Thursday, February 25, 2010

Family Reunions, Family Secrets, and Skeletons in the Closet

My Dad's folks and their families were from a very small town in rural Illinois.  They grew up together.  Several siblings from one family married siblings from the other family.  All of the family members in each family was familiar with the family lives of all the other family members in either family.  Everyone in the town, and the county for that matter, knew everyone else and everyone else's business.  That's just the way it was.

The town was an interesting place for us to visit as kids.  We had never been anywhere where everyone still went into town on Saturday night and walked up and down the sidewalks just to see who was out and about and who was doing what to whom.  It was a place out of an old movie - almost.  Except, in a movie, people wouldn't have known my dad's family and its lineage on both sides for several generations.  How do I know about all of this you ask.  Quite simple.  My Mom and Dad took us on an adventurous trips to the joint family reunion several summers in a row back in the day.  His dad's family, his mom's family, his sister-in-law's family and the family of my dad's sister's first husband all got together for a huge family reunion every summer.  It lasted for days and always took place at someone's farm home or on a large farm property under lots of old shade trees.  It was the best time ever to learn about all kinds of family secrets and skeletons in the closet (not just talking secrets here - but a real skeleton!)

The first family reunion I remember us going to was such a delightful event.  Sunshine, a small stream to go polliwog seining in, caves to explore, family horses to ride and fall off of, more fried chicken, mashed potatoes, real gravy, beaten biscuits, pies and cakes, lemonade and homemade pickles than you would think possible to see covering a tabletop anywhere.  And the things you could hear from people's minds without even trying to listen were amazing!  Who knew that my dad was considered an "ornery little guy with big ears" by his aunties growing up.  I didn't until the thoughts from one of his mom's sister's mind came screaming out of her head. "My goodness!  For such an ornery little guy with big ears, he sure grew up to be a good looking man!"  What was amusing to me was that her mouth was saying, "G, it's sure nice of you and your family to come to the reunion this year... glad to have you."    Now of course, by that time, I had learned not to tell anyone that I was hearing things that weren't being said aloud.  That wouldn't have been acceptable, let alone prudent on my part.  Well, let's say, I didn't tell my folks I was hearing things that weren't being said aloud.  I did, however, share them with Dad's Cousin's Kids when we were all crawling into cave entrances we weren't supposed to be near upon penalty of death.  Their response was to tell me that sometimes they could do things like that too.  Not believing them, I asked in my most serious tone, "Are you kidding me, or do you mean it?"  Blessings and surprises, they really meant it!  Other kids like me - WOW!  So, for a few hours the eight of us sat in the mouth of one of the caves talking about how and when we learned we could talk with our minds to the dearly departed and hear things people were thinking when they were really thinking hard, and about how much no one believed us.  And, best part, we practiced talking in our minds.  That was really the neatest part!  No words aloud, just minds chatting back and forth as we were able. 

Suddenly, one of Cousin's Kids jumped up and said, "We gotta get back on the horses and get to riding.  They're lookin' for us and if they find us here, my ma will smack my ass!"  The rest of us did as we were told, because after all, Cousin's Oldest said so.  Then it dawned on me to ask how he knew they were looking for us.  His reply was that he had heard his dad's mind yelling "If he's in that cave again, I'll skin him!  And, if he's taken the city kids in there, their parents will skin him worse!"  Well, wish I could say we escaped unscathed by parental wrath for being gone for hours with the horses and not telling anyone where we were riding off to, let alone "not coming back in good time so the other kids could have fun riding before it got dark."  Oops!  But, our backsides being sore not withstanding, it was interesting to learn that Dad's mom came from a long line of  people with "the gift" because Grandma's family was part Indian not too far back in the line. (I'm not politically correct here because this was the family explanation for "the gift" and I remember it this way.)  No one ever had mentioned "the gift" to the 3 of us in my family.  No one.  So, I asked my cousins, Dad's oldest brother's kids, if they had ever hear about such a "gift".  Nope, not them either.  Nor my Aunt D's kids, nor my Uncle J's kids.  So, we all decided to set out to learn more from the Dad's Cousin's Kids. 

Come to find out, there was a lot about things spooky and weird our folks didn't tell us about, in addition to not telling us about "the gift."  According to Cousin's Kids, all of the kids in the extended family were able to sense "them" and hear "them" and sometimes even see "them."  Most of the time though, it was kept pretty much a secret because the preachers at the Church of Christ where the families attended services deemed those things "wicked" and  "wrong."  And, it didn't seem to help either, that all of the kids at one time or another in each of the families were given to talking in tongues and other odd types of things (spontaneous trances, for one)  that weren't really looked well upon.  Coming from the family situation I did, that explanation made sense - except the part about the preachers, but, then again, I never talked to our minister about my abilities, so, to me they were probably right about how the religious bosses saw things. 

It seems Dad's family lived in a haunted tenant house for a time, till it nearly drove my Grandpa nuts, and they all moved out without ever looking back. This too, was something that had never been shared with Sister, Brother or myself.  Curious for more information than Cousin's Kids had, we and our cousins started asking Grandma's sisters about the house that was haunted.  Aunt R relayed the story this way:  The family was living in a tenant house on a farm when the kids were growing up.  The boys shared a room, Aunt D had a room to herself, Grandpa and Grandma had their room and there was a room at the end of the hallway that no one used.  Period.  No one used it.  Aunt R explained that the room was always freezing cold, even in the heat of August.  There were swarms of big black flies that would buzz around the room and drop dead.  And, worst of all, some nights, there were all kinds of loud bangs, knocks, noises and shouts coming from that room.  Since this was back during the Depression she told us, my grandparents weren't being fussy about where they lived as long as they had a roof over their heads and a place to raise their kids.  Until...  the night the door to that room slammed open and the noises and bangs and knocks manifested themselves in the hallway outside my grandparent's room.  As she described it, Grandpa got up, yelling at the boys to behave and go back to bed.  As he stepped out of his bedroom, he noticed the boys were cowering in the doorway to Aunt D's room staring up the hallway toward him and the swirling mass in front of him.  The mass swarmed over Grandpa and knocked him off his feet then returned to the room and the door slammed shut behind it.  That rather shook up the whole family.  And it continued to do so for a number of nights thereafter.  So, Grandpa being the tall, strong, stubborn man he was marched into the hardware store bought large spike-like nails with the milk money and proceeded to nail the door to that room closed.  It didn't stay closed that night, or any night thereafter despite Grandpa's best efforts to keep the door closed.  Aunt R told the enthralled group of cousins around her knees that this went on for several more nights until the night the whole thing came to a gigantic conclusion.  There was apparently the loudest banging, rattling, cursing, screaming and carrying on coming from the room that had been experienced by Dad's family.  Then, the spikes came flying one by one out of the 2x4s that were nailed in an "x" across the door frame.  The boards quickly followed and were shoved into the plaster lathe walls  the opposite end of the hallway with such force that the plaster broke loose from between the lathes.  The cold that engulfed the entire upstairs of the house was filled with the stench of death itself.  Grandma told Aunt R that the mass was almost as strong as a tornado as it roamed up and down the hallway to accompanying bangs, noises and knocking.  As far as Grandpa was concerned, that was the absolute last straw.  He bellowed at the family to gather their stuff, all of their stuff, and to get outside immediately.  They weren't going to be staying there any more.  And they didn't.  They left that night and never went back again.  Period. 

This was such "cool news" that we had to ask Grandma about it.  She and Aunt R had a few brief words and then Grandma told us that yes, this was indeed a true story.  And, while she was at it, she confirmed that "the gift" was something that seemed to travel around in her family tree.  She didn't see the problem with it, but, since Grandpa was a Deacon in the Church of Christ, it would be better not to say to much about being curious about such things at the reunion "because you never knew who would be listening in and wanting to make trouble."  Then, my Cousin D leaned over and asked me if I had heard what Grandma didn't say.  For once, I didn't.  Cousin D told me that she had heard Grandma's mind say " 'The gift' isn't something to be afraid of.  My family has used it for years with no problem.  It was part of their ceremonies and such.  It keeps you connected to the Earth and to the Spirits around us!"  WOW!  Grandma had a big secret.  Then she told us that Cousin D's dad, my dad, Uncle J and Aunt D had all shown signs of having "the gift" when they were younger, but, because of Grandpa's beliefs, they didn't use them and that we shouldn't ask them about that sort of thing, not matter how nosey we watned to be.  And, then we had to promise we wouldn't talk about those sorts of things in front of Grandpa and we did.

The other really cool thing we learned at the family reunion that sometimes when someone in the family tells you there are skeletons in the closet, there really are skeletons in the closet!  Hard to believe I know, but, t'is true.  One of Cousin's Kids let it slip that during the story about the haunted house that the house he lived in had skeletons in the closet.  Real ones.  And, that sometimes they, the skeletons, talked to them.  Now, that sure sounded far fetched to us, but, hey, we were talking about a haunted house, so, why not! 

The story went that his folks moved into the house to take care of it for an older farmer who couldn't live by himself any more and needed someone to take care of him, the house, and the farm.  So, in the whole family moved.  The only stipulation was that the family was not to use the closet under the front stairs for any reason.  Seemed a simple enough request, so they agreed to it.  Then, "the gift" kicked in one day, and Aunt W heard voices coming from the front entryway.  She went out to see who was there and found no one.  Not one living soul.  Went back to the kitchen and back to her cooking.  She heard voices again only more loudly the second time.  No one present at all.  After about 6 months of this type of thing, she asked the older farmer if he ever heard voices in the entryway only to find no one there.  According to her kids, she was absolutely dumbfounded when he told her that the skeletons of his parents were in the hall closet in boxes and that that might be what she was hearing was his folks arguing in death like they did when they were alive.  Being ever curious, Cousin's Kids found a way to sneak a peek into the front entryway closet. Sure enough there were 2 boxes full of bones sitting on opposite shelves marked with the names of his parents!  So, to prove to us that they weren't lying, Cousin's Kids helped us sneak a peek at the boxes of bones in the closet.  Fascinating and weird all at the same time.  And our parents were horrified to learn months later that we had sneaked a peek at the skeletal remains of Older Farmer's parents.  To me, it was one of the coolest things ever.  Proof that the dead talked coming from distant family members and then seeing the bones that were helping cause the talking that was being heard. 

I might not have been allowed to use "the gift" or to talk about it in front of my folks, or most of my friends, but, it was part of my family's past and part of my bloodline.  What a better way to learn more about your family than at a huge family reunion where you could learn family secrets and find real skeletons in the closet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"She's just shy"

Last night, driving home from work, I remembered something that had laid hidden and quite dormant in the dark recesses of my mind since I was younger, much younger.  The mind is a wonderful thing.  It protects you from stuff that has the potential to really screw you up permanently.  What, you ask, could be such a big deal that you didn't remember it till last night?  A friend of my folks that, as a young girl(10,11,12 or so), I couldn't stand to be around. 

That sounds like not such a big deal, right?  Wrong.  Mr. B and his wife were good card-playing, Saturday night get-together, church member friends of my folks, so, it was a huge problem for me.  Even if I had wanted to, I couldn't avoid him entirely.  Wherever the folks went for fun, all of us went too. For several years, the Bs and my folks were steadfast friends and did lots of stuff together - card parties, church outings, cookouts - you know, the stuff all suburbanites did back in the late 50s and early 60s.  The rest of the crowd the folks hung out with were great people.  All of us loved them like family members.  Mrs. B was okay, but Mr. B and his son were to be avoided at all costs.  Mr. B was creepy, at best, and his son was becoming a miniature version of him.  The mere thought of them makes my skin crawl to this day.

One particular evening at the Bs popped into my head while driving home last night.  The one my mind protected me from remembering.  It was a summer night cookout and card party combo deal.  So, that meant there were quite a few kids around besides those in the B's family.  About 10 or 12 of us plus theirs.  Playing lawn darts, hide and seek, badminton, croquet, you know, typical kid fun for the time.  We hooted, hollered, ran, played hard, had a great time with one another until it got dark and we were all called to come inside and go upstairs and watch tv with the Bs kids.  Again, not a big deal.  Until you get to the part where Mr. B scooped me up and tried to carry me into the house.  It wasn't just that he scared the crap out of me coming up from behind me and grabbing me - we kids had been doing that to one a another the whole time we were playing and he was "just doing what the kids were doing."  It was that he put his arm over one of my shoulders and grabbed me up between my legs and held me extremely tight against his body to carry me toward the house.  That creeped me out deluxe and then some.  Especially when the thoughts and pictures in his mind came through to me as clear as day!  YUCK!!!!  EWWWWWW!!!!!   GROSS!!!!!  I squirmed and wiggled and kicked and screamed "Let go of me!" as loud as I could.  Caught him in the groin with me feet - YEA!!!  He dropped me like a hot rock and I ran into the house, upstairs to the bedroom where the tv was and wrapped myself in a blanket so tight you'd have thought it was my second skin.  Even the Bs son didn't tease or torment me that night like he usually did.  I think he thought I might kick him too.

Mom and Dad were up the stairs like a shot to find out what my "problem" was that I had kicked Mr. B in the nuts when he was just trying to 'play with us kids and hurry us up at the same time.'  I told them how he had grabbed me up, and, for once, they didn't tell me that I was wrong to do something to stand up for myself.  They told me to stay upstairs and watch the movie and try to get as calm as I could and everything would be okay.  They promised.  It would be okay, they promised.  About an hour later, one of the other mom's called upstairs for all of us kids to come downstairs, we were all going outside to roast marshmallows and make s'mores over the grill.  Down the stairs we trudged and out into the backyard to get all sugared up on marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers.  Yum.  Down I went in the blanket all wrapped up tight like a miniature mummy.  When I was asked by one of the other parents why I was in a wrapped so tight in a blanket on a hot summer's night, Mom and Dad, to their everlasting credit answered for me.  "She's just shy.  When CB grabbed her up to bring her in the house, it scared her too much and now she's wrapped up like a cocoon sort of like a protective covering.  She's just shy."  What they didn't say, and what I distinctly remember hearing, was that their minds were saying things like "That perverted son of a b@#$% touched our daughter in the wrong place.  He scared the crap out of her to get his jollies.  I'd like to skin him alive and feed him to the vultures!"   Those thoughts that they had were one of the greatest comforts I ever drew from my ability to hear thoughts - even though I wasn't supposed to be using it any more.  I knew they loved me and wanted to protect me from Mr. B.  That was all that mattered.  They promised that everything would be okay.  Their thoughts were proof to me that it would be.

We, as a family, didn't spend much more time with the Bs after that.  The folks would play cards, and go for "grown-ups only" cookouts, but, we kids didn't see much of them after that at all.  Except in church, where, thankfully we didn't have to be near Mr. B or that weird son of his.  I always felt sorry for Mrs. B and her daughter after that night having to live with not just one young creepy guy, but, another one who was older, stronger and infinitely more gross, disgusting and creepier than his son.

So, what do I want you, dear reader, to take away from this odd story?  Just this.  Sometimes a shy kid isn't a shy kid just because he or she is socially awkward.  Sometimes they are shy because they can feel the emotions of certain people and hear their thoughts.  That creeps them out and makes them not want to be near those folks.  That's what I'd like you to take away from this story.  Socially awkward is one thing.  Avoiding creepy adults is another.  Learn to tell the difference for the sake of the young ones around you that you care about.  Even if you don't believe in "paranormal", "esp", "clairvoyance" and all that other "weird stuff", listen when the young one tells you that So&So is weird or creepy.  It might just be that she smells of garlic and dog urine, or, it could be that the young one truly understands and knows more than you do.  "She's just shy," was my folks polite way of dealing with the situation all those years ago.  My mind protected me, for whatever reason, till last night driving home when I was talking to a friend about taking out all my mental garbage so I'd have room to progress and grow.  I'm hoping that somewhere, someone reading will understand what I'm trying to say here, and use it to protect the lovely young ones in her or his own life.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Why can't I have an imaginary friend?

"Why can't I have an imaginary friend?  Sis has one!!!  I want one too!!!!!"  Stomping feet, hollelring like a banshee, being a little brat.  You can just imagine how thrilled my Mom was to have me whining that question every other minute...  like not at all.  Baby Sister had an imaginary friend named Deena.  As I remember Sis describing her, Deena was skinny, had brown hair, pigtails, blue eyes and a gap in her front teeth.  She was just a bit older than Sis and liked to play with her and keep her company.  Only thing is, none of us, including me, could see her.  It wasn't fair that she, the mere baby of the outfit, got to have something I didn't have. You can just imagine how much consternation it gave my Mom to have me whining about wanting an imaginary friend of my own when a) she didn't believe in them, and 2) if they did exist, she didn't want to know about it.  I wanted someone like Deena for myself.  Someone who made me laugh, and who took me as I was, not as I was told to be.

Sis had a great time with Deena.  They'd play for hours in the sandbox out back.  Tea parties and dress-up games forever and ever.  They'd take one of Mom's old purses, old hats and high heels and parade up and down the backyard walk like they were fancy ladies going shopping.  And Deena always made Sis laugh.  That was so important back then.  Knowing how to laugh.  Laughter after Lis died was almost a thing of the past.  Deena made Sis laugh.  Sis laughing made Brother and I laugh.  That was a good thing.  Why wouldn't I want a Deena of my own?

Deena lived with us for quite a while.  Even after Sis started school Deena was with us.  Sis was always warning people not to be mean to Deena by sitting on her or by walking through her.  She would get absolutely livid if anyone made fun of her for talking to Deena, or, for that matter, having a friend no one else could see.  I think my Sis grew up a more solidly grounded person because of Deena.  Really.  Nothing my folks could do or say would dissuade her from her certainty that she and Deena were friends.  NOTHING!  Looking back, I could almost envy her for that certainty.  But, I don't.  We each wrote our own path, and mine, for whatever reason did not include knowing for a certainty at a young age that I could stand up for myself and get away with it like Sis did.  Of course, she was the baby, and she was born just before Lis died, so, many of the things she wanted and did were indulged.  She was a "special baby".  If she said Deena was there, the folks indulged that "fantasy" and let it go at that.  Deena gradually faded away and moved on to other places where imaginary friends are needed more than she was at our house.  When Sis stopped talking about Deena, well, for those of us who were jealous because we didn't have imaginary friends, it was almost a relief.  But, looking back, there was something so very special about Sis and Deena's relationship that made Sis who she is today.  Strong, resilient, tough but loving.  She might not have had that had Deena not been around for her.

By the time Deena faded from the family existence, Mom had taken the stance that that was a bullet dodged and that her kids were "normal" and were going to act like it no matter what. No matter what. I longed to have Deena come back into my Sis's life.  All of us would have laughed again.  And felt like we were supposed to feel.  Instead, we learned to behave like "normal" children and not talk about the things we heard, saw, smelled and so on.
Sometimes now, as an adult, I think about all the kids in the world with their own little Deena's and hope and pray that they are encouraged to have their imaginary friends help them cope with the world around them rather than being told to "knock it off - there's no one there."  Pardon me.  I had to stop and chuckle at myself.  As I am sitting here typing this blog, I can feel my own "imaginary friends" - Singrha, Helene, Toshiyoki, Dr Ulee and all the others who help me with my work and my life - crowding 'round to read what I am typing as I am typing it.  They are as real as are you and I.  They have existed before.  They exist now.  They will exist again.  That I know for a certainty.  They help me understand my gifts.  They help me use them.  And, best of all, they make me laugh.  That's what "imaginary friends" are for.  I'm glad I have so many of them now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Growing Up Weird

Well, we have established that I grew up a bit differently than a lot of other kids my age.  I talked to my dead sister, I heard thoughts eminating from other peoples' minds.  I saw people who were dead...   and I saw and felt things that weren't physically there.  Not things like a chair, or a book, or even a person.  No, nothing normal like that.  I mean like clouds of emotions, the presence of "something" other that what was physically present in the room with me - with the family - with friends.  I felt and saw"stuff" just like you could reach out and put your hand on it, felt and saw stuff.

We lived in a really neat house.  There was a gas fireplace in the living room, a landing at the top and bottom of the staircase that went upstairs, a great porch with a porch swing out front, a creepy walk-in attic, a cozy kitchen, a spooky basement and the dining room had a great big window you could stand at and see the entire back yard.  It was an awesome house.   I have such fond memories of that house.  My first memory of seeing and feeling something no one else saw was in that house.  It was the day of my sister's  funeral.  Back in the 1950's kids didn't go to funerals.  It just wasn't done.  So, my dear Granma babysat the 3 of us - my brother, my new baby sister and myself.  It is a clear distinct memory for me.  Granma was standing at the dining room window looking outside at the backyard and telling my baby sister about the birds at the bird feeder and the clouds and all the kinds of things one tells a baby.  Moving from the living room into the dining room to talk to Granma, I saw a HUGE black semi-transparent cloud filling the room behind her and the baby. It felt icky and heavy and really sad. When I asked her "Granma, what is that?" pointing at the by now GIGANTIC cloud of darkness, she looked at me with the most puzzled face and asked me what I was looking at.  "That's a cardinal.  This one is a sparrow," she told me thinking I was asking about the birds.  When I protested that I wasn't asking about the birds, she asked me what I was talking about.  "The cloud, Granma, the cloud.  What is it?"  Thinking it was the fluffy white ones floating in the sky outside, she proceeded to try to explain to a not quite 6 year old about real clouds.  "NO!!!!! The one behind you, going all over the room!!!!"  "There is no cloud.  I don't see what you are talking about," she patiently explained.  "But, Granma, there's a great big black cloud in the room I can see through!!!!"  "Sweetheart, Granma doesn't see it.  But, if you do, well, I guess you do," and off she went to change my sister's diaper.  Just like that.  Basically, it was like she lovingly "humored" her granddaughter because she herself didn't see or feel what I had seen and felt. 

That evening, after the funeral, when Mom and Dad came home, Granma told them about me asking about a dark cloud in the dining room.  She told them she thought it was probably just a trick of the light coming through the windows in the dining room and that it was nothing to worry about, just me grieving the death of the sister I adored and tried to entertain whenever I could.  How do I know this you ask.  Well, having missed my folks all day, I snuck down the staircase after I was put to bed to listen to them talking to Granma. I just needed to hear their voices to feel comforted that they were home. They were in the dining room and their voices were easily heard from the staircase in the living room.  It struck me that then that what I saw was something that the grown-ups thought was weird, unusual, odd - whatever.  Not even 6 years old and feeling weird, feeling different from the rest of the world because I saw and felt a dark cloud that no one else saw or believed that I really saw and felt. 

Weird continued on from that day.  That was the night Lis started talking to me at bedtime.  That was the day that I started perceiving emotions and the ways they can manifest themselves in a household.  That was the day that I knew in my heart of hearts that I was always going to be considered a bit weird, different, odd or whatever.  It scared the crap out of me to be that different.  It was exciting to be that weird, but, it hurt that no one believed me...  or, as I found out many years later, that they believed me, but didn't want to say so out loud.  My folks were too busy trying to maintain normalcy in the household and grieving privately to have time for a kid who saw things, felt stuff, heard people that weren't there...  they didn't have the time, energy or inclination for me to be "weird".  I didn't understand why I was having all of these things happen to and with me.  They didn't understand or have the patience to either.  We were a mess.  I was growing more weird by the day.  None of us knew what to do with me...              and it stayed that way for a long time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why don't people talk in their heads?

You know what's really hard to comprehend when you are 6 years old?  Why folks living in their own skins  don't talk to you like the dearly departed do.  Seriously.  When Lis visited me and we talked, we talked in our minds and sometimes aloud.  That seemed perfectly normal.  We would just think things and understand what each other was thinking.  I knew that folks in their skins talk with their mouths.  Where the confusion came in after I discovered I could hear thoughts was that the living don't very often realize mind to mind communication is possible.  If I asked Mom and Dad once, I know I asked them umpteen million times, "why does so and so talk nice from her/his mouth and say such mean things in his/her head?"  The response was always one of "what are you talking about?  Hush, go play.  Stop dreaming things up!" and so on.  Typical parent responses to what must have seemed to them to be foolishness and a neurotic response to a sister's death.  It was far from it.  I was really serious.  It truly confused my 6 year old brain when I could hear the thoughts of others (especially adults) as clear as day in my mind and the words that came from their mouths were so entirely different in tone and meaning. 

So, confused and totally clueless, I learned to listen to thoughts and hear the words of others - children, adults, teenagers, old folks, even critters and pets.  I just didn't ask my folks about it after a while.  What was the use in that?  After all, they weren't hearing other peoples thoughts and hearing different words coming out of their mouths.  How could they begin to understand what it was I was experiencing?  They apparently couldn't do those things, so how could they explain the differences between how things worked when you can have those experiences and when you can't have them.  I learned at an extremely young age to trust my instincts and those little thoughts that dashed quickly and quietly through my head about events, places, animals and people.  It kept me from harm at least once that I remember, and made me, in many aspects, a shy child who made friends with great difficulty and didn't trust many people of any age for a very long time.

To this day, I am able to pick up on thoughts that others are having.  No, I don't go around eavesdropping on other folks thoughts.  That's rude, impolite and unacceptable unless permission has been granted to do so.  But, I do know when friends are ill, worried, in trouble, happy beyond all belief and the like.  The vibrations and thoughts that come to me from them call their names in my mind with a different type of vibrational tone and quality to them that give me a clue as to what is going on with that particular person.  So, for example, is Sally Sue is having an especially happy day, I'll hear "Sally Sue" over and over and over again in my mind in a bouncy, high, wind chime type vibration in my mind until I finally talk to her or she calls or visits and tells me the great news.  And, because I learned so young to trust my instincts and believe the thoughts that I felt and heard, I have, as an adult, retained that trust in my instincts and learned to read the subtle body and facial language clues that most folks ignore because they speak as loudly to me as minds do and are as truthful as mind speaking as well.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My sister died and I became psychic

I've been trying to come to grips with the fact that I am a "psychic" for quite a long time now. Actually, most of my life would be more like it. I hear people who are not physically present. I smell smells that no one else smells. I feel the presence of the dearly departed and of spirit guides, angels and others. Using the word "psychic" to describe myself is a concept so foreign to me that it might as well come from the planet Uranus because "psychics" are those folks who do the lecture circuits and help police solve murders and mysteries - not me.

I am the oldest of 3 the surviving kids my parents raised. One sister died before I was 6 years old.  She was born with a tumor that turned out to be a then incurable form of cancer, Wilm's tumor.  She was the dearest, sweetest little sister a kid could have.  I remember her as a special angelic girl. She was also horribly sick for most of her life as I remember it.  When she died we kids were told that Lis went to live with Jesus and God in heaven and that we had to be very good children so we could live there with her after we died when we were much older.  I asked my folks several times why I had to wait to see her when I knew she was with us and trying to talk to us every day.  That went over like the proverbial lead balloon.  My butt sat in a chair in the corner for several hours over a period of days for that thought.  It was a truth, but, still, not something either of them wanted to here, let alone learn that I was experiencing it.

What really got me into trouble though, was my insistence that Lis was visiting me at night after I had been put to bed and told to go to sleep.  She really was coming to visit me.  I saw her.  I hugged her.  I laughed with her and sat talking on the bed with her from about 3 days after her death till she told me she wouldn't be coming back to visit any more because she had to move on.  For those of you curious as to how long she visited - 42 days - 6 weeks - the time it takes to go through the Buddhist Bardo of Becoming - that's how long she visited me every night.  That is also how long my parents would swat my backside once or twice and tell me for the 2nd or 3rd time to "hush and go to sleep for cryin' out loud already!"  Daddy told me once he did see her - one time - but, that I needed to stop saying that I was talking to her because Mom was so upset at her death my talking about seeing Lis was tearing Mom apart.  Mom never did see her.  Nor did she think it was a good idea to be sitting up on the bed every night talking to Lis about death, dying, what both of them felt like to experience, what it was like in heaven, what I would be when I grew up, and the fact that I would be something special to many people and be able to help them just by being myself.  That last bit didn't make sense to me then.  I'm still trying to figure that out all these years later.

So, to put it plainly.  I wasn't even 6 years old yet and my sister died.  I became aware that I was psychic.  It's an odd combination.  But it was just that.  She died and I became what I am now, psychic.