My grandmother was clairvoyant. Aunt Sissy warned me we were not to talk about it. All my life I'd noticed that whenever Nanna uttered a prediction, my parents would exchange a nervous glance.
The legend began with a sudden change in Nanna's fortunes when she was sixteen. It was 1910 and she was in love. With life. With art. Books often left her in a weeping pile of skirts on the parlor floor. My great grandfather, was beside himself. How could he present this emotional and dramatic female? What would people think? He finally thundered an edict. Because education, especially reading, left her so unbalanced, she was to drop out of school and take a position. Within a week, he'd secured a situation for her with a milliner.
Three nights later a constable came pounding on the door. Nanna was on the milliner's roof, skirts hiked, ready to jump. "I WILL go to school," she cried when her parents arrived. "I am a writer, not a hat maker! Are you so blind you cannot see my light?" She moved closer to the edge.
Someone pointed. Behind Nanna, a brilliant star seemed to explode. It hovered just over her head and wrapped her in a golden aura. Sissy said their Papa fell right down at Nanna's feet.
She was the first woman in our family to graduate from college. She wrote more than thirty books and almost every one of them paid tribute to Halley's Comet.