The Garden Gate

When I was 5, my mother and I went to Nova Scotia to visit her Aunt and Uncle. They lived on Clarke's Harbour.

There were no children my age nearby, so I used to play outside in the garden with a wooden cutout of a girl with a watering can. She was my "friend".

One morning, I was in the garden talking to my "friend". Suddenly, I heard a woman's voice say, "Hello?". I turned and saw a very pretty, dark haired lady standing at the garden gate. She asked me who I was, and I told her. I asked her her name, and she told me her name was Valarie. She asked if my Aunt was at home. I told her yes, she was. She asked If I would go tell her that Valarie was here.

I ran through the back door, and my mom stopped me as I ran in. She asked me what I was doing, and I told her that Valarie was outside, and wanted to see our Aunt. My mother quickly clapped her hand over my mouth, and brought me up to our room.

Years later, when I was 21, my mother and I were looking at some of her old family pictures. I was flipping through the pages when I spotted someone familiar. "That's Valarie," I said. "I met her at Aunt Louie's house."

My mother's face grew very pale. "I thought you forgot about that." she said. I was puzzled. I asked her why she thought that I would forget? She then told me this story.

Years before I was born, Valarie, the youngest of my Aunt and Uncle's 8 children died. She, her husband and two children were on vacation and staying in a hotel. A fire broke out in that hotel, and Valarie's husband and son escaped. Valarie and her daughter died in that fire.

Why did she pick me to communicate with? Maybe because I was a little girl, and wasn't afraid of her. There was no mist around her, I couldn't see through her. She looked as real as anyone. My mother said she looked out at the gate after I told her about Valarie, but didn't see anyone.

Maybe children are more open to seeing things that most people can't see. Whatever the reason is, I will never forget that day, and I get a chill every time I look at a picture of my cousin Valarie.

Submitted by Bebo, Massachusetts, USA