The poofy-haired, loud-mouthed little medium from Long Island is onto something. But I knew that already because I experienced my own share of connections to 'the other side' during my near-fatal illness as described in my memoir DYING TO LIVE: Running backwards through cancer, Lupus, and chronic illness.
Like Theresa as a young girl, I didn't believe any of it when these things started to happen and I fought vehemently with those who tried to change my mind. Typically, I would say after one of my out-of-body experiences or visitations: "That didn't happen!" And more often than not, my earth-bound guides, including my pastor, would say: "Why not?"
Why not, indeed? But I am not a medium. I have had spiritual experiences that make sense when people like Theresa Caputo explain them.
As of last Friday, I've now lost three of those people who helped put perspective on these things to me and they were all fathers - my own father in 2002, my surrogate father (my brother who was 14 years older than me) last August, and my very first pastor who welcomed me to a church in 1989 when religion was absolutely foreign to me. I was raised with no clear-cut religion so I knew nothing about it, but I did seek to learn when I was pregnant with my first child. The Reverend George B. Higgins was big, boisterous and loud - kind of like an older, male version of Theresa Caputo - and there was no doubt he was connected to Him directly because George said so and he meant it!
My first educational lesson with George started with me being direct, as usual. "Just who are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost anyway," I asked him. He laughed and then became quite serious while he explained that they are all one, really, and that a person's energy is spirit and soul and love. I had many more lessons with George and, while I can't say I rose to the level of 'Church Lady' in my beliefs or actions, I certainly gained a healthy respect for that which can not be explained logically; that which just is. The lessons I learned from my long-gone father and newly-lost brother were similarly profound.
I had my own triumvirate of sorts in the past seven days: A DYING TO LIVE book signing event, a memorial dedication of the Stephen L. Crohn Art Gallery, and George's funeral (held April 28th, my father's birthday).
The book event was a proud moment but also very emotional as the group of 10 or so attendees and I discussed spirituality and dying and doctor's visits and individual experience related to critical or chronic illness. The Art Gallery dedication was highly gratifying and deeply disturbing as I knew this was a monument to my brother who was not physically coming back - ever. Finally, the funeral of the very first pastor I ever really knew was heartbreaking. Although he lived a long life, the sadness in the filled-to-capacity sanctuary was palpable as we all knew he was a one-and-only; there would never be another like him.
I am spent.
I recently read one of those inspirational quotes posted on Facebook that usually annoy me when I'm feeling really down. But this one, by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, caught my eye.
“Never give up. When your heart becomes tired, just walk with your legs - but move on.”
I'm trying Daddy, Steve and George and when I feel your energy around me, it helps a lot.