Becoming Spiritually Awakened and Other Scary Stories – Part Two the Family Secrets Begin by Tracy Thompson

I remember everything about that day in May, it was a very warm sunny day, and I was dilly dawdling on my way home from school. Taking my sweet time on my walk home, looking at all the cars parked in driveways and seeing if I could remember the different makes and models, something my older brother G was teaching me. We used to play with matchbox cars and trucks when we were younger, our made-up game, we called, Mack and Joe (more details in another blog post) Incidentally my brother G would become a car salesman and own his own dealership later in life…who knew?

So, it was on this lazy, hazy, walk home that someone in the neighborhood spotted me and yelled, “hey you, don’t you live down the street? You better get home quick, somebody’s real sick or something at your house, an ambulance is there.”  Feeling totally scared now of what was to come, I sprinted all the way home.

As I approached our driveway, I noticed the big white and red ambulance parked outside, it’s big bold red crosses on the windows, my heart beating fast. My sister K was standing on the front steps waiting, she was very upset, she kept repeating ‘mom’s sick, she can’t breathe, she can’t breathe, dad said go next-door to get the neighbors to help. They won’t let us inside.’ It wasn’t until many years later that my sister K confided in me that she didn’t remember much on that day, being in a state of shock, she completely forgot about even seeing me.

In this moment my thoughts were that we needed to pray to Jehovah and our mother will be saved of course, so I took my sister K to the backyard and proceeded to pray for help from the most high as I was taught by the JW’s…but in the back of my mind I couldn’t shake the thought that I was very worried that my nightmare was coming true, that mom was going to die and it’s all my fault because I saw it happening in my dream.

The neighbors emerged out of our house and proceeded to gather myself and all my siblings including baby C to their house next door to wait until we heard news about mom’s condition from our father who was in the house with the paramedics still. I remember watching through the neighbor’s living room picture window with all my brothers and sisters staring at the ambulance parked in our driveway, watching very intently, waiting, and hoping to see our mother on a stretcher, and maybe she might even wave to all of us. This is what we all were hoping and praying for, that mom would be okay. Then we could go and visit her in the hospital, and she would get better, and everything would be back to normal again.

What happened next was like a slow-motion scene in a movie, the ones that are so heartbreaking and sad it would make even the most stoic, strong, person in the theatre cry like a little baby. The first thing we all saw from the window was the paramedics lifting the stretcher trolley with what we all assumed was our mother, but we couldn’t see her, her body was covered with a white sheet completely covering her body and face. The paramedics closed the door of the ambulance and went into the vehicle and drove away, and then our father approached the neighbor’s house walking up the steps through the front door and all of us running to him circulating around his legs, clutching him tightly. Almost all of us asked at the same time is mom going to be, okay? Can we see her? Is she coming back home soon?

The words uttered from my father’s mouth were the most heart-breaking words that any father would have to say to his children, ‘No mom is not coming home’ Your mother is dead.’ I felt my heart sink like an anchor. The sobbing, crying, and screaming from all my brothers and sisters was utterly deafening in the room. Our poor neighbors, having witnessed this in their home as well, were also crying.  This is right up there on the list of ‘number one worst days’ in my life.

Nothing will Ever Be the Same

Things changed dramatically from this point on for all of us. Luckily, my father’s parents were living in the same city as us and were able to come to my father’s aid and moved in to help us with the day-to-day life things that all young children need, but always with a big dose of love from Grandma Jenny and keen sense of values from my tough as nails Grandpa Walter.   It was many years later that the realization came to me that both my brother G and I were about to become abandoned by our own father and that grandma & grandpa would become our surrogate parents as well as our grandparents. No one ever spoke about this, everything was left unsaid, it was like we weren’t allowed to talk about our own mother who died anymore, her memory becoming erased, everyone keeping in line with this new narrative.

As you can imagine, my father at 34 years old with six minor children to care for on his own, became very desperate, anxious, and scared. Add to this that he was a member of fundamentalist religion that only allowed you to marry ‘within the faith’, the pickings were very few you might say for available single women who would marry a man with six young children.  And my grandpa could sometimes push my dad’s buttons you might say, so there were times that I’m sure my dad was thinking he’d better get a new wife soon or he must content himself with living under the critical eye of his father there at the ready to constantly correct him.

Grandpa, of Welsh & English descent, was an incredible example of strength, independence, and no stranger to adversity in his life. He didn’t mince with words, if something needed to be done, he’d be the one to step up and get the job done. Sometimes he could be a bit scary at times in his delivery, but you always knew it was for your own good.  Fortunately, my loving, quiet, grandma of Finnish descent would help to balance him out on most things. And my father was their one and only son and they would do anything to help support him and all their grandchildren. It was a blessing that they were able to step in when they did and I am forever grateful for their loving guidance and help to all of us, my brothers, and sisters.

So, when mom died so tragically and suddenly, I became emotionally lost, the comforting voices I used to hear were suddenly gone. My grandfather found me talking to my mother’s picture one day and he promptly put a stop to that, saying that I needed to let my mother go now and not to be involved with such things. He took the picture away, so that I wouldn’t continue with talking to mom’s picture, as I was hoping to hear her voice somehow, even though this would be wrong according to the religion.

We were all adjusting to this new normal, my brothers and sisters, with grandma & pa there every day to greet us in the morning and a warm meal at night. Grandpa was always helping in the kitchen and made sure that we ate a bowl of oatmeal every day before we went to school, as grandpa would say we needed something to ‘stick to our ribs’. The thing I really hated though, was his insistence that we ‘had to’ rinse every day with hot salt water. Grandpa had a lot of old home remedies passed down from his parents our great grandparents. If you ever tried to skip out on the hot salt water, he’d promptly pull you by the collar to the kitchen sink to do your rinse and spit. There was no messing around with grandpa, he always had a strict tough-love manner with his insistence that this was for our protection from germs and getting colds, as we live in the northern hemisphere, winters are bitterly long and cold here and the summers can be extremely hot too.

My mother’s death was still a mystery; an autopsy was performed, and it showed she died of Acute myocardial infarction or in other words a heart attack. But my mother had no trace of heart disease, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink in excess, wasn’t overweight. There was no logical reason for her to have a heart attack. It wasn’t until many years later after talking with my older brother G that I discovered that mom possibly could have had asthma and may have had an asthma attack that in turn may have caused the heart attack because she couldn’t breathe, and we know that she fell against the crib rail when she died as there was a bruise on her cheek. Back in 1969 there wasn’t the medical information available as we have today about asthma.

Many years of guilt, fear, defensiveness began to build up inside of me. My father’s marrying so quickly after our mother’s death to a woman that was only 8 years older than me didn’t help, not to mention this new stepmother was only 6 years older than my older brother G. Add to that factor, both my brother G and I were entering adolescence, loads of hormonal angst happening all at the same time.

Developing a Tough Attitude

My teen years were a very tumultuous time for me. I remember someone from the congregation asking me if I ever smiled? This was a bit of a telling moment for me back then. I was constantly fighting battles with my stepmother who was doing things that would possibly hurt my brothers and sisters. I became a soldier trying to protect everyone, unbeknownst to me nobody remembers it that way, I became known as the ‘shit disturber’ of the family. Always fighting battles, I could never win and defend and protect those who never knew what unfair things I prevented from happening to them. No one ever knew the reason for my defensiveness, they only thought I was always angry.

Inside of me I often felt such extreme guilt, I prayed constantly for forgiveness about almost everything. I felt in need of punishment, my own self-proclaimed punishment it appears. This constant negativity was blocking any type of positive spiritual help that I so desperately needed.

I remember shortly after mom’s death; I was invited to a slumber party by some girlfriends in the neighborhood and was given the okay by grandma to go. Unfortunately for me, it turned out they only invited me because they knew my mother just died and they thought it would be real fun to use a Ouija board to see if my mother would come through with a message. Of course, I was extremely emotionally upset, and, in my mind, I used God’s name again so that they couldn’t use the Quija board and apparently, they couldn’t get anything to come through that night. Being very upset and feeling like I was being bullied, I asked to go home after that, their mother drove me home early.

Another time happened in school; someone again brought a Quija board in the playground during recess (Quija boards gained popularity in the 70’s).  And in my mind, I focused on it not working and again using God’s name to stop it, this time the whole board shook, and even the pointer went flying off the table. Everyone got a bit freaked out, not knowing why this was happening. I must admit I got a bit scared myself, with the realization with just my thinking about stopping the Quija from working, I could have this strong kinetic effect.

I never told anyone about these incidents, again a secret I kept to myself, because this was borderline in my reasoning as to whether it was from God or the Devil. Again, something more for me to feel guilty and ashamed about. This heavy guilty feeling was often a major block or setback for me in my spiritual transformation throughout my life. It affected several of my major decisions in my life. It is only now that I am coming to realize these were all karmic lessons and choices for me that I chose before ever incarnating on this earth.

The New Narrative Begins Erasing Mother

So, when my father married my stepmother only six months after mom’s death I was not at all happy about this union. Added to this fact that my father insisted that we all call her mom. Neither G nor I felt comfortable about doing this, my younger brothers and sisters were somewhat accepting as they were happy to have a mother again and perhaps a feeling of security again. Maybe? I’m not sure, I think everyone just wants some type of peaceful family life again.

I’m giving my father the benefit of doubt here as to why he made such a drastic decision like marrying so soon after his wife’s passing and to such a young wife. He most likely felt he had to do this under the circumstances to help care for his many children. Also imagine the gossip in the congregation of JW’s, the neighborhood, his work…so again he made some very dramatic, drastic decisions to keep up an image for himself.

The decision to hide or erase my mother, however, was something I still battled with regarding forgiving my father. Upon marrying my stepmother, he had her burn all photos of our mother so there was no evidence of her ever being our mother. My brother G found out about this and was furious as was I. Both of us tried our best to object, defend, and stand our ground on this very terrible action, an action we found to be very heartless and cold.  All memory of her was being erased, a tough thing for grieving children to help heal in their loss of a mother. All of this to keep the narrative and image that our new stepmother is our mother.

This new narrative didn’t work for G and I however, because of our ages. So, G left home at only 16 and myself at only 18. To the rest of the family, we became known as the black sheep of the family, many untrue negatives used to describe my older brother and me. And this rift between our father and ourselves continued till the day he died where both of us didn’t even attend his funeral in 2013. In an odd way we abandoned him like he abandoned us.

To help with projecting this new image my father was creating he managed to get a job transfer to Calgary, Alberta in the middle of 1970, his new wife already pregnant with her first child my first half-brother.  So, we moved to a new city and province from the only family home we knew in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This was again only a year after our mother died. So many changes, so much stress, insecurity, and challenges. This was a lot for children who just lost their mother a year earlier. But we were all so resilient and strong, traits from our grandpa I’m sure as he was the epitome of strength and independence. We also seemed to know instinctively how to stick together and work as a team, having to depend on each other from such young ages. We would never think of snitching or telling on each other, keeping anything, we didn’t want the new stepmother or our father to know about that may not be quite right. We developed a strong loyalty to each other. Little secrets were constantly being kept.

But my hidden secrets about my experiences with spirit I am only now sharing as I go through this process of understanding my shadow side as a necessary step towards transformation. Stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon…

A VIEWS EXPRESSED DISCLAIMER The following personal life accounts were accomplished by Tracy L. Thompson in her personal capacity according to her account of memory of times past. These points of view and opinions of accounts from memory are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of others in her extended family. Proper names have been changed to only one letter to protect their privacy. These stories are NOT Victim statements but given as examples for mainly those of the spiritual community or those of understanding. Thank you for your respect and kindness to others when reading these accounts in remembering that not all will be understanding or believing of these accounts.

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