My mother has been dead now for over 30 years. She was only 52 when she died from heart disease and emphysema – 3 years younger than I am now. Even though we didn’t have the best of relationships, I often think of her, especially when I’m doing something I know she would have enjoyed had she lived to see it.
For example, if my mother were still alive today, I have no doubt she’d be a devoted fan of the TV show American Gladiators. In fact, she would probably be nagging me to get tickets and take her to see it in person. You see, growing up we watched Roller Derby and Championship Wrestling every week. And Lawrence Welk. My mother LOVED Roller Derby and pro-wrestling. I think she watched Lawrence Welk for a bit of cultural balance. I hated all three, the result of which, I became a big reader. (Remember, those were the days when folks only had one TV in the house.) She was also an avid reader of the tabloids and true romance magazines. Later, after I moved out, she had a police scanner going 24/7.
The first time I saw American Gladiators on TV I was channel surfing during dinner, trying to find something suitable to watch for 30 minutes while I ate my meal. A few minutes into it, all I could think was: “Wow, Ma would have loved this!”
She also would’ve loved the Internet. Dollars to donuts, if Margaret Chambers Jaffarian were alive today, she’d be glued to the Net for hours a day. The drama of the chat rooms would just be too much for her to ignore, and she’d know everyone’s name, location and business in no time. My mother also LOVED to play cards, particularly hearts, almost as much as she loved Roller Derby. I often play hearts online when taking a break, and every time I think: “Ma would have loved this.”
A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about ghosts and the plot of my next Granny Apples mystery. During that time I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if my mother’s ghost appeared and chatted me up. Would we still have a rocky relationship? Would death have mellowed her any? Would my being older than her now make a difference? Makes you think, doesn’t it?
As usually happens, this type of thinking led me to putting together a plot for a book. I don’t know yet if it will be Granny Apples #2 or Granny Apples #3, but thinking about my mother’s ghost gave me the idea for The Ghost Who Said I Told You So.
Thanks, Ma. I know you’re gonna love it!