Another friend died this week. Fortunately he was an old guy, which makes it better. Still, I loved him, still I am heart heavy. Death and its accoutrements stir up all kinds of pains and traumas, and questions, too, none of which are the slightest bit original.
But guess what? Halloween is coming, so I’m indulging a little ghost story today, in spite of it.
When I was pregnant with my now three-year-old son, a horrified technician told me he might have Down Syndrome based on some “soft markers” he showed in my first ultrasound. Dr. Jersey suggested I have an amnio (big needle to the belly, possible miscarriage…NOT) and one idiot doctor told me I should consider terminating the pregnancy. I was 20 weeks pregnant. I was a suffering mess, and was feeling very alone.
When a friend shoved her psychic’s number into my pocket after I had burst into tears in her kitchen, it took me about five seconds to pick up the phone and call her. I didn’t even take off my coat when I got home. My friend said she had an amazing reputation, and I had never spoken to someone of her caliber. My hands sweat as the phone rang. Would she tell me I was a terrible person, would she be for real? Would she know all of my fantasies and tell me I was nuts? I just didn’t know what to expect.
Patricia answered (I came to find out that was extremely unusual for her), and as I was making the appointment to speak to her two weeks later, she told me unprompted that my baby was fine, that it was a boy, and to relax, that he would be a very intelligent person.
I hadn’t told her I was pregnant.
I burst into tears and hung up, thanking her profusely and then thought, “Well, now what the Hell am I going to talk to her about?”
The conversation I had with the glorious Patricia changed my life for many reasons, but the primary one I didn’t even recognize until months later, after she had passed away from breast cancer.
Toward the end of my reading with her, she told me that my grandmother was coming in. She said she smelled like baking, and that she was taking tea with some friends, and inviting Patricia to join.
All of what she had said to me up to that point had been so unlikely (all happened, by the way) that I thought, “Okay, maybe.” But then she said things that narrowed the field a little, things like my grandmother was sorry she’d been hard on me as a child, and things about certain pieces of jewelry. Finally Patricia, who had the most soothing presence I’ve experienced to date, asked me if I had a red scarf of hers.
She told me to look out for a it, that it was something she specifically wanted me to have, that it was important. She had passed away the year before and I had already gotten what I was gettin’, so I put it out of my mind until a few months later when I was speaking to my brother.
I’ve always found that people are so married to their ideas with regard to psychics, that I don’t discuss it much, unless I know I’m talking to someone who is into it. Still, given that he had been the one to clean out her room, along with my Dad, I decided to mention it to him.
There was a loooooooong pause when I mentioned the scarf.
Turns out he had picked out a red scarf from her closet, along with her wallet and had forgotten to give it to me, had been holding onto it all that time. We sat in silence for a second, absorbing what that might mean.
Taking tea in heaven with friends?
I always believed in reincarnation. How does my grandmother’s scarf affect THAT theory? Why do the dead hang around? Is it just traces of them, or are they really reaching out to speak to us? The chances of such a coincidence are infinitesimal, so where does that leave me?
And taking it even a step further, what was it that made my brother reach for that particular scarf, that thing that my grandmother wanted me to have? How many times does it happen that you have a strong sense about something, and it’s actually something else, something we can’t see, pushing us to make a different choice.
Too bad Patricia died before I could tell her all of that, tell her how she terrified and excited me so much, and how she peaked my interest (alright, I was already interested, but she heightened it). She dangled a great big tangly ball of yarn in front of my face that day, and I’ve been trying to pull in apart and make sense of it ever since.
As I’m writing, I’m thinking of all of the people who are going to state the impossibilities, and all of the reasons why I was taken in, even though I said NOTHING to her and let her do all the talking.
A very close male friend of mine actually said, “Come on, I know you’re not that stupid,” when I tried to mention it. My husband says if it were true it would be “a fucking miracle”, and yet it is.
All I can say is that this is what I believe and experienced, and I’ve never been able to turn back from it. I’m not a sheep, or an idiot. I just know what I know.
I hope my Grandmother did, at least for a time, sit on some beautiful hill-top and sip tea. I would like to believe that. Sometimes all that we must have to face post-mortem seems pretty daunting. Check out the Tibetan Book of the Dead for a taste of the dogma I’ve absorbed.
Either way the red scarf is hanging on my bedroom mirror, so I never forget. Oh, and my son is just fine.