My grandmother died in 1994, but I touched base with her last weekend.

I know what you’re thinking: that I’ve been spiking my eggnog a wee bit too much. But no. My friend Nancy has a niece who’s studying to be a medium. Yes, people actually go to school for that! They learn how to hone their spiritual skills.

In fact, she recently returned from a prestigious medium academy in England. I can’t help but imagine it resembling Hogwarts from Harry Potter. Like many professions require, she has to accrue a designated amount of practice hours before she can graduate. I wonder what that diploma looks like. How cool would it be to hang that up on your wall?!

So, she asked her Aunt Nancy if any of her friends would like a reading over the phone. She lives in Boston, and is apparently able to not only connect with living people clear across the country, but can also connect with their loved ones who have passed. I was thrilled! I’m a loyal fan of “Long Island Medium,” and definitely believe in at least the possibility of communicating with spirits — let’s not forget about the spirit in my home who enjoyed grilling up steaks in the middle of the night. And you’ll be happy to know that the “saging” I performed (saging is where you walk around your house with a burning stick of sage and cleanse all the pesky spirits out of your house), was a complete success! I have not smelled a charbroiled rib eye steak since.

A little backstory on Nancy’s niece: She’s a wife and mother of two, and has a full-time job working with veterans in a VA hospital. She’s a normal person, your average mom, and can talk to dead people.

The date was set. It was a small group: just me, Nancy and two other friends. It was a stormy Sunday and dusk was upon us. The perfect mood for such an occasion. The phone rang. It was time. Suddenly, I was nervous. It was like waiting in line for a roller coaster! Exciting, but scary. What if none of my deceased relatives wanted to talk to me? What if they gave me unsettling news about my health? Can you ask for winning lotto numbers? Would that be tacky?

“Do you want to go first?” Nancy asked.

“Ummm, OK,” I said, sitting down in the designated reading chair. Nancy’s niece was on speakerphone, and Nancy recommended I record the reading with my own phone so I could listen to it later.

 “Hi,” I said. “I’m Vicki, nice to meet you.”

“Hi, I’m Alyssa! Who were you hoping to connect with today?”

“I would love to talk to my grandma. Her name was Betty.”

“OK,” she said, and then there was a brief pause, like she was dialing up my grandma on the phone.

“She’s a short woman, and she’s wearing one of those — what did they used to call them? Housecoats! Yes, it’s a floral housecoat. And she’s happy ... she’s a very happy woman, smiling all the time. Does this make sense?”

Make sense? I was crying!

“Yes, yes!” I said emphatically. “She always wore that housecoat! And she was always laughing!”

“She doted on you and loved to spend time with you,” Alyssa said. “You listened to her stories, and she loved that. She said to tell you that she often stood over your son’s crib, the baby you had after she passed. She’s showing me the crib with the blanket with his name on it. There are bright-colored teddy bears on the wall.”

Nancy threw me a box of Kleenex. I was a mess. I just kept saying “Yes, yes!” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. I thanked Alyssa and told her to tell my grandma I miss her. I got up from the chair and let the next guest sit down, but my family wasn’t done yet.

“Wait, there’s a man here in a suit,” Alyssa added. “Very nicely dressed, no facial hair and, oh my, what a belly on him! Like Santa Claus!”

“Grandpa!” I shouted. “That’s my grandpa! They’re together up there!”

Think what you will. Could she have really guessed all those details? I live in a house full of scientists, which can be very annoying at times. I came home all excited, eager to tell them all about my reading, but they shot me down. No one believes in anything around here unless they can see it or explain it. Well, I told my family they better be on the lookout after I’m gone, because I’m coming to visit! And maybe I’ll grill up a nice big steak in the middle of the night when I do.

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