Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I live on a relocated cemetery

[Written previously for SFGate.com/moms]

This Friday I was alone in my apartment. Husband and 2-year old were elsewhere for the night. I had a nice night out: yoga and dinner. I cleaned up that day's breakfast and the rest of the house from 11pm to midnight. I lay in bed alone. I fell asleep and then awoke two hours later because I felt someone holding my hand. I don't think that I've slept alone, I mean really alone for two plus years. So, I thought maybe I was just imagining that Zack was in bed with me, but I woke to the same feeling every two hours until finally morning came. Much of the Richmond District was a graveyard. The Encyclopedia of San Francisco says:

Golden Gate Cemetery was created in 1868 on about 200 acres purchased by the city north of Clement between 33rd and 43rd avenues. It was also known as Clement Street Cemetery and the City Cemetery. In 1909, it was turned into Lincoln Park Golf Course. It is unknown how many remains were moved, and several hundred were discovered when the Palace of the Legion of Honor was being renovated in the 1990s.
My house was part of a housing development put on top of an old cemetery, one of "The Big Four" cemeteries. After we moved into our house and started digging in the garden, we found a large piece of a tombstone. If they forgot to remove a piece of tombstone, what else did they forget? My neighbor has a fully intact tombstone in her yard. She calls it, "Our New Yorker." He was a pioneer from New York. Although she jokes about it, she confessed that she got holy water from a church and poured it over the top. I am starting to think that I should do the same thing.

It was like people were hanging out in my house, but I couldn't see them. Like trying to sleep with someone watching you. Or, trying to sleep with the lights on. They weren't mean or unfriendly just there. I've felt them before with Zack home but somehow I was able to ignore them better. Friday night was a haunted, sleepless night. I am glad that I've got a full house again.

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