My story begins as a little girl–a Navy Brat to be more exact–growing up in Japan. My mother was Japanese, so I had many relatives and heard many stories of the family. It was during one story telling session that I discovered that I had an aunt who I had never met because she had died many years ago. I was no different than most kids; I had a curiosity that wouldn’t quit and had to find out what she looked like and who she was. So the search began, trying to find out more about my aunt who had died of cancer and left behind two children, now in an orphanage. During my search I came across a picture of her. She was so young and beautiful . . . I felt cheated that I missed out on getting to know her. I decided at that moment, looking into her face, that I wanted to keep her picture and put it up in my room.
As the years went by, I thought less and less of my Aunt, but I always had her picture up. Then one day we got the news: daddy was being transferred to the United States, we were moving. Everything was packed up, all the necessary shots received and we were on our way to Bremerton, Washington. When we arrived we rented a duplex. We never unpacked anything because we were just going to be there a short time while our house was being built. Finally the day came when we were moving into our new house. I got my own room for the very first time, and once again I took out my aunt’s picture and put it up in my room. But, as all life in the Military goes, we had to move again; this time to California. The routine began again, this time without the shots though– what a relief!
Once more, boxes were unpacked, rooms set up and life started over in a new home as it always did. I went to sleep one night only to wake up a few hours later. It was still dark outside, so I looked at my clock to see what time it was. Instead of the digital numbers I was expecting to see, I saw my aunt instead. She was in my clock. I rubbed my eyes to clear them from the sleepiness and took another look–she was still there. Realizing that I wasn’t going to get the time, I decided to go back to sleep instead of trying for a third time. I felt no fear seeing my Aunt, just a huge sense of puzzlement. Why was she in my clock?
The next morning I told my mother what had happened during the night. Why had my aunt come to visit me? We had never met, she did not know who I was, yet there she was. My mother asked me where her picture was that I kept in my room. I explained that I had not unpacked it this time. She told me that she had come to ask me to put her picture back up. That day, I did just that. She has not come to visit me again. Although I do not have her picture up any more, it is still up in my mother’s house. I believe it was important to her for us to have her picture on display so that we would not forget her. After her visit, I do not need the picture to keep her in my memories. I have my experience of her visiting me in the middle of the night to keep her memory alive in my heart . . . always.