I would be an understatement to say I learned A LOT in that first reading! It certainly validated that there was something to all of these experiences – the hair on the back of my husband’s neck stood up when he heard the part about the blue butterfly! He remembered how I came home from that trip gushing about the butterflies being a sign, and at the time thinking yeah right. He didn’t question my impressions nearly as often after that. Although he did when I decided we should spend a whopping amount of money to record a CD of Grandpa Anderson’s music. And I guess who wouldn’t think you were kind of nuts to spend a lot of money on something just because a dead guy encouraged you to do it?
As it turns out, he did more than encourage. I left the notebook by my bed one night and spent the entire night being coached on exactly how to sing “The Last Rose of Summer.” And then I woke up another morning with this name ringing in my ears: Chancery Olcott. So I google that and turns out, well, he composed several of the songs written in the notebook! The next night I find myself listening to Grandpa Anderson play, on his violin, an accompaniment to “The Last Rose of Summer” that really blew me my mind. So I woke up and put it into Sibelius (music notation software) right away. All of that time transcribing orchestra music paid off – I found I could write down what I heard in my dreams, as time progressed and I became more practiced at it – what I heard in my head.
Then I had a strange experience – I still don’t have a good explanation what this one is about. But I found myself standing in the dining room back at The Aunt Farm. And I knew I was dreaming because The Aunt Farm is long gone. Grandpa Anderson walks in to the room.
I have this silly little head game I play. If it ever comes up in conversation, I say that I never met my grandfather when he was alive. Most of the time this comment goes right over the head, but now and then someone gets my meaning and gives me either a strange or a knowing look. I will also clarify – this is not the musical grandfather – that was my mother’s father.
This happened in about 1996 so this is the first trip I’m posting in the Way Back Machine. But since Grandpa Mason was the second person to show up in my first reading, I am going to take a brief detour and post about my past history with him.
At the time this happened, my sister and I were getting back into the family genealogy project. Our family has been researching itself for at least four generations; Linda and I picked up where my mother left off. The odd thing is we weren’t even researching my dad’s side of the family when this happened.
My sister was living in California in those days. She was flying in that evening for a visit. I’d left work early so I could pick her up at the airport. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon and I had a half hour or so before I had to leave, so I decided to lie down and take a short nap with my dog. The dog we had at the time was Crystal – a nervous, yappy American Eskimo Dog.
I fell asleep, then opened my eyes and found myself lying on one of those sofas with the bumpy irregular upholstery that everybody seemed to have in the 1960’s and 70’s. I sat up and there – right in front of me – were my deceased grandparents. They were sitting in front of a window across the room from the sofa. Really bright white light was streaming in through the window behind them. Grandma was sitting in a chair and Grandpa was sitting on the ottoman that matched the chair, slightly in front of her. My mother was sitting in another chair off to the right (she was alive then, but was still in this dream for whatever reason). They (the grandparents) just radiated this intense feeling of warmth, love, peace, happiness …. Continue reading
I did my homework before I took this step. I had read about a dozen books by this time (see Recommended Reading Page) and learned about the Veritas Project at the University of Arizona. This project has completed but resulted in more research into the survival of consciousness and mediumship, as well as a non-profit organization The Windbridge Institute For Applied Research in Human Potential. Beyond being just another research program about ESP type stuff (the government has been doing this for decades) these programs actually studied mediumship in a controlled laboratory setting. And they were able to rate and certify the mediums based on their accuracy rate!
According to the strict scientific definition, a medium is “an individual who experiences regular communication with the deceased”. That pretty much makes me one. So this is where I get up in front of a crowd of people and say “Hi, my name is Laura and I am a medium”.
Anyway, through a long (boring) process of looking for people who were certified by these programs in various ways, and had good recommendations, I eventually located three different mediums. The first reading I had was with Denise Lescano. Denise resides in Florida. Not that it matters – everybody I found does readings over the phone. There is no time or space on the other side. It doesn’t matter how far apart the medium and the subject are. These folks also conduct their readings under the same conditions as the laboratory experiments. They go to great lengths to set things up so that they know nothing but your first name.
It was a sunny but cold day in late November in 2009 when I had my reading with Denise. As suggested, I’d arranged for a quiet place where I could relax and nobody would interrupt – in my cat room by the fire. I had it during the day while my son was at school and Bill knew what was going on and purposely avoided coming in so as to not mess things up.
In the summer of 2010 an unbelievable piano falls in my lap (continued from Synchronicity, Dreams, and Antique Pianos). After it is safely installed in our house I remember that I have all of my childhood piano music packed in a couple of file boxes in the cubbyhole. So I venture into the cubbyhole and drag it all out. As I am sitting there in the bedroom sorting this music, I being to remember and think.
I got a piano when I was 12 years old. It was a hand-me-down from the church. A huge old upright, it was once a player piano until someone did a – what would you call it – a player-ectomy. It still had the place where you put the rolls in and since that mechansim was long gone it gave you a pretty good view of the hammers and soundboard. Anyway, this thing got moved into my parents’ basement – which served the function of way today would be called a family room. My mother produced a big pile of piano music. Where did this come from? I never thought about it then, but now I realized it must have come from the Aunt Farm! And given the age of the stuff, at least some of it must have belonged to Grandpa Anderson (my mother’s father). From what I knew then he was a traditional old time fiddler. What I didn’t know at the time was that he was also classically trained on violin and piano in the 1890’s – early 1900’s.
While going through this box I found it – two handwritten manuscripts of tunes he’d written down, in the 1930’s it appears, most likely to teach my uncle how to play. Between the two of them they have 116 songs of varying age and origin – a very interesting collection! And more than enough upon which to base a CD! Funny thing is though, I couldn’t figure out how they got in there when I’d never seen them before!
Many ADC’s take the form of a sychronicity – something unusual that happens and you think, that just can’t be a co-incidence! It involves something closely associated with the deceased person, usually with a deeply personal connection.
The fall after my mother died I had my 40th birthday. I was dreading it for a number of reasons – heck – who doesn’t dread their 40th birthday! I wondered if I would really feel terrible having a birthday after my mother died, and I am not very excited about being over the hill either. So I pretty much decided to ignore it. Still, the dreading of it made the two weeks before a bit tense. I find it is often like this – the dreading of “whatever” is worse than the actual “whatever”. Nowhere is this more true than for Christmas – but that is another post.
So the birthday came and went. Nothing happened. I didn’t feel any worse on that particular day and I was well on my way to forgetting it.
Then a day or so later – I can’t remember exactly – I had a stream of numbers running through my dreams. 39403940394039403940394039403940394039403940 … all night! I was kind of going in the background and every once in a while it would break through and become very hard to ignore. At the time I knew that it had something to do with my mother, but it being a stream of digits I didn’t get it. It is sometimes very difficult to access the left brain during sleep, even when fully lucid. My deductive reasoning can be pretty far off and I miss the obvious.
I decided to interrupt the long dialog I have going on my experiences with my mother to write about a series of events that happened just this past week. It felt like a major milestone for me – instead of these things being entirely an “inner” experience, for the first time they were occuring specifically for the edification of someone else, and I was the intermediary.
Last year some long time friends of ours from one of our musical pursuits was diagnose with lukemia. This couple had suffered a great deal over the year before that due to an accident suffered by the wife – Toni – when she fell off a ladder. Having her husband Bob dealt this blow while they were still struggling to deal with the fallout from Toni’s injuries. She made a pretty remarkable recovery – we all feared she would be confined to a wheelchair. But as anyone who has gone through something like that knows, there are always long term complications to be dealt with.
I think on some level we all felt that Bob would recover because it would be just too unfair otherwise! We heard through a mutual friend that Bob wasn’t doing well a month or so ago – was still in the hospital undergoing a lot of treatments but things seemed to be taking a turn for the worst.
Then this past weekend I had a dream where I saw Bob’s newspaper obituary. It was brief and I almost forgot about it, but something the next morning jogged my memory. I told Bill about it and suggested that he should call Toni because Bob might not be here much longer if the dream meant what I felt it did.
I had a dream that my husband and I were on my parents’ deck rehearsing some music. We had a disagreement about something and started to bicker. I got annoyed and went into the house. I decided I was sick of this diet (I started a diet with Bariatric Weight Loss, and eventually did loose 50 pounds), and I wanted a dang fried egg! Besides, I reasoned, you can’t gain weight from something you eat in a dream. [Note: I Lucid Dream – see the Lucid Dream page for more information]
While I was making the fried egg my cell phone rang and it was my mother! I started telling her about the disagreement and other dumb day to day stuff, just like I did when she was alive. I ate the egg at the kitchen table, still talking to her. Then I walked out to the sun porch and noticed something strange.
The butterfly is the universal symbol of resurrection, or the transition to life after death.
Late in August my sister, my son, and I took my dad on a tourist train excursion. The Kiski Junction Railroad is located near where the Kiski and Allegheny Rivers merge and is only a short distance from where my parents formerly lived. It was a gorgeous warm day. We had been on this train trip several times when my son Henry was young – in fact we had one of his birthday parties on the train. Dad had been through so much hell between the death, the funeral, and then moving into an independent living apartment. We thought he could use an enjoyable day out.
The most interesting thing about this trip, at least for me, is the industrial ruins along the way. The railroad itself is built on top of the filled in Pennsylvania Main Line Canal. Timbers and rocks from the old canal are visible on some parts of the ride. It also goes past at least two different abandoned mines. One is the old Bagdad coal mine and the other was a tin mine, if memory servers. In any case they are very creepy and interesting, and even more so for us since my dad’s father (my grandfather) was a mine inspector (fire boss).
We choose the back porch of an antique caboose for our ride. The train conductor was also sitting out there with us. Twice during the trip a blue butterfly flew onto the train and hovered around us, sitting on the railing, the top of the door into the caboose, and once on Henry’s head! The second time it happened the conductor got a strange look on his face. He told us, “In all the time I’ve been here, that has NEVER happened even once, let alone twice!”
- Ad for 1873 Decker Grand Piano
Due to the rather intense grieving I experienced I did not have any contact with my mother for most of the summer. From what I have read, strong emotions – negative ones in particular – block out this kind of contact. Besides being miserable I was also a major bitch. I exploded at the slightest frustration. I doubted all the decisions I’d made about my life, debated putting all of my musical instruments for sale on Ebay, and almost had a nervous breakdown when I had to throw away my dilapidated old stuffed Snoopy dog that I found decaying in my parents’ attic (more about him later). One of my mother’s roles in my life was to talk me through the various ups and downs of life. When I got myself (figuratively) out on The Ledge she would talk me down. Without her around to do that The Ledge had become more or less my permanent domicile.
I took at trip to North Carolina to visit Lisa – a childhood friend with whom I was reconnected at my mother’s funeral. Being a young widow (since remarried) she is kind of an expert on grief. We sat up late many evenings talking about all kinds of things. She reminded me of how I used to play piano when we were kids. I was never really taught to do this. The church had an old piano they needed to get rid of and I was kind of in the market for one at the time. I really wanted a harp but my parents had no idea how to pull that off so they offered me this piano (don’t feel bad for me – I now own seven harps) . Three months later I was playing Beethoven piano sonatas. I had an uncle who told my parents to send me to Julliard. The politely told him to MYOB – music majors end up working in McDonald’s. Didn’t he know that? They continued to insist upon this “fact” until I met my current husband who makes a very good living teaching music, thank you very much.
No changes have been made except to correct spelling and add paragraphs to make it easier to read. The original is handwritten on both sides of 7 pages of notepaper. I started a paragraph whenever it felt like a new thought or story began.