told him for the hundredth time, she could not help him. He had to find his own way now. He was her little brother and she did not understand why he thought she could help him, she did not understand why he did not go to their mother. She was smarter, she was the mother, she would know what to do. But he kept coming to her, always sneaking into her bedroom, waking her from a sound sleep.
She knew from experience that if she called to her parents that he would go and hide from them. She would tell them that he had come into her room and they would always pretend to look around, not see him anywhere and then tuck her in, give her a loving pat on the shoulder, kisses on the forehead and they would leave her alone again.
It was always the same, she wondered if they even believed her anymore. Where did he hide she wondered. He just seemed to pop up whenever and wherever. It was all so confusing to her little 10 year old brain.
Okay Bobby, she said to her brother, tomorrow I shall go to see Grandmother O’Grady and I shall ask her if she can help you.
You can even come with me if you’d like. Bobby smiled, he happily clapped his hands and then disappeared from her room.
She sighed and covered her head with her blanket, and soon she was asleep again. This time there were no more interruptions.
The next day was Saturday and she told her mother at breakfast that Bobby had snuck into her bedroom again last night.
“That’s nice dear, you know Bobby loves you very much,” was all her mother said.
“I would like to go to visit Grandmother O’Grady today if that is alright with you mother. I miss talking to her about Ireland and the little people and all the wonderful stories about when she was a little girl, like me. Can I go Mother? Please? I will be very careful, I promise,” and for good measure she added, “Bobby is coming with me.”
Her mother sighed, she found this request troubling but she had become resigned to the strong connection between her mother and her daughter. It seemed to get stronger as the years progressed. Well she thought to herself, why not, perhaps it will do her good to visit her grandmother. She hesitantly gave her permission to go and visit grandmother after she finished her chores.
Colleen completed her chores in record time that morning and soon found herself walking down the dirt road, Bobby by her side, headed for the top of the hill, where Grandmother O’Grady would be waiting for them. They arrived at the bend in the road, turned right and soon they were with their Grandmother. It felt warm and loving whenever Grandmother was near, she hovered over them like a beautiful angel tending to her young.
“What brings you to me today?” she asked. “You look so sad young lady, and you Bobby, why are you still hanging around with your sister young man? You have other places to be.” “I know Grandmother, I wanted to come.” replied Bobby.
“That’s the problem that I have come to talk with you about Grandma, you see, Bobby keeps coming into my bedroom and I don’t
know what to do to help him.”
“Ahhhh, my little one, you have my gift, I have always told you that you were special, like me when I was young. You don’t worry, you have helped Bobby today, he wanted to come to see me so we could be together but he didn’t know the way. I will take care of him now, you can go back home and tell your parents that we love them and we will be here when they are ready to join us. Now go my darling and don’t worry anymore, remember what I told you, being able to communicate with the dead is a gift.”