Tag Archives: spirits

Going out on that limb again.

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Okay, I know I said my last weird experience post was the finale but after I blogged them all… I realized it actually wasn’t. The following is what I wrote three months after my mother passed. Her wish was to be cremated but she never told me what to do with her ashes. Being an only child I agonized over the decision, but knew that part of her should rest somewhere in New Jersey where she spent some of the happiest years of her life. It was an emotional trip for many reasons, but what happened on this particular day really hit home.

Rivergirl

October 20, 2014

I knew….

The third day of our trip started much like the first. My husband was up before dawn and went downstairs for the free…. but barely edible… hotel breakfast. Think watery eggs and rubber sausage.

I took a shower and as I was getting dressed, realized I should do what I had been putting off.

The purpose of our trip was to bring my mother home and I’d been stalling with walks down memory lane. I knew I wanted to spread half of her ashes at the Jersey shore where we’d spent many happy summers. She always loved the sea.

I stood there in the hotel room, feeling sad… missing my mom…. and set about the gruesome physical task. There’s something surreal about holding the remains of your loved one in your hands. The weight of a lifetime.

Of course I started crying. Wondering if I was doing the right thing, doing what she would have wanted. The grief flooded over me like a wave…

And then, when the task was done and she was evenly divided, I smiled…. because I realized I had double baggied her and she would have loved that.

Remember her fondness for baggies?

After I wiped my tears, I reached for my purse which held my much needed makeup… and saw something on the table. The table that had been perfectly empty a half hour before when I stepped in the shower.

I gasped. And started crying again….

It was my mother’s white bobby pin.

She was such a pill about them. Would never use any other color and they’re harder to find than you might think. She hoarded them… and started fretting when she was running low. They were in every room of her apartment, in every pocket of every coat and every sweater she owned. She was never without them…

But I didn’t carry them. Ever. And I certainly didn’t pack one to take on the trip with us. Why would I? My husband didn’t put it there, he was downstairs eating breakfast. I suppose a random white haired maid could have snuck in and dropped it while touching up her ‘do while I was showering…. but I’m guessing the odds of that are pretty high.

There’s no reason on earth why a white Bobby pin should have been on that table… except one.

My husband walked in the room a few minutes later, saw me crying and looked lost.

He didn’t believe me when I told him…

But I knew.

I knew she was there with me.

I knew.

To this day I still can’t wrap my mind around what happened. A physical embodiment of spirit? Get the straight jacket ready and tidy up the rubber room, River is on her way.

It’s been 7 years since that crazy bobby pin appeared out of nowhere, and if I think about it too long I begin to doubt it happened at all. But then I walk into our bedroom and look on my bureau under my passel of Alex and Ani bracelets…

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Hello momma

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And I know.

I know it did…..

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Going out on a limb ….part 5.

I’m just going to keep putting these out here until I run out. If you’re reading them and seeing me differently, so be it. I’m finding it quite cathartic…. and as Bon Jovi says, It’s My Life.

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Weird experience #5, another from my days in the hospice with my  late mother.

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The Crash.

Added: Wednesday, July 9th 2014 at 5:25am by rivergirl

As I said before, I brought a lot of pictures to my mothers hospice room. I hung them on the walls, taped them to the nightstand and tucked them in the tv screen. I wanted to surround her with love and happy memories.

There were many of me and my husband, and our pets and special times we had shared with my mother….

The nurses and staff loved it. They told me it lets them meet their patients in a different way, which considering the never ending sadness they deal with… I thought was very touching.

Most of the pictures were mine, but there were 3 framed photographs that had hung on my mother’s walls for 50 years… so I brought them too.

Here they are:

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Momma & her father

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My mother and her father on Jones Beach.

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My mother and father on their wedding day at the Stork Club.

And this one:

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A very old photo of my mother, in her 20’s, and her first love… Frank.

He was much older and very wealthy. He introduced a young, naive girl born to Austrian immigrant parents who lived in a cold water tenement flat…. to a world of art, culture and high society. They were together for many years, but never married. In 1957 he broke it off and introduced her to a junior partner in his firm….my father. They were married a year later.

I grew up knowing all about Frank. It was no secret she loved him and it in no way diminished the love she felt for my father. First love is first love. It never bothered me.

Now fast forward 50 odd years and her daughter is sitting alone with her in a hospice room waiting for the end. I cried. All day, all night, on and off for days.

During the first afternoon, I was sitting on the rock hard couch thinking about her life, my life and everything in between. I thought about my dad. About how much he loved her and what a good marriage they had.

And then I heard a crash.

The picture of my mom and Frank had fallen off the wall.  It fell face down on the floor and the glass was smashed to bits.

No one had slammed a door, no one had knocked the wall from the next room. There was no seismic shock or tremor that rattled the building. No airplane flew too low and shook the windows. It just crashed.While all the other pictures stayed right where they were.

Apparently while my mother loving Frank didn’t bother me….it clearly bothered my dad. And he told me so in no uncertain terms.

The photo stayed face down on a side table until I brought it home after she passed.

Call it coincidence if you want….

But I know better.

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Going out on a limb…. part 4.

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What is it they say? In for a penny, in for a pound. If you read  this blog I wrote a week or so ago about a strange incident with my father’s antique clock…. and if you didn’t think I was a total nutcase, please continue and blame Swinged Cat .

He asked me to share my weird experiences a while back and that means telling stories from one of the worst times in my life, the death of my mother. So here’s another of the odd moments in my life I can’t explain.

Tick Tock….

Added: Tuesday, July 8th 2014 at 4:40am by rivergirl

As horrible as the passing of my mother was, there were a few moments I will treasure….for very different reasons. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to share them here.

When we moved her from the hospital to hospice, she was in pain…but awake and relatively alert. It was a lovely place and I had visions of spending time with her in the gardens listening to the birds…

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Sadly, that wasn’t to be as the cancer was too far advanced. Her decline was so rapid, strong medication was required.

After the first night of listening to her cry in pain, I gave the okay for maximum morphine. She rested more easily, but was so heavily doped up she was unaware of her surroundings. The gardens and peaceful sculptures turning gently in the breeze were more for me… and this lonely bench near the woods became my salvation when things got too heavy to bear.

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I went to her room the next morning loaded with flowers, framed photographs and personal items to brighten her space. But again…. she was unaware.

I stroked her brow, held her hand, and told her I loved her.

Nothing.

In the 5 days she was there, she only spoke once.

“Whose clock is that? I hear ticking.”

I was confused, as there were no clocks in the room. It meant nothing to me at the time. Just the gibberish of a heavily morphined mind.

Or was it?

Those of you who know me, know I am not a religious person. The hypocrisy of the modern church makes me cringe. And when the hospice staff asked me if I wanted a priest to sit with me, I said no. The thought of the black crow of death hovering over me spilling platitudes did not give me the least bit of solace.

So imagine my surprise when a quiet, unassuming lesbian chaplain became my confident during our stay. She listened, she consoled… she was there. We spoke of many things…least of all religion. I ended up spilling my entire history with my mother to her and felt a giant weight lift from my shoulders. They say that the right people come into your life at the right times…. that statement doesn’t seem so trite to me now.

She told me she believed that everyone has someone who helps them pass over. And it eased my mind to think that my father was waiting for my mother at the end of her journey.

She asked me if my mother had spoken and I related that one meaningless phrase.

Her eyes got wide, she bowed her head and then just stared at me. I couldn’t figure out what I was missing…. until she reminded me of the story I had told her the day before. The one about my father’s broken clock ticking after 29 years of silence.

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Make of it what you will…. but that lovely little woman held my hand and said she knew it was my father’s way of saying he was there. Waiting.

Tick, tock.

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Going out on a limb…. Part 3.

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You’re back! Even though your eyes hurt from rolling so far up in your head? I appreciate that. Try not to think of me differently, I’m still the same margarita swilling, rock obsessed, chicken loving  Mainiac (capital M thank you very much) you know and love. This is just another quirk to add to the list.

So that was strange experience number two. My reading with a psychic. It seems odd all these years later to even admit that out loud, but the simple act of rereading my blog from that time has lightened my heart again. If I took nothing else away from that weird and wonderful night it was the fact that our loved ones are never really gone.  I truly believe that now…. and it’s a great comfort.

So here’s my last episode of that spiritual adventure. The aftermath.

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I think I opened the floodgates….

Added: Wednesday, January 30th 2013 at 5:29am by rivergirl

Since my experience last Saturday, I’ve told a few close friends about the psychic I saw and how she made a believer out of me… if just for one night. I was a bit fearful of their reactions… expecting eye rolls and chuckles. But I swear it was like they were all waiting for that particular door to open so they could tell their stories.

It was completely bizarre…. A totally no nonsense conservative told me of visitations from his late mother. An old girlfriend I went to school with and thought I knew everything about, admitted she’s been seeing a psychic for 15 years. A down to earth grandmother of 7 told me about her numerous feelings of deja vu. A man that works with my husband, the most rigidly analytical mind in the office, brought these books for me to read and confessed he is a devout believer.

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I skimmed a few chapters of these and think this woman is a flake……but whatever. It was the thought that counts.

I guess what really struck me is most people don’t feel comfortable talking about this subject until they know you’re on board.

So… I’m putting it out there.

I told you of my mind blowing re-connection with my late father. Are any of you willing to share your other worldly experiences?

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I’d love to hear your stories… if you’re willing to share. And yes, I have a few more strange things in the archives. Experiences from time spent at my mother’s bedside during her last days in hospice. Maybe I’ll post those as well….

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He volunteers, I do all the work.

 

So we’ve established my husband is a collector of  vast piles of junk,  boatloads of crap,  too much rusty old stuff,  some eclectic treasure.

Lots of people know this, and think being an antique expert goes hand in hand.

 

 

They constantly give him items and want a full history,  description of use,  plus what it’s worth.

Problem is….. more often than not he has no frickin’ clue.

 

 

Which is when he hands it off to me.

I research, investigate, and compare so he can go back and look knowledgeable. Which leads to more people giving him more items to identify. It’s a vicious circle.

*Note to self – stop researching, investigating and comparing*

Last month he came home with two items that were beyond even my scope of reference.

Supposed Native American artifacts.

 

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A medicine man’s turtle shell rattle…

 

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And a warrior’s breastplate.

 

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I admit, even I was clueless here.

 

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His friend gave him some accompanying paperwork that was, to say the least….. a wee bit strange. It was a statement from a man named Silver Wolf who said he saw the items at an antique show 10 years ago and was then visited in his dreams by the original owner Red Hawk, who lived in the late 1700’s.

Okaaay.

A man named Ernie then purchased the rattle, and took it to a Pow Wow to “awaken it”. A red tail hawk flew overhead during the ceremony and apparently that was the spirit of the original owner.

Okaaay.

Later, a chief said the rattle had a person named Many Eyes bound inside of it and the spirit needed to be set free.

So, yeah.

How the hell do you research that?

I tried. And the closest I came was this:

 

rattle

 

Pretty damn close. (Red tailed hawk and trapped spirit not withstanding.)

As for breastplates? They’re everywhere… in hundreds of designs, made with multiple materials, some old, some new and I have no utter clue how to differentiate.

So I went to the Maine State Museum….

Where no one had a clue either.

 

 

But they gave me the name and email address of a supposed expert…. so I contacted her and sent photos.

This was her response:

 

Boy. I’m not the expert, At All. The breast plate looks modern to me, but don’t take my word for it! And I have never seen a rattle like that so I really can’t judge. It could be Plains, but equally, could be new. It looks dirty, as opposed to worn, which sets off alarms for me. 

That said, I am NOT that versed. If you want to talk to someone who is, my ex-husband is very knowledgable.

Best of luck in your search!

And thank you for thinking of the Maine State Museum.

 

 

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So after wasting more time than I thought possible on this, I was done.

I passed along what I learned to the husband to give to his friend, with the expert’s ex husband’s phone number, and called it a day.

The next morning after having breakfast with his friend? The husband came back with the items and said his friend wanted me to sell them for him.

What???

No!!

Personally… if the items are real Native American artifacts? I’d give them back to the tribe of origin, or at the very least a museum. So much Native culture has been bought and sold over the years, I felt bad even having them at our house.

And if they’re reproductions? You wouldn’t get any serious money for them so why bother.

This is what happens when your husband can’t tell his friend no.

It’s a simple process…. and one I need him to learn.

 

 

See?