Christian Daa Larson (1874 – 1962) an American author, wrote The Optimist’s Creed in 1922 and his phenomenal insight still holds true today. Christian was a leader in what was known as the New Thought Movement, described as promoting the ideas that “Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and “right thinking” has a healing effect.”
Today I would like to share with you “The Optimist’s Creed”, sage words which still apply today and will continue to do so for all time.
Wishing you divine healing, always….
I promise myself ~
To be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person I meet.
To make all my friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make my optimism come true.
To think only the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature I meet.
To give so much time to improving myself that I have no time to criticise others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud words, but in great deeds.
To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me. ~ Christian D. Larson.
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It’s always as the weather cools down that I think about my chair, remembering how it noticed me, wandering around the furniture section of a large department store, waiting for me patiently, knowing that it would only be a matter of time until I swooped upon it and declared my undying love for its fabric, colour, style and form.
But the story of the love for my chair didn’t begin that day; it goes back many, many years.
The month was May, I had just become an auntie for the second time and I had also just celebrated my ninth birthday. The only home I remembered living in during my few short years on this earth had been sold, a brand new house was in the process of being built. I was soon to start attending a new school.
So many changes were taking place, changes that my heart resisted, yet changes I had absolutely no control over. I simply had to put all of my faith into my parents, believing that their decision to make so many changes in my life would turn out for the best, that I would be happy at my new school, and living in my new home.
Meanwhile, as we awaited the building of our new home, we would be living at a fully furnished rental property, not far from the home we had just left, and I continued to go to my old school.
From the very first moment that I walked through the front gate of the rental property, I fell in love with that home. The house was old, the front garden was filled with flowers, and even the front door welcomed me.
On the other side of the most inviting front door I had ever had the pleasure of walking through was the most heart-warming room I had ever entered, with a fireplace in one corner, lace curtains at the windows and a solid three-piece lounge suite surrounding the fireplace.
I felt blissfully happy in this room! At night, while the burning wood crackled away in the fireplace, warming the room as it warmed my heart, my cat would be curled up asleep on the mat in front of the fireplace and I would curl up in one of the single-seater lounge chairs, legs curled up beside me, rug over my knees, reading my “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” mystery stories, or working on my latest craft project, which always involved knitting something.
Oh how I wished I could take that lounge suite with us when we had to leave this wonderful old home! But of course, I couldn’t, it didn’t belong to me, (besides which, my mother detested that “horrible old furniture”!) But this chair comforted me, when my whole world was changing.
Throughout my entire adult life, when shopping for any lounge room furniture, my memory would travel back in time to my old lounge chair as I tried to find it again.
In the late 1980’s I did come close to recreating my ideal “sofa situation”, when a rose covered sofa bed discovered me. Of course, I took it home, how could I not? But it just wasn’t quite my favourite sofa, reincarnate. I’ve since had the sofa recovered and it remains a favourite.
In my mind, my decision had already been made, I simply wouldn’t purchase another lounge chair ever again, until my chair-of-perfection, the reincarnation of my old childhood favourite chair, found me, until I found it again.
On the day that my chair did find me however, it had been promised to another, but regardless, my heart was brimming with joy over knowing it existed! Immediately upon sitting in my chair, which wasn’t mine, in the large department store that day, I spoke to the sales woman and wouldn’t you know it, as I told her of my life-long search for this chair, how I imagined sitting my coffee cup on the chair’s wide arm, legs curled up beside me, reading my book or working on my latest knitting project, the sales women told me how she would sit in this chair herself whenever the opportunity to do so arose. During quiet moments throughout her work day, when she had any paperwork to complete, it was this very chair that she chose to relax in.
She invited me to take off my shoes and curl my legs up beside me, just to try out the total “feel” of the chair and I told her that I simply could not do that, as this chair belonged to another and I couldn’t soil their new chair by sitting in it that way.
You may be thinking by now that I could have easily just ordered one of these chairs, seeing as I loved it so much, and you would be right in assuming this could be done, however….the cost of my chair was the equivalent to a king’s ransom! And being a display chair, the chair already promised to another was being sold at a seventy-five percent discount!
I left the store that day, telling the sales woman, who now felt like an old friend, that I hoped the chair’s new owners enjoyed many happy years with their new purchase, and I would save up to buy one of my own.
The next morning, it occurred to me that perhaps another chair could be located in another store, at the same heavily discounted price, so I phoned the store and asked to speak to the sales woman from the day before, knowing she would remember me. She wasn’t there.
I told the woman on the other end of the telephone how I longed for that chair, yet couldn’t justify paying the full price, no matter how much I longed for it. She immediately recognised me from having spoken to the other sales lady the day before, and agreed that she would phone around to other stores during the day, in search of another chair. I left my name and phone number with her and we said goodbye.
Within less than an hour, she had phoned me. She has some news for me. She hadn’t had the opportunity to phone any other stores as yet, however she had received a phone call, and from those who my chair was promised to ~ they had decided not to take it!
My heart leapt and I did a happy-dance around my room, my chair really was mine, it wanted me as much as I wanted it!! I could collect my chair that day (no, said I, delivery won’t be necessary, my husband owns a ute, he will collect it immediately!) and not only that, that same day, a matching chair was located in another store and I would receive it within a few days also!
The warmth of spirit that came to me through my chair that day remains to this day. Every member of my family has taken their turn in trying to “steal” my chair from me, but I will not allow it! It is only on days that someone is feeling sad or unwell, that I will share my chair with them, knowing the comfort that it brings. Even my cats love my chair and I am sure that they too feel the comforting aura of this special piece of furniture.
The weather is cooling down now, it is autumn, the same season as it was more-years-than-I-care-to-remember ago, and I spend my nights again curled up in my chair, blanket over my knees, coffee on the arm of the chair, books and knitting project at hand, enjoying the chair whose spirit finally found my own.
“Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I’ll say good night until tonight becomes tomorrow.” ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
The house appeared to us late one afternoon in August. To this day, I believe we did not find the house, the house already knew us, and was waiting for us to locate it. We were destined to live here.
It wasn’t until the next day that we entered the property, climbed the two stairs up onto the front veranda, walked through the front door and felt the welcoming embrace of the essence of the building. We were home.
This house was not simply bricks and mortar, this house was our home, and our home had a soul, and the soul of the home protected us, nurtured us and guided us along the path that our lives would take throughout the next nine years.
When I look back on those years, I lived in abundant happiness, every day. Perhaps they were the happiest years of my life. In many ways I believe they were, even through the occasional time of sadness, yet with hindsight, as I reflect on those sad times, they were really only sad moments, times when there was a lesson to be learned and some growing to be done.
Everything happens for a reason, even the sadness we experience in our lives. And all of the sadness I felt whilst living in this home was preceded by extreme happiness.
I learned how to grow up during my years of living here. There were lessons to learn. Friendships were formed, and lost. Pets shared our home with us, and some were lost to us. Devastating news was received. A monetary fortune was earned. And throughout every event which took place during those nine years there remained an overwhelming sense of joy, and gratitude, love and happiness.
My two eldest children were born whilst we lived here. Our home held many parties and with every new visitor to our home, there became one constant theme, that our home felt inviting and welcoming. Our home loved and needed our presence, just as it welcomed the arrival of our friends, family and our children.
When the year of 1992 began, everything changed. A subtle shift could be felt, a shift which I initially rejected. I felt afraid.
The most devastating news imaginable reached me from afar. That very same week, I discovered that my third child was on her way. There were changes taking place also with the means to our fortune, the income would soon dwindle. Work situations were changing…..
Change was in the air, in every aspect of our lives…..
Our beloved home knew that the time had arrived for us to prepare to leave.
I have one extremely vivid memory of this time of change, of a day when I was at home, alone. Of a day when I felt the walls of my home gently speaking to me, telling me to let go. I wanted to hug my home and never let go, yet all I could manage to do was lean against the wall, and cry and cry. I realised that I must heed the signs, and stop fighting. I had to listen, I had to let go.
That was the day I faced reality. I cried my heart out for my impending losses. My fear of losing a loved one, which would ultimately take me away from my home. The loss of all of the wonderful friends I had made whilst living here. The loss of this suburb, this city where my home was located. The loss of my beloved home.
Over twenty years have passed by since I left that home, yet my eyes are welling with tears as I recall leaving there, although even then, I knew it had to be.
A force far greater than anything I had ever experienced in my life, and far greater than anything I have since felt, had come into play. I had no control. I knew that I had to leave.
Methodically, I packed up my home. Progressively, the life I had been living for the previous fifteen years in this city of magic was neatly packed away into what seemed to be hundreds of boxes. Where had all of these possessions come from? I had arrived in this city, in 1977, owning just a few possessions. They had fit into the boot of a car.
For one whole day, late in the month of September, I watched as the removal truck became packed to the rafters with my life. My belongings, my memories….
I stood at the front door of my home as evening approached, watching the removal tuck back out of my driveway and headed away along the street; watching as my life drove away, fifteen years all neatly sorted and packed away in taped up boxes, knowing it would never be the same again, knowing that I would be leaving also within just a few short hours, seven months pregnant, knowing that tomorrow night I would be a thousand kilometres away from here. I would never live in this home again.
And I cried like I have never cried before, or since. My heart broke that day.
Yet for all of the pain I felt when I knew I must leave my home, I wouldn’t change a thing. I couldn’t change a thing. The good far outweighed the bad, the positive outweighed the negative. To live nine years of contentment and love was definitely worth the sadness of leaving.
Can a building possess you for a period of your life? And when the time has arrived for this building to push you out of the nest, sending you out into the big wide world, never to return to its warm folds again, can it really do this?
And can a geographical location, a city, and the surrounding area hold possession over your heart?
I know it can. For nine years I had been carried along on the tide of my life, a life which was overseen by the home in which I lived. They were happy years, precious years, years that I will always remember vividly and treasure forever.
The time had come to move on, yet after twenty years of being away, this city in which I once lived still holds a piece of my heart. It always will.
“The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before. It always leads me here
Leads me to your door. “ ~ Lennon /McCartney.
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“Do we continue to share our time with the same souls, being reborn, year after year, time after time, within the same families, as brand new people; people who know one another; people who remain with you throughout time?”
On a Saturday night a few months ago, my son, child number four, and I sat in front of the television and watched a show about the ‘supernatural’. I forget the name of the show as I am not a huge fan of such shows, finding they are sensationalised by the producers, no doubt to draw viewers in with the unbelievable topics portrayed.
This particular show, however, did not slot into this category. The show may have been called “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, or some such name, as those chosen for the show, in which they shared their amazing but true stories, were celebrities.
One of the stories had my son gripping his seat, whilst declaring that he hated watching these types of shows, because they were too scary and would give him nightmares. But he didn’t leave the room, being so transfixed by the story being told.
As the story unfolded, the female celebrity told of an incident which happened many years ago in her home, when two little girls had appeared out of nowhere, and began to laugh and skip around one of the rooms in her home, laughing and playing together. Yet she didn’t know who these two girls were, she had never met them.
One night some time later, again, she heard children laughing and singing outside of her window at her home. She looked outside and saw the same two girls, playing together and having a lovely time as they chatted and laughed in their carefree way.
Fast forward to some years later, when the woman was married and had two daughters of her own, and she remembered the incidents from years ago, as she watched her two real daughters, playing together and laughing. She recognised the two girls she had seen before, many years earlier, as being her own two daughters!
My son heaved a sigh of relief. This woman hadn’t claimed to have been possessed by the spirits of two evil spirits, or any other such other gruesome ending to her story. My son declared that he had enjoyed her story, said goodnight, and off he went to his room.
What my son didn’t know was that I too had been mesmerised by the story, but for another, more personal reason.
In my early twenties I had longed to have a child, but my husband had other ideas, claiming we should wait until the “time was right”. In our home in Sydney, we had two spare bedrooms, the one at the back of the house being painted in light blue, and the room I had intended being the babies nursery, when my stubborn husband finally decided that it was the right time to start a family.
At first, I brushed off the faint smell of babies powder I could smell each time I went into the room, but as time progressed, it was there constantly, when I stood beside the window, looking out into the garden.
Within a few weeks, the laughter started.
I could hear the most beautiful babies laugh I had ever heard in my life. And I knew it was the laughter of a boy. He came to me a few times, and even though I didn’t actually see him, I heard him, and knew him. And he would talk to me at the most unexpected times.
Late one night, as I drove home alone, after a visit with a friend, the child told me that everything would be okay, that I shouldn’t worry about anything! His laughter and child’s voice rang in my ears, as clearly as if he sat right there beside me in the seat in my car, speaking to me.
The months passed by and he didn’t speak to me again, but I knew he was there, constantly.
It came as no surprise to me when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. I didn’t think about the child’s laughter and voice during my pregnancy, but I knew my child was a boy. And, I knew him; we had been together before.
Right throughout the months of my pregnancy, to me, my son was Sam, although I knew my husband wouldn’t agree to the name, as it had been the name given to my father, grandfather and great-uncle. My husband didn’t want our family tree to appear “boring” with the same names repeated generation after generation.
When I saw my son for the first time, his soul was so familiar to me. There was no doubt in my mind that we knew each other, and now I could see him, touch him and knew what he looked like. Those seeing my new baby for the first time would often comment that he had an “old soul”.
His nappy change table sat right under the window in his blue room, right in the spot where I had smelled his baby powder, and as he grew, and I heard his laughter, I heard the exact same laughter of the child who had visited me, long before my son was born!
My eldest son is, and always has been, my rock; he makes everything alright for me. As a toddler, when we would park the car in a large shopping centre, I would worry that I might forget where I had parked the car, and my son would tell me not to worry, it would be alright, he would remember where the car was.
And so it has continued throughout his life. He makes everything alright for me. He tells me not to worry; he takes care of things, just as he did before his birth.
My next two children were daughters, and I could always rely on my son to watch out for his sisters, with his attitude of don’t worry, and casually, quietly and efficiently taking care of minor details that the two girls would overlook.
The day my son’s baby brother was born, when he was twelve years old, I was positively bursting to tell my boy that he had a baby brother. When I told him, as he stood beside my bed in the birthing room in the hospital, he told me he wouldn’t have minded being the only boy, he would love the new baby just as much as he loved his two sisters, regardless.
My new baby grew and his big brother played with him and cared for him constantly, just as he had played with and cared for his sisters.
And as time progressed, he nick-named his little brother George.
The name caught on, and for quite some time George was the alternate name used for my youngest child, and everyone knew who we were referring to. George suited him.
A few years ago, as I traced my family history and began to discover the names of my ancestors, I learned that my grandfather, Sam, had been a twin. The name of his twin brother, who had passed away at only one year old, was George.
Sam and George; the alternate names for my two sons.
As I read and re-read each word written in their books, and as I listened to every word spoken, my heart leapt with joy at what I was reading and hearing.
For me, it was confirmation of the feelings I had carried with me, deep within my heart, for as long as time; confirmation that there were others who shared the same beliefs as me; reassurance that my thoughts were very “normal” ~ well, to those who share my beliefs, at least.
Abraham is very quick to point out that you either get it, or you don’t, and either way, it’s okay.
Time has passed since those early days, when I thought that I may burst with excitement at the discovery I had made. These days, the excitement and enthusiasm has not subsided, it has only grown stronger, although the feelings are different, more subdued.
Now, there’s calm acceptance of the truth, my truth, as I know it to be. My beliefs feel natural, unquestioned, and I accept complete ownership of my feelings.
If you haven’t heard the teachings of Abraham-Hicks, here is a synopsis, or perhaps a list of twelve quotes oozing with wisdom, written by Abraham. If these points “gel” with you, visit the website at www.abraham-hicks.com to hear more.
If you just don’t get it, that’s okay too.
Either way, all is well.
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Abraham-Hicks Synopsis of Teachings
1. You Are a Physical Extension of That Which is Non-physical.
2. You Are Here in This Body Because You Chose to Be Here.
3. The Basis of Your Life is Freedom; the Purpose of Your Life is Joy.
4. You Are a Creator; You Create With Your Every Thought.
5. Anything That You Can Imagine is Yours to Be or Do or Have.
6. As You Are Choosing Your Thoughts, Your Emotions Are Guiding You.
7. The Universe Adores You, for it Knows Your Broadest Intentions.
8. Relax into Your Natural Well-Being. All is Well. (Really It Is!)
9. You Are a Creator of Thoughtways on Your Unique Path of Joy.
10. Actions to Be Taken and Possessions to Be Exchanged Are By-products of Your Focus on Joy.
11. You May Appropriately Depart Your Body Without Illness or Pain.
12. You Can Not Die; You Are Everlasting Life.
My father loved vehicles of any description throughout his entire life. It didn’t matter to him whether they travelled by road, rail, water or air, or if they were old, new, or what model they were, he showed an interest in them all. If it had a motor, he wanted to know about it.
When Dad was gone, it was left to me and my three sisters to dispose of all of his worldly belongings and as the one who lived only ten minutes from his home, I became the designated seller of his car.
Naively, I thought it would be easy to sell a car, just place an advert in the local paper and it would ‘walk out the door’.
How wrong I was! As time went on, it appeared that Dad had his own plans regarding the disposal of his final vehicle.
After what seemed like forever, a neighbour bought the car for his daughter, a learner driver. He would fix up the car for her and it would be a great “first car”.
I had considered buying my sister’s shares in the car and keeping it for my eldest son, who would be learning to drive soon himself, but decided against that idea, as the car would have sat idle in our yard, no doubt deteriorating due to lack of use, for the next two years, until my son would be old enough to drive.
When the time came for my son to buy his first car I gave him “the motherly talk”, the one that goes, “don’t spend too much, but buy a decent car, but if you pay too little you will only be buying someone else’s problems; no car is worth wasting any amount of money on if it is too cheap, you never know where it has been, who has owned it or how it has been treated,” etc. etc……..
But Dad had plans of his own. He knew just the car that his grandson wouldn’t have to pay too much for, and we knew exactly where it had been – his car.
The time had also come for our neighbour’s daughter to upgrade her car. Dad’s car came back on the market at exactly the right time.
It felt “right” when my Dad’s car was driven back into our own driveway. My son had to go to work for a few hours that day, (he had a casual job on the weekends as he was still a student at school) and the car would be waiting for him when he arrived home.
My husband and I decided to get a head start for our son by vacuuming out the car, although we found that the back door on the passenger side wouldn’t open. We knew that the door had opened when we had the car before but now the door appeared to be locked, even though it wasn’t.
When my son arrived home we mentioned the problem with the door. What we hadn’t realised was that our son had opened all the doors of the car (part of his “new car” inspection!) before he left for work that day.
My boy walked up to the car and opened the “locked” door, with ease!
At that moment, I knew that my father had intended his car to go to my son.
For the next two years, Dad’s car didn’t miss a beat. My son finished school and started his first full time job immediately. He already had a decent deposit saved, ready to upgrade to a newer car, and within three weeks of starting work full time he decided to start looking around for his new car.
My boy had a very clear image of the car he wanted; red, fairly new and manual gear.
Again, I gave him the “mother talk”; “don’t fall in love with the first car you see; don’t let those used car salesmen talk you into anything; don’t expect to find your dream car immediately, it could take months of searching”, etc. etc…….
Within less than an hour, he called me on the phone. “Mum, I’ve found my car!”
“What did I tell you?” I groaned.
He immediately interrupted me. “I know, but I’ve found a red Holden, a manual, just over a year old, way below market price and still under new car warranty. I’ve already been approved for finance, so long as you will put your name on the loan with me.”
What could I say? My boy was right. I also knew that my Dad had again guided his grandson to this car, just as he had with his own old car. Dad was a “Holden Man”; my son had found a Holden. The car was red; Dad’s favourite colour (and also, luckily, my son’s!) The new car was a manual, my son’s preferred choice, although very rare in this model of car. My Dad would drive nothing other than a manual.
But the story doesn’t end there.
Dad’s car would be traded in on the new car, so the day my boy was to collect the car, he drove home after work, allowing plenty of time to remove his personal belongings from Dad’s car. He took his little brother with him, telling me he still had a fair amount of petrol in the car and would take my younger son for a final drive in his old car.
I was at work that day, but would be arriving home before my boy would be leaving to collect his new red car.
Shortly after, my son phoned me; he had crashed the old car! He assured me that neither of them had been injured, even though I could hear my younger son, he was only six at the time, crying in the background.
With my heart where my stomach had been, and my stomach now located in my throat, I went to rescue my two boys, somewhere on a gravel road which ran alongside the river, a road that we could see in the distance from the back of our home.
When I reached the scene of the accident, it was difficult to imagine what had happened, with both of my son’s waiting beside the car, not far from the side of a straight stretch in the road. The car was parked slightly in a sugarcane field and at first glance appeared to have no damage to it.
My eldest son was angry with himself, saying he must have been speeding and hit a pot-hole in the road. When I looked along the road, there was not a pot-hole in sight. The car had flipped over and righted itself in the sugarcane field.
Once my stomach and heart had relocated themselves back into their correct positions, we were able to calmly drive my two boys and Dad’s old car, now sporting a broken windscreen, home.
Later that night, as my son reflected on the day’s events and we all puzzled over how the car had flipped over on a straight stretch of road, without pot-holes, my son told me something that he felt was strange about the accident and had been playing on his mind.
Although at first he had though the car must have gained speed, he had later remembered having slowed down to point out to his little brother where our house was, in amongst the trees and up in the hills. We could see the road and river from our home; we could also see our home from the road.
The road running alongside the river was, and still is, a very quiet road. My son remembered slowing down considerably, as there was no other traffic in site, to point out where our house was.
He also remembered feeling something happening to the car. He knew instinctively that there was something amiss, and had time to put his arm around his little brother for protection, before the car had time to flip over.
The whole incident had happened, as he described it, “in slow motion”.
Now, I never spoke to my son about my belief in the spirit world, as he had only been a boy of eight years of age when my mother had left us. He had told me at that time that he was afraid that his grandma might appear to him and it would frighten him, so I assured him that his grandmother wouldn’t do any such thing, as she would know he was afraid and wouldn’t wish to scare him, but the day the car flipped, he had his own theories about the accident, which he shared with me.
My son told me that he believed his grandfather had given him a “driving lesson” as such, showing him how quickly and unexpectedly an accident could happen if he didn’t keep his wits about him. He told me that the whole incident had been “other worldly” and he had been trying to find a logical reason why it had happened, knowing full well that he hadn’t been speeding. He also believed that his grandfather had protected both himself and his little brother during the “lesson”.
Dad’s car eventually became scrap metal. Dad didn’t want anyone else to own his car. He had left his car, in his own way, to my son, and he’d arranged every incident in such a way that his wishes would be fulfilled.
A co-incidence of events? I don’t believe that for a minute!
Wherever you are, Dad, your grandson thanks you for leaving him your car.
During the final few weeks of my mother’s time on this earth, spent in hospital, with my father and eldest sister constantly at her bedside, I didn’t have the opportunity to speak to her, to ask the questions I wished to ask or to discuss matters with her that only she would understand.
Mum tried to tell me things but with Dad and my sister as an audience, I know I didn’t react to what she told me in the same way as I would have, if we were alone.
If I cried when I visited my mother, Dad asked me not to let Mum see how upset I was, as it may upset her to see me that way. I had wanted to cry over the impending loss of my mother; I didn’t want her to think I had become so hardened to her illness than I no longer felt emotion, but Dad was of the “old school”, believing Mum must be protected from adverse emotion in her delicate state.
I don’t blame my father for feeling that way. I know that he believed it was for the best.
The relationship I had with my mother had been one of trust and open honesty for all of my life. Mum and I had raging arguments at times, due to our honesty with each other, but neither of us ever held a grudge. As soon as we were through with our argument, Mum would say, “Go and put the kettle on and make us a cup of tea”. A cup of tea made everything right, you know. Mum was an English lady, who knew within her heart and soul that a shared cup of tea would fix anything that ailed her world.
And it did.
For the two of us it did, anyway, although none of my sisters seemed to have the same capacity to get over a row with Mum in the same way as I did. I still believe the relationship that Mum and I shared was unique on so many levels.
My mother has been gone since 1993 and back then I had one child at school, one at pre-school and my baby who was only nine months old, a baby who my mother had said was “her baby”.
I dropped my two elder children off at school one morning and on the spur of the moment decided to call in and see Mum at the hospital in the morning, rather than waiting until the afternoon when I would be collecting the older two from school, as I had planned.
My baby and I walked into Mum’s hospital room and instead of seeing my father and sister at her side, I found my Mum alone, lying peacefully in bed in the coma she had been in for the last couple of days.
Without giving my actions a second thought, I walked over to my Mum’s bedside and began talking to her by telling her I was visiting her with my baby and that Dad and my sister hadn’t arrived yet. I chatted away to her for a while, in the same way that I would have spoken to her had she been conscious.
It would have been amazing to hear her voice again, but it knew that wouldn’t happen ever again. I stroked her smooth face and her silver hair. I looked at her hands, her strong, healing hands, trying with all my might to embed the image of my beautiful mother permanently within my mind’s eye.
Before I left the room I told her something that I had wanted to say to her when she was still conscious. I told my mother that I knew she would want to contact me from the other side and if she felt the need to contact me for any reason, to let me know and I would find a psychic, or tarot card reader, to help her get through to me.
Mum and I had often made visits to such people, with Mum telling me that she wished she had the same ability that they did. Mum said she wasn’t afraid of psychic phenomena, and I shared her beliefs. They came as naturally to me as breathing, most likely due mostly to my mother sharing her beliefs with me for my entire life.
Up until this particular day, before leaving the hospital, I had said to my Mum, “See you later Mum. I love you”, not having the strength to say goodbye. I hadn’t wanted to say the final goodbye to this precious person who meant the world to me.
This morning had been different though. Mum and I had spent time together, alone, time to communicate.
Time for me to realise that I had to let her go.
She rested so peacefully and I indulged my eyes for the last few moments, again memorising every minute detail about her.
I noticed a pulse beating slowly at the side of her neck. Ah, so she was still alive, I thought to myself, although her spirit seemed not to be with the body I looked at lying in the hospital bed.
Leaning over my mother I whispered to her, “Goodbye Mum. I love you”, and left the room.
Later in the day I found out that a nurse had watched me leave the room and went in to check on my mother.
She was gone.
Down in the hospital car park I strapped my baby into her car seat and turned on the ignition. On the radio that morning they were playing hit songs of 1975 and the song that came onto the radio was “All by Myself” by Eric Carmen, one of Mum’s favourite songs and one which she felt had been written just for her.
“All by myself,
Don’t wanna be, all by myself anymore.”
The years passed and I waited for some kind of sign from my mother, but there wasn’t one. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t, or couldn’t, get through to me. In life, we had talked constantly and I believed with every fibre of my being that Mum hadn’t left me, that she was beside me always.
So where was the sign to contact the psychic? I’d been waiting, and looking, and there was nothing!
This lack of contact began to play on my mind and I thought back over the last couple of years to anything that may have lead to a sign that I may have missed, but every incident that I recalled had gone nowhere; every question I had come up with had been answered, every problem I had, had been solved.
The contact had been right there in front of me, the whole time! Mum had been helping me through every day, without me realising it!
Perhaps grief had shut my senses down; I’m not sure what had happened to me. All I do know is that once I opened my heart and listened with my soul, she could speak to me.
The tarot cards and the psychics are not needed to bring my mother and me together. There is an invisible golden thread joining us together, which can never be broken. She will never leave me, nor I her. She knows she can release the thread more these days as I don’t rely on her as much as I used to, but she knows when I need her. And she is there.
Photo credit ~ Dreamstime.com
During my entire adult life, researching family history has been a hobby, perhaps even an obsession of mine. Even as a child I would constantly ask my parents to tell me what they knew about their families, to tell me any stories they remembered, and what were the names of our ancestors.
Unfortunately they didn’t have much for me in the way of detail, although I hung onto every snippet of information they had, however remote it may have been, etching the names and events into my memory so as not to forget a single detail.
It also helped that my family obligingly repeated said stories, ad nauseam, every single time I asked them to. “I’ve already told you that story”, they would protest, by which time I would be jumping up and down, pleading, “I know, but tell me again. I might have missed something”. I must have been the most annoying child what with my inquisitive mind, and my family must have loved me a great deal to tolerate me, repeating the old stories upon request.
I always referred to the family stories as the “England Stories”, as my entire family came from England, with yours truly being the token Australian back in those days. My father in particular remembered uncle-this-aunty-that-and-cousin-someone-else, although he didn’t have the foggiest idea as to how they were related to him!
It wasn’t until about 2003 that I finally discovered that the internet was THEE place to research my family history.
Armed with just the names of my parents and grandparents, my family tree has since grown to seven-hundred-and-seventy-three family members, a fact which both of my parents would be astounded by, if they were both still here for me to tell them!
The relations that I have focused mostly on throughout my research have been those who are the closest to me, such as great aunties and uncles and my direct line of grandparents (I know who my own aunties and uncles were).
In among some old photos of nameless relatives given to me by my father, (passed on to him by his mother, who hadn’t a clue of who any of them were either!) there was one photo that stood out for me. A man, wearing an army uniform, posing among his civilian dressed family, had a familiar face. He reminded me of my father’s first cousin, who I called Uncle Jim.
I was determined to learn exactly who this man was. The inscription on the back of the photo, written in pencil, is “Albert’s ten days leave, January, 1917”. The photo was taken by a photographer in Manchester, England.
My research revealed that the man in the photo was my father’s Uncle Albert, although I could find nothing of his army record, nor any marriage or births of children.
During one of my moments of scrutinising the old family photo, the penny dropped; Uncle Albert was wearing an Australian army uniform!
Ultimately, with my research now focused on Australian records, I discovered that Uncle Albert had emigrated to Australia as a teenage and had joined the Australian army in 1916 during the First World War. The family photo was taken whilst he had leave during his time in the Australian army in England. Uncle Albert returned to Australia after the war ended in 1919, later marrying and spending most of his years living in Sydney.
But I still had questions; did Uncle Albert have any children? How long had he lived?
Through various ways in which I have discovered information can be found in the NSW Births, Deaths and Marriage online register, with next to no information on the ancestor being researched, I discovered that Uncle Albert had lived until 1951, and he was buried at MacLean, NSW.
MacLean! Just three hours drive from my home!
Last year, after yet another online search which gave me the name of the cemetery where Uncle Albert was buried, I headed off to MacLean with my then thirteen year old son.
MacLean is a small town, so we had no trouble finding the cemetery at all, although we hadn’t counted on meeting up with thousands of bats, living in the trees, which lined the back of the cemetery. It turned out that the bats were the only living creatures we clapped eyes on during our visit in MacLean. The noise of the screeching bats really rattled my son’s confidence; well the bats, along with the fact that his crazy mother was thrilled to bits at having the opportunity of finding the grave of some old dead guy that he didn’t know!
We wandered around the cemetery for quite some time, reading headstones, minds boggling at some of the extremely young, and extremely old, who had been laid to rest here. But no Uncle Albert.
My son was beginning to get restless; he’d had enough of the bats and was spooked over spending so much time in a cemetery. To be truthful, I’d grown quite weary myself. Where was Uncle Albert?
In a moment of frustration, I spoke out loud, “Where are you Uncle Albert?”
A loud cracking noise came from a section of the cemetery just ahead of us. In a flurry of shock, my son announced, “I’m getting out of here”, as I told him “Uncle Albert’s over there”, and I headed directly towards the noise.
Sure enough, there he was, right where the noise had come from. My son only came close enough to me for me to throw him the car keys, which suited me just fine. It allowed me the time to enjoy a private visit with my great-uncle, a man I had searched for, for many years.
At the bottom of Uncle Albert’s grave there was one single word engraved – “Father”. So, he did have a child, or children!
Shortly after I returned home I made contact with Uncle Albert’s grandson, through a family research website which we are both members of.
Time means nothing at all in the spirit world. Uncle Albert had been gone for sixty years, yet he still managed to find a way for me to find him. That is an important lesson I have learned ~ keep yourself open to the subtle signs, sent to us when our loved ones are trying to contact us.
We could pass the signs off as ‘coincidence’ or we can heed the signs and open ourselves up to the messages that are too good to miss, which for me was finding Uncle Albert.
Speaking from my own point of view, (as I can have no other!) to have a sister is to feel an indescribable bond with another person, which I can liken to no other relationship I have ever had throughout my life.
My parents kindly provided three sisters for me, before I was even born. There is an age difference between us of a number of years, though, and my sisters often doubled as “mothers” to me. A double blessing!
All three of my sisters were born in England, during and just after the Second World War. My Mum told me a story once of a day when Gypsy’s came to her door, selling clothes pegs. She didn’t recall whether or not she had purchased any pegs; what she remembered vividly was the predictions one of them made for her life.
The Gypsy told my Mum that she would travel across water to live in another country, far from England, where she would give birth to a fourth daughter.
At the time, Mum laughed in disbelief at the Gypsy, although a few years later they all emigrated to Australia and some years after that, I was born.
So, there you have it. Gypsy’s can be very accurate with their predictions!
It doesn’t matter how much time may pass during which my sisters and I have no contact. Sometimes life just gets in the way and we can go months without speaking, but when we do speak, we carry on as if we only had a conversation yesterday; such is our bond.
My eldest sister was named Annette and I could best describe her as my sometimes sister, sometimes mother and always a friend.
The last time I saw Anne, just over four years ago, I knew it would be the last. Anne was extremely ill. When we said our goodbye’s, I wanted to hold her forever and never let her go. When she finally left, I cried so much and so hard that I thought I may stop breathing.
How do you say goodbye to your sister? I found out the hard way, that day.
Since she’s been gone I’ve looked for signs that Anne is about, wishing she would contact me in any way she could find to get through to me. I’ve asked my youngest sister (she’s only twelve years older than me!) if she has heard from her, but neither of us had.
Until Christmas Day, 2010, and I wasn’t even thinking about Anne at the time.
For Christmas my sister had sent me a book, “An Angel by my Side”, by Jacky Newcomb. The book was sealed up in a cellophane wrapper and I hadn’t had a chance to open the pages at all.
I decided to watch a DVD on Christmas night, but for no apparent reason the DVD player wouldn’t work. My husband thought he could easily fix the player, yet it took some time to repair.
I began to wonder if there was something else that I was meant to be doing, as I waited impatiently for the DVD player to work. I noticed the book my sister had sent me, broke off the cellophane wrapper and flicked through the pages.
Nothing in particular caught my eye, so I had a look through the contents, to get a “feel” for the book. And there it was, Chapter 12, “Love from Anne”!
Almost immediately, the DVD player started working.
The next day, I could hardly wait to phone my sister who had sent me the book.
“Did you see what one of the chapters was called?” I blurted out.
You see, Anne always signed letters and cards at the end with “Love from Anne”, which my sister also knew.
We both believe that it was Anne’s way of wishing us both a Happy Christmas. A book sent from one sister to another, with that chapter name. Our Christmas Day was complete.
Today, if Anne was still here with us, in the flesh, she would be celebrating her 70th Birthday and I would send her a birthday card, saying “Love from Joanne”.
But wherever she is, Anne knows that.