Friday, August 16, 2013
Many people do not believe in the supernatural, "fortune tellers", or past lives, and some do not believe in fate while others accept some or all of these. I've personally known too many people with such experiences, including my own. Even before my experiences, I've always said that life is stranger than fiction, and it appears so!
On November 5, 1981 a friend dragged me off to visit Portland’s famed psychic, Michael Thompson. I remember the date because it was my ex-friend Terry’s birthday. The object of this visit was for Michael to tell me how or should I get Terry out of my life.
Michael was sitting at a little round table draped with a paisley print cloth (very gypsy looking), and in the middle of this table was an honest-to-goodness, real live crystal ball! I almost laughed.
As I sat down, he closed his eyes, and soon his chin dropped to his chest. After a few minutes I thought, “This joker has fallen asleep! The thought had barely passed through my mind when he said, “I am not sleeping. I am seeing things that concern me.”
He then picked up a deck of cards and dealt out a row, studied them for a moment; still he had not looked at me. He picked up the cards, shuffled and dealt them again. He turned to look at the wall next to him and said, “You think you are divorced, but you are not. You have two Scorpios in your life, a husband and this boyfriend. Get rid of them both. It will take you several years but you must make a permanent break with both of them. Your husband thinks of you as his possession and will not easily relinquish this relationship. The boyfriend is one of your life teachers. He will always be in your life, but the relationship will change. Before that happens, there will be much happiness as well as tears. You will learn life lessons that you need in order to progress; the most important being self-introspection. From that you will grow to be a better person, but it will be a painful journey. You will help him with a major change in his life. This man will never be happy in this life, as he is not willing to learn his lessons. It is the same for your husband. These two men are not willing to make the changes necessary to achieve what they want in this life. You are willing to do what is necessary, but don’t always know what that is. Your confusion comes from major issues involving your mother.” (Now that, I already knew.)
“You should not travel in a car during the month of December.” That was not good news for someone who made her living traveling in a car and whose busiest month was December.
“I do see you traveling south, next year about the fourth month. It has something to do with your parents.”
I said, “Yes, they live in Ashland.”
He replied, “Please don’t tell me anything, I am here to tell you. No, it is not Ashland, it is further south, maybe California. Yes it is southern California and while it will be very difficult for you to make this trip, you must do it. The discomfort must be overlooked and you must go. I can’t tell you why, only that it is important for you to go.”
All this time he is staring at the wall with his eyes closed. Then he picked up the cards, shuffled, dealt and finally looked me in the eyes and said, “Someone with dark hair, very close to you will die.” Again, he read my thoughts, “No it is not your mother. She has much to do before this life is over. I can tell that you do not want to know more. Just remember you must take this trip.”
He turned to the wall again. “You have four sons. One will cause you much heartache. There will be an enforced break in your relationship but he will use this time to make major changes in his life and will do very well. You will then become closer. Another son who is musically gifted will go through much anguish over his career and his relationship with his father. He will have moderate success as a musician, but will be very successful in another field.
“You will meet a man who is tall, dark and handsome (Ha, all the fortune tellers say that!). He has something to do with the Army Corps of Engineers, but he is not in the Army. I see the Navy or Marines involved.”
That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but none of this did. Michael stood without looking at me and said that’s all I can tell you today.” He turned, walked behind a curtain, and that was it.
The hair on my arms stood up, and it was the eeriest feeling I ever had. All the way home I concentrated on what he said and how he said it and immediately wrote down everything he told me and impressions of him as he spoke. I was going to remember all this and make sure Madeline knew that he didn't get anything right. After all, Val swore he had signed the divorce papers, and I was sure that Terry would come to his senses and act sane!
That evening I called son Mark in Salt Lake City, and asked him to find out if his father lied to me when he said he signed the divorce papers. When I think back to that moment, I can still hear Mark laughing. Well, that answered that question. We would just have to wait and see about the other things.
About a week later my brother Del called my sister and me to remind us that next year would mark our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and his and Kay’s 25th. Did we think it would be a smart thing to start and planning something now? Also we should do it in Southern California because that is where friends and family were. We decided on April 4th. Oh boy, here was that trip to Southern California in the fourth month of next year. But surely it wouldn't be so difficult for me to get there. I had a new car; Brad and I could drive it or fly.
I wasn’t thinking about Michael’s dire prediction for December until Brad and I were sitting at a red light the week before Christmas. I looked up in time to see a car run the red light as a car with the right of way entered the intersection. The car that got hit spun around and stopped. The car that ran the red light picked up speed and headed right for us. It wiped out the driver’s side of my car, bounced around the car behind us and wiped out the next car which was a brand new Cadillac being driven home from the dealer. She spun around that car and went up over the curb into a parking lot where she managed to destroy two parked cars. It wasn't until late in January that I learned that the lady who ran the red light was looking into the sun and thought she had the green. On impact with the first car, she hit her head and was unconscious as her foot got wedged on the gas pedal, which caused the speeding. I learned this when we both went to the same chiropractor, and he realized I was part of what she called, “a minor mishap!” We all thought it was a major disaster. Michael called it again!
The month of January went by and the body shop had still not received the new doors for my car. It seemed to be a problem with the factory in Japan, and no one could tell me when we would get the new body parts. The first of February found me at a charity auction where one of the items up for bid was the use of a 15-passenger van. Now I ask you, wasn't that the answer to my problem? We could get my sister and family, Brad and I, and our entire luggage with room to spare. Oh, we would have great fun all driving together to So Cal. Boy, was I going to outsmart that pessimist Michael. I plunked down my $200.00, which was the winning bid and gloated all day Sunday.
Monday morning found me sitting on my rear in my parking lot, where I stepped into a small hole and broke my foot. The doctor told me I picked the worst bone in a foot to break, and I would have to go to the hospital and have a pin put in it. I informed the doctor that when I broke my elbow years before, the pins worked their way out because the doctor said I was allergic to surgical steel. He assured me that people were not allergic to surgical steel.
Four cast changes because of swelling, and six weeks later, still no healing. They then determined I was allergic to the pin and they would remove it, and for sure I would have no walking cast. I was in a wheel chair for a month and panicked because it was getting close to the time to leave for California.
When I told the doctor what I had planned, he said absolutely not. Driving all that way was out of the question as the vibration would not be good. After I cried and threatened to jump off a bridge and leave a note to his wife naming him as my lover … he agreed to put a walker on my cast, but I would have to fly and have to have two seats so I could put my leg up. I could only get two seats as far as Fresno but figured that it wasn't so far from Fresno to Orange County, and he didn't have to know.
Well, my leg knew and that was the most miserable flight and week I have ever spent. Michael was right, it was the most difficult trip I ever made, but I still didn't know why I had to make it. I soon realized that it was just wonderful being with my family because it was the first time in years that Del, M.J., Judy, Mom, Dad and I were all together.
August of that year was one of the worst times of our lives. Judy died and then I knew why we all had to make that trip to California. She was the dark haired person close to me who would die.
I am not sure that it is a good thing to know about the future unless it is all good or you can do something to change the bad things.
About a year later, Mark took an extended vacation to Texas courtesy of the federal government. Some might call that a break in our relationship, but he did make a major life change. That was another one for Michael.
That just leaves tall, dark and handsome to be accounted for. An acquaintance that knew Terry said, “You must get him out of your life, and boy, do I have a great guy for you.” He hounded me for about a month before I finally agreed to have dinner with this person. It was the first week of December; we were in the midst of a huge job redoing some models in a Palm Springs project. The other designer was an episodic drunk and chose that time to do his thing. That left me in charge of everything so I was not looking forward to the usual turmoil associated with a blind date.
Saturday night came, the doorbell rang, and when I opened the door ... there he was, six feet two, broad shoulders, narrow hips, black hair with a smattering of silver at the temples, bright blue eyes and a smile that could have sold toothpaste. That was the beginning of a great evening. We went to dinner and conversation was easy and good. He sold commercial insurance but didn't really like it. I asked how long he was doing a job he didn't like. “Only a year,” he replied. “I retired as a major in the Marine Corps, but most of my 30 years I was attached to the Army Corps of Engineers.”
The first thing I did when I got home was look in my journal and sure enough, that was exactly what Michael said. But he made no mention of the fact that tall, dark and handsome was going to quit his job in two weeks to live in an art colony in Mexico and paint.
This is the story of my psychic, and it is all true. Gathering the pictures of my parent’s 50th anniversary party brought back these memories. When I look at the pictures of the party, I saw so many people who were dear to me and within a year or so they were dead. So yes, Michael was right when he said, “No matter what, you must go to California.”
- Lee V., 2013
Lee is a member of the Woodstock Community Center writing class which encourages everyone to write childhood memories and family stories.