In most households, an experience like the one my mother and aunt tell would leave people unnerved and perhaps unraveled. Many may try to rationalize it by thinking “I must have been dreaming.” Or, depending on how disturbed the family was they may call in a priest or pastor to bless the house. This was not the response either my mother or aunt had.
Rather my mother and aunt shrugged it off and thought of it as a neat tale to tell as experiences like this were and are commonplace in my family. If you were to attend one of my family gatherings you can be certain that at some point the conversation would lead to, “what visitors have YOU had lately?” In fact, it wasn’t until I was a tween that it became apparent to me that these types of experiences and subsequent conversations were out of the ordinary!!
Over the past several years, intrigued as to where this all started I began to dig into my background (I still need to do a lot more). The furthest back I can track the gift back on my mother’s side is my Grandfather’s Uncle (my Great Great Uncle), Reverend Norman Mootz. According to my family, Norman was a Spiritualist Minister conducting church services in Western New York.
Living in a time when spiritualism was popular, he spent many of his summers in Lily Dale, NY. My grandfather, Albert, benefited from this affiliation. My grandfather lost his mother at the tender age of twelve. To ease the suffering and offer his only child, Eugene, a companion, Norman would bring both boys to Lily Dale. During these summers, my grandfather was trained in mediumship and the spiritualist faith. Neither my grandfather nor Eugene became practicing mediums themselves, but their connection with spirit enriched their lives and my own.
As a young man, my grandfather did not practice as a medium as he and grandmother, Lois, had seven children: Duane, Vickey, Marguerite, Rose Marie, Carl, Naomi and Dawn (my namesake)!! It was only after the tragedy of losing three children and his wife in a house fire that my grandfather reconnected with spirit as it brought comfort to know there was more and that life is eternal.
Of the four remaining children, all are intuitive in their own ways and have had experiences with spirit inclusive of: the eldest, a lover of cuckoo clocks, who experiences them randomly chirping; my aunt who speaks of the man who scared the be jeepers out of her by appearing at the end of her bed; my mother who speaks of all her visitors that come to her at night such as my grandfather, a young girl and Chief Joseph – the resident spirit that protects the home I grew up in; and the youngest, while I haven’t spoken to him about visitors, he has a luck that is undeniable. Despite the presence of the gift, none embrace it, rather they run from it.
Then there is me! As one of eleven grandchildren (Amy, Hollie, Neal, Ryan, Ashley, Sarah, Joshua, Erica, Matthew and Alexa), I’m not the only one that is in tune with spirit for at least three others have the gift.
That all being said… that’s only ONE side of the family. Intuitiveness is also present on my mother’s mother’s side of the family. And while not as overt, it also runs in my father’s family – although they call me “sensitive” as opposed to intuitive or a medium.
Due to this long lineage, some may say I was destined to be the way I am. And perhaps I am. What I am grateful for is the support my family gave me through the years…. my grandfather passing on his knowledge (good and bad – I’ll talk about that at another time!), my mother attending classes with me, my aunt carting me to and from classes and workshops, and my father and step-mother, who despite not being able to relate, being supportive of me in my journey. To them, I would like to say thank you!!