On Friday the 15th of January, 1999, my newly published book was released. I'll admit it was
exciting. However, a couple days after its release I had a talk with my
father. That was a great deal more exciting because my father had been
dead for almost two years. And this is where my story begins.
wife, Melissa, and I were at her parents' summer home in Wells, Maine
for a long weekend. The New England weather had been furious, biting
cold with tankards of snow. Homeowners, business owners, and even the
town highway departments could not contend with the persistent snowfall,
so roads and driveways were spotted with icy-white glaciers where the
snow had become petrified on the asphalt.
Melissa's brother, Derek, and I were both donning large bruises on our
derrieres due to the icy driveway, we thought it wise to spread some
sand before someone really got hurt. Living so close to the ocean, the
beach seemed the obvious place to obtain a bucket of sand. Later we
learned there are laws against such an act. Thinking about it in
hindsight, that makes sense. But at the time, we were just two dumb
cavemen finding a solution to our problem.
had recently visited a nearby psychic medium, someone who communicates
with spirits. So during our trip to the ocean, he enthusiastically
narrated the amazing details she revealed about his life,
"Information she could never have known," he exclaimed.
"Things you and Melissa don't even know," he added for
emphasis. The story lasted until the driveway was covered with sand. In
the end, I was both intrigued and frostbitten.
the weekend, Derek's story dominated my thoughts the way a teenage boy
thinks about sex, constantly yet silently. I was deeply skeptical, but I
thought it was fun going to psychics and fortunetellers. Derek and I, as
well as other members of Melissa's family, had gone to spiritual
practitioners in the past. I was never impressed and thought every one
of them to be a fraud. Nevertheless, I continued to try new ones for the
entertainment of it and always with a spec of hope that I might find one
with a genuine gift.
my curiosity teased me, I finally phoned Derek's psychic medium on the
last day of our stay. Her name is Vicki. It was Sunday so I
really didn't expect she would see me; but it was worth making the call
because not knowing if she was legitimate was toying with my sanity. I
was taken by surprise when she said I could come to her home at four
o'clock that afternoon. I booked the appointment and hung up the phone.
immediately regretted making the appointment. Melissa and I weren't
rolling in greenbacks at the time, so I had a sense that I was wasting
the money it was going to cost for the one-hour reading. I expected this
psychic woman was another fraud adept at firing off generalizations
that could pertain to nearly everyone who walked through her door. It
wasn't that I didn't believe Derek's story, but I saw him as a
"believer;” and being a skeptic, I sometimes wondered if Derek
was a bit naïve when it came to such matters. I considered calling
Vicki back and canceling the appointment.
convinced me to not cancel, saying I originally wanted to go so it was
important that I keep the appointment. She was confused by my sudden
change of mind. I explained my skepticism and she replied by arousing my
curiosity again: "What if she really is gifted? Derek said she was.
You'll always wonder unless you go." I hesitated in thought.
"Look," she said, "You already made the appointment, it
would be rude to cancel now." She was right, of course. I made the
decision to go.
weather that January day had a suspicious change of mood, an April sun
with an air of rebirth in the breeze and melting ice. After a refreshing
day by the ocean, Melissa and I made the trip to Vicki's home. As we
made the half-hour drive into the countryside, swerving to dodge the ice
chunks that hated my Volvo, I vowed not to divulge a single hint about
my personality, my work, my marriage, my family, my past or my future
goals during conversation with Vicki. "If this woman is truly
gifted, she is going to have to prove it," I demanded. We even
decided that Melissa would stay in the car so that Vicki couldn't
visually learn anything about Melissa or deduct any revealing signals
about our relationship. I was putting this so-called psychic medium to
the test and she was going to have to earn her money without any help
we drove up the endless gravel driveway, Melissa and I were instantly
drenched with envy at the view of Vicki's postcard farmhouse with an
operational barn, horses roaming the fields and children sledding in the
snow a short distance away. I avoided the chickens and parked our car so
nobody in the house could see Melissa. As I approached the doorway, I
met with memories of my past as I heard the children's voices echo
across the snow-glazed fields. I knocked and was immediately greeted by
a woman I assumed to be Vicki.
couldn't really see her, as the sun was beaming and the front porch
entryway was shadowed. She invited me in and I followed her to an in-law
apartment attached to the farmhouse. She said it was where her mother
lived, but that her mother was away on vacation. It was spacious and
clean with that new addition feel to it, and it was furnished with
comfortable cozy chairs and a couch. I quickly sat on the first chair I
approached as if to seek sanctuary from my fears and uncertainty, trying
not to expose my jittery limbs. Finally, I got a look at Vicki.
was expecting a slightly rotund forty-or-fifty-something-year-old woman
wearing a gypsy outfit and sporting a rather large wart on her face.
Instead, Vicki was a thin, small-framed thirty-something-year-old, no
wart, and wore white jeans and a fleece top. Except for her flaming red
locks that fell past her shoulders and framed her entire face—giving
her a witches-of-Salem kind of look—she appeared very normal.
immediate impression was that she was way too young and much too pretty
to be a "real" psychic medium. All I could think was, "I
might as well just give her my money and leave. This is going to be a
complete waste of time." I figured Vicki read a couple books on
developing your psychic abilities or spirit communication and decided it
was a good way to make extra cash while she stayed at home with the
kids. Now that I saw her and sized her up, I could feel my body language
change from hopefully anxious to skeptically aloof.
I quickly snapped up the chair, Vicki walked to my left and sat on the
couch, rather comfortably I noticed, with her legs bent under her like
she was about to watch a movie with the family. I half expected the
microwave to ding signaling the popcorn was ready. Her casualness made
me feel a tiny bit at ease, but I knew even she sensed my guard was
still up. She told me that she didn't want me to tell her anything about
myself, and only to answer her questions with a "yes, no or
maybe." She didn't want me to add any details or fill-in with
information that she was missing, because she would eventually put it
all together as the reading progressed.
had already vowed (to Melissa and myself) not to tell her anything, but
I was now more relaxed knowing she wasn't going to pry. My curiosity was
peaked. All I could think was, "What if she's legit?" And then
I quickly caught hold of myself, remembering all the phony psychics and
fortunetellers I had visited in the past. I was determined not to let my
guard down and get suckered in by her calm-mannered unassuming
minutes, Vicki was rattling off details about my life that were hard to
chalk up to a lucky guess. She told me that she communicates with
people's spirit-guides, "angels if you prefer to call them, but
without the wings," she said. These are spirits, souls, who are
"in the light," and are around each of us to help aid us
through life. She said we all have many guides who help us with the
different facets of our existence. Some are people we know from this
lifetime who have passed on and have made the transition back to the
spirit world. Others are souls who did not exist in this lifetime but
have been with us in other lifetimes, or at least have been with us in
the spirit world between lives.
talked like a poet. She had this calming tone to her voice where her
words flowed from her lips like a violin playing Mozart. I thought to
myself how she would be perfect for one of those meditation tapes. But
it was more than the sound of her voice; it was also the words she
chose, melodically lyric, bordering on angelic (if you'll excuse the
pun). Yet it didn't sound phony like someone repeating a poem that they
don't really understand. Vicki's words came from her heart. And, slowly,
they melted my icy apprehension. I couldn't help but to stop fighting
her like a cat in a net and at least listen to what she was saying.
said that the spirit world is actually "home" to us. I thought
this was a comforting notion. “This earthly existence is a temporary
place of learning and growing,” she said.
like college?" I jumped in.
A little bit like going away to school," she patiently replied.
Vicki explained that, when we die, our souls leave this earthly life of
fleshly confinement to go home where we feel free and liberated in the
surrounding comfort of God's light and love.
nice as it sounded, a lot of this went right over my head like so much
mumbo-jumbo. I was somewhat ignorant in this area. And while it was all
amusingly interesting to me, I also didn't know what to make of it. I
was still skeptical and was not going to be made the fool. Then she told
me that two of my guides were in the room.
took a deep breath. She identified them as my grandmother (whom she
identified by name) and my father (whom she described with accuracy). It
was lucky for Vicki that both had died, I thought. How embarrassing it
would have been if they were still alive. But they weren't. Okay, she
got lucky. I waited for more evidence.
said that my grandmother was telling her that I was a big skeptic, a
"wanna-believer" who hoped there was an afterlife but needed a
lot of proof. "Bingo" on the latter. She told Vicki that they
needed to prove to me that my grandmother was really there. She
proceeded to name a few of my cousins by their first names. Not bad
considering the names she gave were all my grandmother's grandchildren.
She also congratulated me on my new business venture.
told me that my grandmother was placing white flowers all around me.
With this, and the "energy-feeling" Vicki received along with
the white flower visual, it was a symbol to Vicki of congratulations
relating to something of a business nature, as opposed to a birth or a
marriage which would likely be different colored flowers or a different
energy-feeling that came with the flower symbol.
suspected that the congratulations were related to the fact that my new
book had been released a couple days prior, but there was no way I was
going to give that information to Vicki. Without any hints from me, she
eventually did figure out that not only was I having a book published,
but also that I had originally self-published this book before a
publisher picked it up. She also knew that the book was about a grueling
time in my life that involved unfathomable suffering (the book is about
my experience during a five-year chronic depression). Since Vicki can
also sense the emotion the spirits are feeling, tears rolled down her
face as my guides expressed their love and sorrow for me during that
five-year struggle. I must confess that I was quite taken by Vicki's
willingness to become so emotionally involved for my benefit.
are several ways that spirits communicate with Vicki. The first is by
allowing her to observe them visually. The second is simply through
verbal communication. The only problem with this is that not everything
comes through with clarity. It's like listening to an AM radio station
with static. A third means of communication is through the use of
symbolic messages where pictures or words are placed in Vicki's mind
telepathically. The fourth way that Vicki receives messages from the
spirit world is through sensations in her body. For instance, if a
spirit wants Vicki to know that they died from pneumonia but they can't
describe it verbally, Vicki might feel pressure in her lungs and a
sensation of suffocation. If they want her to get the message of fear or
love, they can cause her to feel either of those emotions or any emotion
they need to convey.
I'm getting ahead of myself. It's hard not to considering my one-hour
reading lasted over three hours. Yes, that was interesting, because once
the reading got rolling and I knew for sure that I was communicating
with my deceased grandmother and father, I couldn't just say,
"Sorry Vicki, sorry Dad, sorry Gram, but I really can't afford to
talk anymore, so...see ya' later." Once the skepticism has been
demolished with undeniable evidence, money really doesn't matter at a
time like that. I had no choice. I had to keep going.
keep going I did, as I mentioned, for three gut-wrenching hours. Vicki
wasn't the only one with tears in her eyes that evening. I bathed in my
own tears more than once. I cried when my father apologized through
Vicki for what his alcoholism did to our family. I cried when my father
told me that one of his proudest moments was watching me play a solo on
my saxophone during the middle school band concert. I cried when my
father told me to thank my mother for the lilacs she left on his grave
(lilacs were his favorite flower). And I cried when my father described
the scene at the hospital as he died from lung cancer.
conversation transported me back to that vivid memory: my mother, my
sister, Melissa and I surrounding my father's hospital bed and holding
him tightly as the doctor removed the breathing tube. For ten minutes,
but more like an eternity, we watched as he took his last few breaths.
We listened as the monitors signaled his vital signs with an emotionless
beeping that slowed in rhythm as his soul escaped the confines of his
cancerous flesh. When my mother twice burst into a panicked wailing of
tears at the realization that her life-long best friend was leaving her
forever, the monitor's beeping escalated as if to say, "I'm sorry
honey, I will try to stay for you a little longer." Upon realizing
how difficult her crying was making it for him, my mother gained control
of herself and the beeping slowed once again. Then she did this two more
times, and my father attempted to hang on with each fit of tears. After
my mother calmed down, my father’s face lost all color and then turned
a grayish blue. His chest, previously the only evidence of life and
movement, became motionless. And when that hidden source of energy, that
which we call life, had obviously left his worn-out body, Mom hugged Dad
one last time like she was never going to let him go. At the age of
fifty-nine, my mother had become a lonely widow.
Vicki communicate my father's words to me was a gift beyond monetary
value. My mouth was silent, but my eyes spoke chapters as tears of
happiness and love journeyed from my heart to my cheeks. She relayed to
me my own thoughts, the exact words of my prayers that my father had
heard and was now repeating back to me. He even suggested an occasional
frustration with me for not acknowledging his presence when I surely
knew he was with me. To not weep, to not become wholeheartedly enveloped
within my memories of him, I would have had to be dead myself. The
experience was so much more than poignant; it was a moment engraved in
two emotional hours, and in a moment of realization, I remembered
Melissa was waiting in the car. Being that it was January in New
England, the sun goes down by 4:30 p.m. and the frigid cold returns even
on the sunniest of days. It was about 6:00 p.m. when I suddenly looked
at my watch. Vicki must have been confused when, panic stricken, my eyes
widened and I jumped from my seat.
my God, my wife is waiting in the car. Can I get her? Will this disrupt
the reading? My father and grandmother won't go away will they?"
assured me that there would be no disruption, and she was immediately
concerned about Melissa. To my surprise, I ran out to the car but it was
empty. Confused, I went back into the house. When I saw one of Vicki's
children, I asked if he had seen Melissa. Apparently, Vicki's husband,
Bret, had kindly invited Melissa out of the cold car to join him and
their four children in the warm house. Bret and Melissa were having a
nice visit when I interrupted to have her join the reading. Melissa had
no idea what she was about to experience.
and I quickly gave Melissa the Reader's Digest version of what had
occurred so far in the reading. We told her who was present in the room
and mentioned a few snippets of information that related specifically to
her; for one, that my father had instructed me to thank her for the
candles she lights every morning upon waking me up. He said he loved the
"ambiance" of the candles. Then he joked, "Imagine me
using a word like 'ambiance?'" It was true; my father had the look
of a ruggedly handsome movie star but the vernacular of a truck driver.
For him to use a word like ambiance would have sounded funny. We all
laughed at my father's modesty. It was typical of his character to make
fun of himself.
my father wanted me to inform Melissa that he particularly likes the vanilla
candles that she frequently burns. With that said, and within only
moments of her arrival, Melissa had tears trickling down her cheeks and
into the corners of her mouth. Either her protective wall of skepticism
wasn't as rock-solid as my own, thereby not requiring an hour of
unmitigated evidence to tear it down, or she trusted my assertion that
Vicki's gift was real when I hurriedly explained the situation to her
while leading her from Bret's company to the in-law apartment where
Vicki waited. Regardless, Melissa was quick to understand that she was
witnessing an event that would forever change both my life and her own.
And she was understandably sentimental about our reunion with my father
whom she had known since she was just twelve years old, when we first
the third hour, which included additional messages from both Melissa's
guides and my own, Vicki's energy was observably spent. Still, it was
equally obvious that the reading was as gratifying for her as it was
life-changing for us. No one wanted the night to end and we continued to
talk for about an hour, mostly with Vicki enlightening us as we fired
off the multitude of questions that had exploded in our thoughts during
the reading. Eventually, it was time to go. It was eight o'clock on a
Sunday night and Vicki's children had not eaten, although Bret saved the
day by arriving with pizza as we said our goodbyes.
two-hour ride home was unusually quiet as Melissa and I pondered the
dreamlike events of the last few hours. Melissa broke the silence by
admitting she was "feeling a little creeped-out," not sure she
would ever feel comfortable again while getting undressed. "Who
knows who might be watching?" she joked with a touch of concern in
her voice. I assured her that any spirits around us would surely be
polite enough not to look, and that issues of the flesh were not likely
to have any effect on them in the spirit world anyway. I think my words
comforted her, but now she had me thinking about it. As I continued to
contemplate the reading, it was evident that this insightful milestone
was triggering more questions than it had answered. And all the way
home, and all during that sleepless night, my mind kept returning to one
assertive thought: "This is the beginning to an incredible
I absorbed myself into a three-year investigation of mediums, psychics
and near-death experiences in order to write this book, and have, as a
result, launched myself into an entirely new career, I must admit that I
wondered if this book would ever be completed or if it was just a
catalyst to send me on a new journey. What I discovered, due to my
newfound insight, was that the journey is far more important than the
destination itself. But I’m really happy that I did finally finish
that said, I should emphasize that this book is not really about
mediums; it is about opening our minds to the possibilities. Just the
fact that we are in human form and not spirit form sets us up to be
ignorant in our knowledge of how the Universe works. I use the word
"ignorant" to mean "having a lack of insight," not
with the negative connotation that so many people use it these days. And
due to our inherent ignorance, we must look beyond what is obvious to
us, obvious when using our limited five senses, to understand
alternative ways for achieving health, happiness and abundance during
myself, it required a medium to teach me how narrow-minded I was and to
guide me toward a path of greater enlightenment. I'm still ignorant in
so many ways, but I'd like to believe I'm a little more enlightened just
by the fact that I'm seeking my truth and not letting others dictate it
for me. Understand, however, that a medium is just one vehicle. There
are many others. For you, it could be astrology, numerology, yoga,
dance, dowsing, meditation, astral projection, hypnotic regression,
dreamwork, breathwork or religion. The possible vehicles are endless.
The results are all very similar: they lead us on a journey toward
We do not all need a medium in our lives. And we certainly should not grow dependent on one. Yet, if my story
intrigues you in the least, I recommend the experience, especially if
you're a skeptic. If there is one lesson I've learned in the last three
years studying mediums, it is that people do not become
"believers" from hearing another person's story. Rather, we
grow to become "knowers" from our own personal experiences.