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Excerpted from A Book of Angels by Sophy Burnham. Copyright 1990 by Sophy Burnham. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"I didn't see him the way I see with my eyes the usual material world."

Sophy Burnham, A Book of Angels, Part 3

Then, when I was thirty, I saw a ghost.

We had just moved to New York City. David, my husband, had taken a job with The New York Times. We rented a beautiful duplex apartment in Brooklyn, just across the river from Manhattan. It had high ceilings, an eat-in kitchen with a window overlooking a grassy garden. Upstairs, in a walnut-paneled bedroom, a bay window gave onto the Statue of Liberty. It was lovely!

In addition to the master bedroom, we had a second bedroom, almost as large, for the two little, girls, then aged three and about eight months. Anyone who knows the cramped boxes of most New York City apartments will appreciate our luck.

A week after moving there, David had to go out of town on assignment. He was gone for several days. One night I was in the little dressing room just off our bedroom, which I had taken over for my own, fitted out with my books and desk. I sat at the sewing machine that night, working on a dress for my three-year-old (the softest cocoa color, with a square neck and ribbon bindings--adorable). It was about ten o'clock at night. I was content and unafraid, concentrating entirely on this Lilliputian dress, when suddenly I had that shadowed sense one gets-there's someone in the room with me!

I looked up and saw in the doorway a man. I use the word saw. But I didn't see him the way I see with my eyes the usual material world; rather, I saw him with some inner knowledge, for he was there and also not there. I knew three things about him: that he was an older man, that he was troubled or concerned, and that he was "good." He would not hurt me. As those thoughts came, I turned back to the machine. I put my face in my hands, I remember, my elbows resting on the sewing machine. "Now I've gone bananas," I thought. 

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