Sometimes Hannah will have a really hard time trying to get to sleep, and one of my parents (usually Mom) has to go in her room and stay by her side all night.
On these nights, Hannah might be crying softly because her hip or her kidneys hurt. Other nights, however, I can hear her screaming, as if she's terrified. You can just tell in her tone of voice that something has seriously frightened her, and she won't stop until Mom is in there calming her down.
The thing is, none of us have any idea what Hannah could be so terrified of. She can't talk or communicate with us in any way, so it's not like she can tell us. I've been trying to think about what it could be.
We do watch quite a bit of R-rated movies in the evenings, and usually Hannah watches them with us. Maybe at night she gets scared of some of the scenes and images she was exposed to in those movies (then again, it's not like we watch horror and gore flicks on a regular basis). There is also a streetlight outside not too far from her window, as well as a nearby street which probably sees no more than thirty to forty cars drive by each day. Either of those could create shadows on her wall that could be seen as frightening. But, honestly, those seem pretty far-fetched to me. Because I know Hannah. She's never been knowing to have a fear of shadows, and while the movie theory might not be inaccurate, it's just impossible to prove.
My dad and I have talked about this, about what could be scaring Hannah (again, this never, ever happens randomly in the daytime...only at nighttime). And we can't help but wonder. Who is to say that there are some things we can't see that Hannah can see? Is there some realm of reality that people like Hannah are able to access?
What if she sees emotions like we see color? Or she sees time like we see light?
While on this subject, let me add that on the evenings our whole family is together - an increasing rarity these days - it is impossible to stop Hannah from laughing. We'll try to have a family meeting or discussion and she is over there giggling about every single little thing. Of course, she is laughing all the time, but always when we're all together. Add that to the terrified screams at night, and what could it mean?
Yes, we've even come down to this question: what if Hannah can see angels and demons?
That sounds pretty extreme, and maybe even absurd. Of course human beings can't see angels and demons. That's crazy! But you just have to wonder. I bet in some form, we are the handicapped ones. Our vision is limited to what our eyes can tell us. Our sensations are limited to what our bodies and minds can offer. There could be so much more out there, and we've become so used to the things we have now, that the people like Hannah who don't have those things have a much deeper insight into our lives. Who knows.
Whether Hannah really can see spiritual beings, here is what I believe: she views "life" in a much different way than we see it. To her, a five-second hug means a lot more than a five-day trip to Disney World. One word of praise or approval is worth a lot more than the most riveting political speech. It's not that our way of viewing life is wrong nor that Hannah is right, but her value system is set apart from the rest of ours. She finds beauty, humor, inspiration, encouragement, and comfort in different ways than we do. So what does that have to do with her possibly being able to see things? Of course, I won't doubt for a second that the two are connected somehow. When your view of life changes, the way you see the world changes as well. It's like putting on a color-tinted pair of sunglasses; everything is affected as long as your eyes are open.
On the surface, it's just a simple thing: something scares Hannah at night. That sounds normal. But think "different". Think like Hannah thinks, if you can. If Hannah's view of life is so set apart from ours...what could possibly terrify her that much? What can she see?
Who knows. In fact, maybe I don't even want to know.