My first experience with spirit came when I was about eight years old. I remember we were getting ready to go to church and I could not find the shoestrings for my shoes. My mother told me if I didn’t find them that I wasn’t going to be able to go, so I fell to my knees next to my bed and I asked God to show me where my shoestrings were, then this little voice whispered in my ear that they were in the closet under my toys on my roller skates. I said, “Thank you!”, and ran to the closet looked under my toys and sure enough there was my shoestrings on my rollers skates. I pulled the shoestrings off and I ran to the car, jumped in, and put them on my shoes as we were on our way to church. Now I didn’t find this strange, I figured that God talks to everybody, that’s the way I was taught, that god listens.
My first experience with death was when my grandfather died. I was about six years old and he had died suddenly. My grandfather was such a kind, gently and wonderful person. When he would walk into a room and smile you knew sunshine had arrived. I never heard him raise his voice to anyone. He had a lot of grandchildren, but he always had time to sit me on his knee ask how I was doing and tell me how wonderful and loved I was.
I remember on the weekends when my father and I would go over to my grandfather’s and work on cars in his garage. I was the little mechanic who would hand them their tools. At the age of five I already knew what a flathead and phillip screwdriver was and how us them. My Dad and Grandfather would teach me about, the parts on a car, what the purpose was, in order to operate the vehicle. To this day I still work on cars.
One day I came home from school and my Dad was there, wondering why he was home so early. I was happy to have him home, because I knew we would have time to do something together. When I walked into the house, my Dad asked me come over to the chair he was sitting in, that he had something to tell me. I could see great sadness on his face. I looked at my Mom and she was crying. My Dad said, “It’s about Grandpa, he died today, and do you understand what I’m saying to you” I knew how hard this was for my Dad to tell me this as his eyes filled with tears. I said, “Yes he went to heaven, does this mean we won’t get to see him again?” My Dad said, “Yes, we won’t get to see him again” I fell into my Dads arms and cried for the longest time, I didn’t even know I had that many tears, but there I was sitting in my father’s lap and him holding me until I cried myself sleep. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t going to see him again. I knew about heaven and Jesus, but I thought it was a place, like another town or something, I could not understand why you had to die to get there. Hence, my first heart break.
I had another, spiritual experience with spirit. I remember one time that after Sunday school we went into the big church for communion, my mother told me to go on up to receive communion. I asked her, “What do I do” she told me that the minister would give us a wafer, grape juice and we were to pray to Jesus. So my cousin and I went up for communion, the minister came by, gave us a wafer, grape juice, so I started to pray to Jesus giving him thanks for the wafer and the grape juice. Now my cousin was on my left side and sometimes she would play practical jokes on me. As I prayed I felt a hand touch my right shoulder there was nobody on my right side so I looked up to see who it was, there was nobody there, I figured that my cousin had tapped my shoulder. So I continued to pray, again I felt a hand touch my right shoulder now this time I knew it was not my cousin, because it felt like an adult hand, but I looked up behind me to the right and nobody was there. I continued to pray. I asked while I was praying who was touching my shoulder, the voice said, “I am Jesus” I was okay with that. I went back to my seat next to my Mom. My Mom asked, “What I was looking at while I was kneeling during communion.” I told her that I thought my cousin had tapped my shoulder, when I looked at her she was praying, then I felt it again, a hand on my shoulder so I asked who was touching me and the voice said “I am Jesus”. My mom said, “Okay” and that was that. My mom acted like it was normal. I never thought that it was unusual to talk to Jesus and for him to answer.
I use to go to the riverbed by our house in the summer time. I would watch the tadpoles in the water and listen, to the frogs croak, it felt so relaxing. One time found this one little creature I would play with it, as I sat on the incline of the riverbed. I took it home one day and asked my Dad what it was, he told me it was “A horny toad, that is why it has spikes on its back” my Dad told me that I needed to take him back where I found him that he probably has a family. Whenever I would to the riverbed the horny toad would always come and sit with me. I did bring home tadpoles, would care for them, until they became frogs, then, I would put them back into the riverbed. I always felt a presence with me and I always felt safe. This was one of my many connections with the nature world and meditation, which at that time I had no clue what meditation meant. I was about 11 years old. Oh! By the way, my Mom always knew where I was. At dinner time she would send my brother down to the riverbed and collect me.
I have two aunts from my Moms side of the family. One is a year older than I am and the other is a year younger. I spent a lot of time with them as I was growing up. I remember one time, we were lying in a field of grass, at a school yard, staring up into the sky, relaxing, and it was summer time. We started to talk about growing old, I told them that I would die before I was thirty years old, that thirty was and old age. We all agreed that thirty was and old age. At that time I was about thirteen years of age and everybody was old to us. Little did I know that laying in that field of grass, I was predicting a future event.