‘You have a smudge…right…there

My friend and I went over to her mom’s place this week to cleanse her apartment.

I don’t mean “clean,” I mean, help her give the old heave-ho to some evil spirits lurking in her bedroom.

Her mom is a soft-spoken, no-nonsense lady from a small town in Texas.  She has a well polished southern drawl, soulful eyes and carries herself with economy.  Not the type to flit around in batik muumuus that reek of patchouli oil.  The last person you’d think, to be haunted by some nasty-looking presences.

I’ll admit I was intrigued to help and a little scared.  Intrigued since I love all things spooky, and scared that a veil may have been ripped open to let in a world we either don’t want, or don’t truly believe exists.

It all started after one of her other daughters had died.  At first, she was just visited by family members who had passed.  She’d shoo them away if they were too persistent and annoying – much like you’d do to a pesky house fly.  Lately, a more ominous presence has been popping up at night.  An unfamiliar presence that is not a playful family member, but a large dark entity that fills the room.  She has always been sensitive to what’s behind the curtain, but the uneasiness these visits bring are new.

My friend may have a touch of psychic sensitivity too, but is uneasy wearing that mantle.  She had already gone over and smudged her mom’s apartment with sage, but these negative entities still appeared – most recently in broad daylight at 8 am in the morning.

“Well,” I thought, the veteran of many an exorcism movie, “it’s time to pull out the big guns.”

We went over Wednesday evening (after picking up pizza and grinders. I mean, we had some heavy spiritual lifting to do!).  On the way I had my friend stop at the local Catholic Church since I had the kooky idea to steal some holy water. The doors were locked – darn those Catholic sensibilities!

My friend had been brought up Southern Baptist  – a bond we share.  Therefore, we were a bit awkward regarding the practices of exorcising, which always seemed to be more of a Catholicky thing to do.

needle-1295821_1280.pngI did, however, bring her mom a rosary that had belonged to my late father-in-law.  My husband had  – unbeknownst to me – hung it over my side of the bed not long before he passed.  Can’t hurt?

We smudged the crap out of that apartment.  It was incongruous us waving our arms around the smoke, urging it into every knook and cranny.  Incongruous because her bedroom is a girly girl’s  room.  Chintz curtains, homemade quilts and a thimble collection on the wall.

Her mom was a bit worried some of the elderly neighbors who congregated outside her window to smoke some nights, might hear our chanting, see us waving our arms around the rooms like the temporary crazy coven we had become.  We closed the blinds and smudged every corner, every closet.  All the while, we talked rudely to these entities and did NOT use our indoor voices: “Leave this woman’s home.  You are not wanted here!”

We made her very hesitant mom join hands and recite a prayer.  We even threw in the Lord’s Prayer for good measure.  My friend’s mom as I said, is not prone to hysterics or flights of fancy.  She grew up in an orphanage, had picked cotton,  raised children on her own after marriages had crumbled like old brittle bones.  She had experienced more than her fair share of difficulties and risen above.

But even if her mom had not been so genuine and stoic,  so true to what she had been experiencing, what was the harm in lending her our support?  We all go through difficult manifestations in life.  It’s best not to go it alone.

Since the super smudging, I’ve joined my friend in keeping tabs on her mom. So far, all is clean and clear at her home.

‘Nary a shadow.



The lukewarm psychic hotline

Mary Lincoln, so overcome with grief by the horseless carriage-load of tragedies in her life, was said to hold seances in the White House and so was a firm believer in the afterlife.

I know most refer to her as Mary Todd Lincoln, but she never signed her name that way and so I am setting the record straight.

Who could blame her for reaching out to lost loved ones? She buried three out of four sons, a husband who was shot right before her eyes, and her remaining son later in life, had her committed to an asylum. Talk about a crappy life! I’d want to reach out to the hereafter too. Oh, wait, I have.

Even before losing my husband, I would reach out to mediums and psychics in an attempt to contact my mom, who had died about 20 years ago.  I admit I had spotty success. I certainly don’t believe everything I hear, or that all reputed psychics are genuine. But I’ve had enough spot-on feedback from some to make me be open-minded about it.

Probably my worst experience was fairly recently.  A few months after James died, I made an appointment with a “psychic” whom I found on-line. (Should have been my first warning bell. It’s best to go by recommendations from friends and family.)

stocksnap_8pws9yv4cuAfter arriving at her place and amidst the smell of sage, we started to chat a bit. She immediately started to channel a woman, but I told her I was really only interested in getting in touch with my husband.

“He wants you to know that he is glad you buried him with his wedding ring,” she proclaimed.

I waggled my fingers at her. ” I’m wearing his wedding ring and he was cremated,” I said, trying not to be curt about it. I mean, these visits are not cheap. The typical hour appointment can be $120 or more. I don’t want to waste time on having her shotgun a bunch of disparate feedback.

Another misstep on her part: “He says he is worried about the children.”

I looked at her puzzled and with a sinking feeling in my stomach. “What children? We don’t have any children.”

It continued with the same amount of success (I say, sarcastically). I think she took one look at me, a middle-aged woman, and made some basic assumptions. We had been married a long time (not!). We had children (none!).

Now, not all psychics are charlatans. I made a more recent visit to another medium who has had some local acclaim and has even assisted in police investigations. She made some good assumptions about my husband in her attempt to talk to him. He had a beard (yes), he had blue eyes (yes) he loved cars (oh, yes).

But at the end of the session, perhaps sensing that I was not totally satisfied with the reading (I guess I thought I would have a direct line to James and he would say something to her that only the two of us could know) she launched into what I can only term as personal growth advice.

I hadn’t asked for it. I realize that a lot of people come to her seeking life advice – Should I take that job? Will I find love? Kinda like a bartender dispensing advice to the drunk, but in this case, to the dissatisfied.

“It’s a dog eat dog world, and I’m wearing  Milk-Bone underwear.” Norm, Cheers.

I was not interested in her comments about how “lightning can strike twice,” and that I still have a long life to live (that does not give me comfort these days) and may find another love. It made me mad. I don’t want anyone else. Not now, and likely not ever. (If she was a good medium she should have sensed that, right?!)

I mean Mary Lincoln, a troubled woman for sure even without all of the personal tragedies, mourned the loss of her husband her entire life. And she was short! Not sure what that has to do with it, but anyway.

These spiritual sessions are really about confirmation and comfort. Confirmation that our loved ones are still with us, albeit in another dimension. I believe that, but still wish that man of mine would get off his fat, heavenly cloud and give me a more tangible sign that he is still with me.