2017-12-01 / Commentary

Visiting the ghosts from back home

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation
Mike Cox

Most of us return home to reconnect with ghosts from our past. Not scary ghosts like in low budget movies or those timid ghosts being pursued by ghost hunters and Josh Gates on television but memories from the past.

Why do television ghost hunters demand ghosts show themselves or communicate their complaints and issues in English, even if the ghost hunter is in Zimbabwe, Madagascar, or Bangladesh? Don’t get it.

The pilgrimage to familiar territory to relive past experiences, trade lies with old friends, and cleanse the psyche for later on down the road is popular this time of year.

My family got that opportunity during the first weekend in November as the annual Cox Boys Get Together was held in Tuscaloosa.

My father, who wasn’t able to attend due to passing away in 2003, was haunted by nightmares for most of his last years. He ended up sleeping alone in a bedroom retrofitted to keep him from knocking lamps, TV remotes, and long time marital companions to the floor while continuing to fight the Japanese Army long after World War II ended.

I always felt bad about that; the idea of PTSD wasn’t very popular until recently. Anyone with mental issues back then was considered shell-shocked or suffering from mental fatigue. Not something a Real Man got involved with. Then I started having odd, recurring nightmares and realized maybe more was involved than just wartime trauma.

Mine didn’t include crazed enemy soldiers, just weird creatures wandering the bedroom making me sit up and yell at them which made the Landlord sit up and yell at me. I found a holistic substance that keeps such things at a minimum, and all the yelling subsided.

During the Tuscaloosa retreat, I discovered the nightmare gene extends several generations. It seems Chad was haunted by recurring appearances of Satan while we lived in one particular Tuscaloosa place. My grandson also mentioned similar visions and even a few sleepwalking episodes. Maybe we should start our own Stramonium factory.

Another link with future generations was skateboards. Zack brought his board on the plane from Philly. I wondered why he bothered until he mentioned a new park that included skateboard facilities, located where a swamp once existed. We hunted rabbits from the hood of our vehicles more than five decades ago. Now the skaters grind away.

My buddy Grady and I were the adventurous skateboarders in our posse. But we didn’t have fancy, store bought boards or cool, well-designed parks. We explored the neighborhoods of Tuscaloosa looking for tall hills with fresh asphalt.

Most Saturdays we were racing down our most recent discovery hoping we could reach a grass surface at the bottom before losing either our balance or a wheel. We thought this was the only way to ride. Skaters evolved as time passed, and scars were reduced significantly. But injuries persist for those folks trying to invent new maneuvers.

There were scars reduced to memories during our therapy sessions that weekend and batteries recharged. Not sure if you’ve ever tried musical therapy on a secluded front porch late at night with several generations singing songs they remember, but it works well.

Better than Adderall.

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