It was the week after Christmas, not the night before, and I was the mother of grown children, not a child. Still, I lay awake in the second floor bedroom of my childhood home listening to the noises an old house will make in the dark. My father had died earlier in the day. Yet I heard his hand on the back-porch door, his footstep on the basement stairs, his movement in the kitchen. Rain gusted against the dormer windows and sleep would not come. Ghosts live only in stories I told myself.