Wandering Star

Seems I’m not the only one who hears the singing ghost. I was speaking to my neighbour today who has lived in the street for 40 years. She hears the ghost too. So do her neighbours. So do people who live in the next block.

In the next street over there is a nursing home. Our laneway adjoins theirs. My neighbour believes the ghost is a former resident of the nursing home. She was a professional singer who worked in musical theatre all her life. Her name was Myra Hutchinson. She was placed in the home at the age of 76 after developing Alzheimer’s. She often forgot who she was, where she was, her power of speech was often impaired. But she never forgot how to sing.

Myra was the original Happy Wanderer, meandering along the streets and laneways of the local area, singing all day long. Often she could be found in the park, arms spread wide out to the bay, singing her favourite songs from South Pacific.

She was an eccentric, an enthusiast, an enchantress.

Her repertoire was enviable.

She died over ten years ago and over 300 people showed up to her funeral. A choir sang Gershwin’s Summertime followed by  the title song from Oklahoma then The Trolley Song from Meet Me In St. Louis. My neighbour said she had never been to a funeral where so many people were smiling.

Myra’s music filled her world with joy right until the very end.

Not long after she died the singing in the laneway began, usually on a full moon or when the streetlights were out.

Now I feel less scared about hearing her songs.

I want to hear them.

I will be fortunate to hear them when I do.

They will make me think of a lady I know I would have loved in real life.

They will remind me that even when the mind is changed, altered with disease, that love and hope can remain.

Because music is joy and it endures.

11 thoughts on “Wandering Star

  1. how fascinating! a few significant times i can think of i have had some type of spirit encounter experience, it was always is frightening to me at first, chilling, and would send me into a kind of panic feeling. i love the way you have simply accepted her and opened up to it. and the idea of the power of music is wondrous!


  2. I’m so glad you found out about Myra. Now I want to visit the laneway. 🙂

    And as for those last two lines? (sigh) They are beautiful.


  3. What a great story of the spirit world. Now THAT’s the kind of farewell we should all hope for. Dreamy music, lots of friends and admirers and a life well lived. LOVE this post Sel, thanks for a great start to my day. 🙂


  4. Hi Selma, hope you are winning against the virus!
    So you are blessed with a singing ghost! Lucky you, and thanks for the story of Myra whose music transcended her illness… maybe it is her!


  5. Hi TIPOTA:
    I have encountered some very scary ghosts. Those ones are best left alone, believe me. but sometimes a gentle spirit who soothes us comes along. It is like saying hello to an old friend!

    Hi KAREN:
    Awww. Thank you. It’s amazing how I found all this out. Going to the older locals is always the answer!

    I’d like to go that way. I’d like my funeral to be celebratory if possible. I am going to try and find out more about Myra. See if I can track down her family.

    They do. And they have more power than we think 😀

    It is nice to think of music transcending illness. I think it does and it can. It is a very powerful force!

    Amazing how it all came together, really.


  6. What a fascinating story indeed.
    I’ve never ever had any experience with ghosts or spirits. I wander if they are only given to people with special qualities or abilities.


  7. Hi SHIONA:
    I think they do appear to people who are more susceptible to their energy. Having said that, my husband, who is the biggest skeptic in the world, was frequently visited by a ghost who lingered in one of our previous homes. She never appeared to me, only him. It was very strange!


  8. I remember once whistling a tune at work, and someone said nice tune, what’s it called? I said I had no idea; it just sort of popped into my head.

    Then, one of the hangar cleaners said … it’s an old Polish folk song, and Flight-Lieutenant R. was always whistling it. Who’s Flight-Lieutenant R? I asked,

    Used to be an Ops Officer here, I was told … died of a heart attack in this very hangar, about 15 years ago.

    (Probably nothing to do with it, but, around this time, the remains of R. and several other Polish soldiers and airmen were exhumed and taken back to Poland)


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