Monday, February 13, 2012

The Woman in the Kitchen - by Kristen Horning

When I was about five or six years old, my family was living in an old, beautiful two story house in a very quiet neighborhood. I'd known something about me was different. I knew this because of the trauma I suffered when I was two years old. My mother had passed away, but I would see her every morning and every night, as though she were still there. I'd been told stories by my grandmother, however, that when she would be outside talking to the neighbors, I would be standing under the tree in the front yard, talking away to someone who wasn't there.

There are few things I remember about my childhood, but there is one experience I will never forget. I was about six at the time, and I had woken up one morning, hearing commotion in the kitchen as though my grandma was making breakfast. I could smell the bacon, eggs, and biscuits cooking, so I got right up and ran downstairs. To my surprise, there was a lady I'd never seen before in the kitchen, cooking breakfast.

She had spoken to me, "Good morning, Kristen."

She'd said my name as if she knew me.

I had run back upstairs and woke up my grandmother, yelling "Oma! Oma! There's a lady in the kitchen! Who is she?"

We had made our way back downstairs. The smell of breakfast was gone, and when we looked in the kitchen, every pot and every pan was back in it's rightful place.

Two or three years had passed, and we still couldn't figure out who - - or what - - I had seen in the kitchen. That is, until my grandma and I began going through some old photographs of the family. She had pulled out a photograph, and I knew right then.

"That's the woman I saw in the kitchen." I had said to my grandmother. "That's her!"

As it turns out, the woman I'd seen was my grandmother's mother, or my great-grandmother. She had passed away before I was even born. We still can't figure out why she would have been in the kitchen that day, or why I was the only one who'd seen her. But it is a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life.