Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am not a believer in ghosts. When my father died in 1993, my older half-brother came to the funeral and talked about having my dad come and visit him at his bedside. I had no belief that would happen to me, simply because I believe that when I die, I will remain unconscious–asleep as it were–until I am resurrected at Christ’s second coming to go with Him to heaven.
That being said, there are ghosts, and then there are ghosts. Those who know me might be surprised that the new book project I am working on is called Tesla’s Ghost, and in the first chapter gives every indication that that is exactly what the book will be dealing with. But Tesla–and his assistant, Fritz Lowenstein, who is my main character–are both scientists who are convinced there is a rational explanation for what they are witnessing. Hence the title, and the beginning of the story. Not every ghost ends up being a specter, despite what some people might think.
And there are other kinds of ghosts. As I mentioned, my father died in 1993, which should be sufficient time for someone like me to move on with life. But I still, 23 years later, regularly dream about my mother and father. I don’t know if that’s normal, and I always am trying, like Tesla, to find a rational explanation for it.
The people who preceded us never leave us. They are ghosts, because their words and actions become shadows inside of our own words and our own actions. I see my mother and father every day in the words and actions that I do, and that my children do. Phrases like, “Paying for your own raisin’,” “Larripin,” and “You gotta be smarter than the thing you’re working with,” bring back strong memories of both my parents and my childhood. And someday, when I am gone, my children, or my children’s children, may think that these words originated with me. But they didn’t.
For I am just a shadow–a ghost if you will–of the great parents who went before me.