*
The Journey…  

The story of Gloria O'Neil-Savage

Coming home to Cleveland, Ohio was not what I thought I would be doing, not to live at least.
Not after being fortunate enough to sing for a living and with some of the best in the business; singing to standing ovations and thrilled at “feeling” and making others “feel”,
The Count Basie Band, O’Jays, even Jon Paris and the Saturday Night Live horn section two nights in a row (I was asked back for the second night)
at Chicago Blues in New York City. I was living in Portland, Oregon which is definitely God’s country; you cannot miss it even if you are sleeping soundly.
Portland, Oregon is home to the Mt. Hood Jazz festival and everything progressive, beautiful, wonderful and right.
None of that matters when your oldest sister is dying of cancer back home in Cleveland, Ohio. I returned home to Cleveland to spend time with her,
she eventually did pass from this world after that cancer had eaten just about every cell of her being. Looking back now, she demonstrated a poetic dignity,
beauty and grace. I am so  blessed to have had such an awe-some human in my life at all, and she was/is my gorgeous sister Barbara.
No musical contract or group can give you perspective like someone you love being eaten by the hideous disease of cancer.
In the meantime, my dad took ill with Emphysema. I won’t be leaving any time soon. This is my attempt to tell the story of what transpired between now and then.
Better go back to design and furniture, something I know just to hold me over while I am here.
“You can’t just start singing like that!” Said my boss, a lovely well-kept woman who owned the furniture/design shop I worked in at the time.
This may seem simple enough a request, but not for me. You see, I do not have cognitive awareness that I am singing. How can I stop doing something
I do not even know I am doing? Another piece of discomfort was the price factor; a customer could become very uncomfortable working on a better price
and someone else who is just nice would have to pay more, I would inform the “nice” person they could get a better price rather than give the problem
customer a better price, but that meant I was taking money from the store owner which was also uncomfortable.
Anyway that night in 1989 after I was “singing” in the store; I was sitting with my handsome Marlborough man/husband I am crazy about.
The irritating traffic is whooshing by our house which is very close to the street. We live way out in the country east of Chardon and yet I have to put up with all t
he loud traffic and trucks!
Now I have several things creating a new dilemma for me. You see, I had managed several furniture design showrooms in the past.
I could easily get rehired at any of them. Only, that won’t stop my random singing. Living in the country (last job was 1hour and a half away),
and those jobs requiring 60 hour minimum weeks becomes another consideration.
I want to please my husband, be the perfect “Disney wife” take care of and make him the happiest man on the planet!
I would like to have a child, and that clock is tick, tock ticking away in me.
I am also having some physical health problems flaring up and that will require time off of work too.
How can I do a good job for anyone else knowing this?
Make lemonade out of lemons. Listen to the irritation and the answer will come. More loud traffic goes by.
The light finally goes on inside of me. I will build my own shop. A simple barn/A-frame will do.
I go outside to see where and how when I literally “see” the barn standing in all of its etheric beauty.
I open the door (no, there really isn’t a door) and walk in and see my writing desk in one corner, cherry bookcase behind it, tapestry and damask couches and
brocade chairs, maple and oak end tables, Victorian carved oak bed grouping and hammered-iron headboards.
I simply note my growing inventory list. I will need a good excavator to prepare the field that is approximately 200 feet east of my home, which sits on 27 acres.
I drive down to the local corner store to get a reference. “Dick Bosse” is my reply from the friendly store owner in response to my query.
Dick comes walking into the store after the words are barely out of the store owner’s mouth.
While Dick and I go outside to work out the logistics, Dick says we will need Barry’s trucking to deliver the layers of rock we will need.
Barry himself comes driving up in a shiny red truck. Dick and Barry wave to each other and Dick introduces me “this young lady here is Mrs.
Savage and she is considering building a store/barn on her property down the street here”.
Who is building the barn for her?
I reply “I haven’t found that person yet, any suggestions?”
They both reply, “how ‘bout Brower?”
Guess who comes driving up?
Yup, Brower.
Who am I to question any of this?
Several months later, the store is standing. The work, well there was plenty. I just thanked God I could do it.
Whatever it was, I was glad my angels were helping me through it all. I had blisters. Sleepless nights.
Anyone who has ever built anything knows you go through many, many obstacles even with the best laid plans.
I cut wood and trim. I laid stones and rocks by hand in the parking lot. I hung insulation, dry wall, and wall paper.
I built landscaping boxes, and dug posts for my signs. I fought with my (ex) husband about the fact he wasn’t helping me.
Worse, he would make it hard for me and anyone trying to help me, should we care to wake the sleeping bear.
(This relationship and my waking up to it comes later in the story.)
Anyway, I was grateful to be able to do any of it, and that God was helping me the whole time, how else could I have done all those things I never did before.
(I must admit and give thanks to my sisters Bev and Janet, my brothers Bob and David, and my friend Lorraine who also came out on several occasions
and gave me a hand too.)
Anyway, I know that gratitude in times of difficulty and strain is a miracle worker.
It is a great tool and gift for us at any time, but when you are thankful in difficult times, it moves mountains.
The store opened following my daily prayers and meditations in the morning. People came with different stories of how they were drawn to the store.
They told me more often than not; the song I was playing (whatever it was at the time) meant something very special to them and how it was “weird”
that I should be playing it at that time. I knew better. I know the power of the Holy Spirit. That which is infused in the all.
We would end up working together on their house, selecting furniture, colours, arrangement, etc. What happened in the journey was so far past my knowing world.
In the process of designing homes, one must listen to women’s stories: their pain, their big love, their deep world.
How stretched their beings had become in every direction to be; good girls, good wives, good mothers, good teachers, good friends, good-no- great lovers,
and remain nice and certainly not become “bitches” and of course the other dilemma-whores, the can’t win for loosing scenario.
Too good in the bedroom and some men can’t wrap their brain around that. Not their “good girl wife”~ the Madonna complex.
Now many of these wounded women were on different forms of psycho tropics and felt bad about that too.
They didn’t know why they were so depressed and how dare they be- with everything so good. So in the process of listening to women’s stories,
a blooming took place, the river widened in my being and I began the process of birthing what women needed to make themselves whole.
What I did not expect was that I would be birthed anew too and start my own process in the discovery of the Divine Feminine.
Yes, this little Catholic girl would become shattered and have to put herself back together again. I would learn to infuse vibrations of sound into the home
in a return to my musical being and background. But the stories….

“If one woman told her story ~

The whole earth would crack wide open” - Rainier Marie Wilke.

I started asking what other forms of natural therapy they had tried while concurrently they were asking me what forms I had tried.
My response was; yoga, aromatherapy, meditation, Reiki, etc. They would reply with a dazed look in their faces and more often than not,
say something like; “Ra- what did you say?”

They also started picking up the books (mine) that I was using for display purposes and asking if they could borrow them. Hmmmm.
Not what I had planned, but ok we can do this. Sure you can borrow the book. Soon I didn’t have any books left, they were all being borrowed.
What are those things on and around your desk? They would ask. (My affirmations, crystals, rocks, etc.) I prayed and meditated on it all and asked for guidance.

I wondered why? Why were so many women depressed and asking me how I dared to live my life. Surely I was not the only person whose attention this was getting,
was I? I Looked up into the “Heavens” and pleaded for answers. Truly this would be frightening for the universe asking me to notice something that other
trained professionals should be taking note of and working on. Not me. I am too wild and un-tethered. I just put colours and fabrics together and hold peoples hands
during the process. Guide them through the weaving of their desires and their family’s. Oh yes, and the home that most certainly had visions of its own to be listened to.
My heart just swelled in this sea of pain these women were in and well, at least if I could make their home “feel” better for them, maybe that would help.
Things were growing more and more restless inside of me when one Sunday I decided to attend a new church I had designed a meeting room for.
The Sermon was “Did you ever notice how God never picks the obvious person to do His work?”
Come on! My body was buzzing. This buzzing started at an early age and though I won’t share all of the experiences now, I will share some just to give you a flavor of my life.
Many of the psychic experiences I had growing up were “painful” to put it mildly. This is not a complaint because I know now why; they were forever
etched in my being that way so I would have a much harder time dismissing them. I am grateful for the rich tapestry that is the weaving of my life!
We will begin with High School and the story of Diane. I started having really distressing feelings about her dying somehow knowing she would die f
rom drugs while in her car. So I went into the principal’s office and tried to convince him of the need to have classes on drugs before it happened to save her.
His response was “who are these kids taking drugs?” Oh yah, let me just give you a list of the names of kids in pain around me so you can inflict more pain in their life
and I can be a snitch in High school! The only thing he would agree to was a “my little class” sometime after school. Right, you can barely keep these kids in school
during school hours but they will come after school to hear why they shouldn’t take drugs? I wanted an accredited class during school, never mind.
So drugs did take Diane’s life. I do know that she is in a wonderful place now from my own experience with death. That story will come later.
It didn’t help to psychically “know” my parents house was robbed either. The police wanted to know how I could know. I should just tell them so they could solve the case,
since I had to be in on it or how else would I know?
Was I on drugs? Several days after it happened I was standing at my school locker; talking to my friend whose locker was next to mine and a friend of hers came walking
up to say hello to her and said hello to me too. My whole body started screaming inside. I went to my study hall and all I could hear screaming somewhere
inside my body was “She robbed your house!” It just got louder and louder inside me and wouldn’t leave me alone.
I went to the class she was in and called her outside to the hall. I tersely said; “you robbed my house!” She looked at me in this strange way and denied it.
The next thing I knew I was shaking this much larger girl than me and banging her into the lockers. The whole class came running out exclaiming fight!
We were taken down to the offices. I was reprimanded and told that the police were handling it and I was given detentions.
One week later my family found out that she was one of the thieves.
Going back to when I was a small child I remember wondering why no one ever talked about the “Big” people watching us/me growing up either.
What did I have to do to get grownups to discuss them instead of acting like they weren’t even there? I just kept entertaining them, dancing, singing, acting,
laughing and talking for them. Maybe since I had such a hard time being “good”, no-one could talk about it with me yet, this secret of the large beings.
Somehow I felt as if at some point, we were all going to just acknowledge all this and the whole “invisible/visible” world we were all in.
That just hadn’t happened. Sometime during the process of going to school and growing up the invisible people became just that, invisible.
Now in high school I was getting really depressed feeling how “bad’ I was. Not getting all straight A’s anymore which were so easy for me.
Why was I so “bad” in such a “good” family?
I actually got myself sick and welcomed it and the days started to drift in and out as I lay in bed and waited for death to please take me. After about two weeks of this,
a friend of mine came to see what was going on. She about fell on the floor a gasp when she saw me. My skin had started to turn yellow and my eyes were
yellow/green too, my joints were red, painful and swollen. She demanded that I tell my mother how sick I was. (I had been hiding under the covers; my parents
owned a store and worked long hours so it was easy to stay unnoticed). All the better for my plan to lay there and die.

But my friend Denise Z was adamant. So I told my mother how sick I was and maybe I should call the doctor. Now I also had to tell my mother maybe I was pregnant
or “something”. God help me I am such a problem. The doctor in the emergency room gave me three shots of adrenalin within an hour an a half.
(I was having trouble staying awake at this point). Finally I just said, “Yes I think I feel better now.” This way my mother wouldn’t have to wait anymore and
I just wanted to go home and sleep anyway.
When we got home, my mother said she wanted to draw a bath for me that would make me feel better. Ok, I said.
When she came in to see me in the bath, she dropped her jaw too and exclaimed: “Oh my God did that doctor take a look at you?” “I think so” I said.
“Jesus Christ I’m calling right now and taking you back to the hospital!”
Back we went, but I remember nothing until the scream coming out of me and a doctor’s hand pushing on my stomach.
They did tests, scans, but I was sleeping through it all. I was gone. I fell asleep soon after waking up to my own scream.
That’s when it happened for the first time.
I woke up in a different place; a coliseum, Romanesque, and very large. It was the murmurs of all the people in shrouds around me that made me come to,
including my own. I don’t know what language I was speaking; it seemed similar to the Latin I took, but not that either. Everyone spoke it though.
The murmur was almost deafening. I was praying though and I know what I was saying, it was just in a different tongue.
I was going over my life/lives. In the center of this vast sea of people was light and light beings. A large chair (like stone?)
held “the One-ness of light” and on either side was another slightly smaller Chair with two other beings of light.
Around them in a circle were more glowing-adoring beings.
All this I did not see with my naked eyes. No, I saw it more like I used to see the “Big People” as a child. You just did not look up and see.
I could not. Until all of a sudden it was as if it were my turn or something and the central figure connected to me and filled me and every cell of my body
with this wondrous feeling I can not explain. It was as if my body was singing with love in every cell, filled with this glorious light from the Being in the center of the coliseum.
After some time, I awoke in another world, a garden. It was here that Jesus walked beside me. We talked and walked without our usual talking and walking
and everything around us was lit up on the inside. I then remember being on a street with Him and seeing this long line of people entering a large building.
I wondered what they were all going to do there and noticed that I knew the people. This thought brought us “sort of float walking” over closer and into the building.
As we entered the line turned into people I knew better and better, relatives and finally brothers and sisters. My nephew whom I adored at the time was asking my sister
(his mother) Barb to explain something to him. She just shook her head and had no answer. What! I thought my oldest sister had all the answers.
What could possibly have her so sullen and silent. Then I saw my mother, in even worse shape.
that brought my eyes towards a long coffin farther down the room. My body now felt another shift of knowing as I float- walked near the ceiling over to see who was inside.
Yep, you guessed it, me. I quickly said I must return because they cannot handle this.
I woke inside the hospital room with my mother holding my arm, head down on it. I said: “Mom you don’t have to worry I was just with Jesus and I am going to be ok.
” She shook her head with big tears in her eyes and said “Oh for God’s sake, even now you are trying to make me feel better.”
I noticed Happy Days was on TV and fell back asleep.
A Jaguar was chasing me through the jungle and I was barefoot. I was sweating and sweating, panting while I ran for my life. I don’t know how long it was
before I became conscious in the Intensive Care room. I knew there were tubes coming out my nose/mouth/arms/stomach and things were beeping everywhere.
My parents and sister were at the foot of the bed with the doctor. A priest and two nuns came and gave me my last rights.
The doctor was telling my parents they would have to make funeral arrangements. No one lives after the poison from the ruptured appendix is in
the system for two weeks. Once again I was screaming inside my body, but could not make it come out of my mouth. “I am here I wanted to scream out loud!”
Nothing. I tried in vain to move anything, my eyes, my fingers, toes-anything but could not. Out of body, I tried to shake my mom and say I am here, but she felt nothing.
Finally, I got my eyes to open! I just pushed and pushed and pushed and willed them open. I was back!
The ordeal that followed and all the poison/bile coming out of every orifice we normally have and ones they made caused me to start vomiting.
My stomach open and pouring out this green stuff too as I wretched was painfully comforting. I could “feel” again.
How I want to “serve” this Loving, wondrous Being who Loves me so much. It is quite something Knowing heaven exists, but I experienced it and somehow I am still in this body.
No plane, train, or rocket took me to some place in the sky.
For now I return to the first store I opened on the East side of Cleveland.
So God doesn’t pick the obvious person heh? That is an understatement if ever there was one.
OK God, I will do whatever you want me to, just show me, teach me, give me the teachers and I will have classes in the store if people will just sign up.
Teachers came into my life. I started “dreaming” homes before I even went to them. Colours and energy moved around in that “other vision center in my head”.
My clients signed up for the classes alright. My clients/friends started glowing with that light themselves.
By the time my friend Trish asked my to join her on a women’s retreat called “Sacred Space” on Kelly’s Island, things were really taking an interesting course.
But that trip with Trish, where I thought I was helping her, turned out to be the real shift.
On the ferry over to the island, Trish and I started to go up the narrow staircase to the second floor. It was then that a dream I had with my sister Barb flashed into my head.
This is how I wrote the story in a Newsletter in 2001:
When I first looked upon the shores of Kelly‘s Island, it was in a dream. My sister Barbara, who passed from this world in 1990, was guiding me on a journey
that would forever change my life. In this dream, shades of Indigo, Royal Purple, Parrish Blues and Emerald beckoned to me from beneath a Honey Golden mist.
This futuristic scene rose from the water like the emerald City from Oz.
When I actually went there in 1993, waves of energy rocked my being. Stepping on her grounds, she captured my soul, and we easily merged. I had come to
Kelly’s Island for a Sacred Space women’s retreat with my friend, Trish.
Normally, my days were spent helping other people heal themselves and their home, through my “Interior Design” shop. Every other spare minute was
spent working on my own home, which I was rebuilding from a fire, and my marriage, which by then had hopelessly disintegrated.  It was time to get a little rest,
and hopefully some healing myself.
One “coincidence” and Déjà vu after another had my whole being soon feeling as if 10,000 volts were running through it. I was directly plugged into the source.
Meeting so many, wonderful “glowing” people, I wish I had the space to tell you about each and every one of them.
What I’m about to tell you now, though, is when it really gets good…..
It was at an Art Therapy workshop, that I chose to attend, where I first met her. The instructor read us a beautiful myth and we were all painting and creating from the heart.
I couldn’t seem to paint a certain colour I had seen in my vision. Not satisfied with my work, the instructor called us back to circle.
Each of us looked at each other’s work, describing what we saw and shared our feelings.
One silver-haired woman seemed to zone right in on everyone’s work,
her wise analysis having visible effects on those her azure eyes dissected. Some were moved to tears, including my friend, Trish, who had gone before me.
I did not escape her deep insights either. Then, she raised her own painting. There before me were the exact colours and scene from my own vision,
which I had tried so hard to create. A voice within me said, “Buy the painting”. I tried to dismiss the voice, not wanting to seem out of place.
After all, no one else was buying or selling these paintings. The voice persisted and only grew louder, “Buy the painting”. I
was swimming with emotion; this voice had guided me through many decisions by now, and was never wrong.
This woman, whoever she was, was very intriguing – but surely they would all think I was crazy. The words practically leapt from my mouth,
“I’ll buy the painting how much do you want?” Soon we were driving to a house on the lake she called “Himmelblau”.
This wise woman would become a great friend, teacher and mentor. Her name was Dagmar Celeste.
Two years later, after almost eight years of marriage, I was going through a divorce. Broken, barely surviving the sea of pain and feelings of failure
that enveloped me, the barn at Himmelblau became my sanctuary. In this simple and natural environment, I would heal and be re-born.
Some of my first adjustments/lessons: Raccoons make quite a ruckus at night. They lived above me. Mice will generally keep to the area you ask them to.
You can not get rid of spiders in a barn. Of course, they were all there to teach me animal medicine, but I also learned to be careful what you ask for.
One day, while crying, praying for spiritual guidance and the strength to tread these uncharted waters of battling someone
I loved and cared for so much, and a life I had worked so hard at, someone knocked on the door. It was Indian Bob; he said
“Spirit had sent him”. I responded “I’m not really in a good place”. He thanked me for being honest and handed me a stone called a
“Wotei”. He told me to wear it for protection and strength. I told him about the stones, rocks, and feathers I had been collecting since my first visit.
I shared some of the visions and stories they had given me. He shared some Native American teachings.
I looked around for something to give him, but all I had were cigarettes. I offered him one, he thanked me.
It was then I learned that tobacco was the Native American gift of thanks. Once again my inner voice had guided me correctly.
This was the first of many lessons. Bob said, “Tomorrow I will take you to meet the spirit of Clam Digger woman, keeper of the stones.
We will visit her burial mound; you are a member of her tribe. Tonight we are having a sweat lodge, you should come.” to be continued..... G.S.
During the course of all this, my own interests were continuing to grow as was my educational pursuits. One of those expansions was Aromatherapy.
Linda Green, another woman I met at the Sacred Space retreat at Kelly’s had invited me to come to a Jeannie Rose intensive weekend.
At first I declined because it was rather expensive and I really didn’t fell I had the time. However, one of the women that was going to attend and had
already paid the tuition couldn’t make it. She told Linda she wanted me to attend in her place. Again the universe makes up my mind for me.
With just a few nominal expenses involved I couldn’t decline this generous offer.
To say that it changed my life is an understatement. I thought I knew about “oils”.
What I learned the first day was how much I didn’t know. Jeannie was spellbinding as she passionately described first one then another oil holding them
“jewel like” in vials up to the light. As she enumerated endless therapeutic applications for each, she would have us waft the scent and describe them ourselves.
At one point, I was truly angry at what I felt was a theft of information, stolen from wise-women long ago.
The chorus of women streaming through my life now parading before my eyes: as the benefits and healing properties awoke visions of assistance to each and everyone,
I at some point was included too. Handing a vial of what was introduced to me as “Spikenard” the oil Mary Magdalene used in the anointing of Jesus,
Jeannie had selected that particular oil for me to work with for several hours of experience and writing. She also told me I would need to keep working with that oil.
Nardostachys Jatamansi, common name Spikenard and nicknamed “False Valerian Root” or Nard oil would become a dear friend of mine that
I would pass along to many women and “I would do this in memory of her.” It was among many things for wounds that would not heal, mental, spiritual,
physical and emotional. She was also known as the Grand Balancer. I did not like this oil at all upon my first experience. I would come to love this oil above all others.
The day after my spikenard encounter, my head reeling with all the information on so many levels downloading into my being;
a woman named Linda Honeycutt-LaGrande came up to me and just started laughing. She said “You enjoying all this information Miss Gloria?”
I replied that indeed I was, “but how was all this applying to me and why was it all happening to me?” After all, I was only supposed to be an Interior Designer.
She just laughed again and lifted her hand, finger pointing at her being as she guided it from top to bottom and stated
“Well I guess you really are doing Interior Design now aren’t you honey?”
My buddy was buzzing so hard inside I could barely remain standing. Aromatherapy was a deep and profound value that I continue to share to this day.

Over and over I started turning in all the pain, mine and all the other women’s into the soil of my being. How can I make a positive growth with this pain?
So I began to till the soil of pain. That was what we all were doing. Turning it in and surviving. We were standing, loving,
sharing and walking forward in the midst of it all and trying to look sexy and pretty to boot. (This of course also requires not eating.)
I knew that if we were to recover and survive, we would have to create out of our pain. So creating we were.
We were turning the soil and gestating our seeds of despair and hope for a brighter future.
I incorporated one healing tool after another into my business model that did not exist.
It all really came down to one thing though.
The problem was we had no root to a feminine sacred model that was whole and reachable. Oh yes, we have the Virgin Mother and I was taught
but has since been revised, the whore Mary Magdalene.
Just a patriarchy and a long line of blame and shame starting with that disobedient Eve the temptress and her debauchery with Adam tricking him into eating the apple too.
So much for listening to snakes! We were banned from the Garden with the Cherubim and flaming sword guarding the gates.
We must go back to where it all began and pick up the tools stolen from us long ago. We are medicine women but the campaign to discredit women and
disempowering us and the tools we used from nature only got us labeled as “witches”. We must go back to the tools of our ancestry, the Arc of the Ancients….
Flash to 1997, living in Lakewood writing an Aromatherapy article for the Cleveland Bar Journal (OK I am cramming at the last minute with books and notes
everywhere because the article is due the next day…) when the phone rings. On the other end a voice is telling me that Raj told her she should call me about
working together. Rajendra Khanna is one of the loveliest humans I have ever had the pleasure and good fortune of meeting. Born in India, he is humble,
brilliant and sincere and among many things taught me how to meditate around 1984 I believe. He has never had anyone call me.
“What is your name?” I ask her to repeat. “Vanessa”she replies and I want to know if you are interested in selling Aromatherapy products?” The buzzing begins.
OK, you have my attention. I asked for her birth information and drew up a chart. I can see her through the phone and describe her to herself.
She starts laughing and tells me I am “dead on” even to the clothes she is wearing. I ask her~ “When can you come over?” Ten minutes later Vanessa is at my door.
The connection is unmistakable. The charge in the air was so palpable we could have run the entire city on the energy.
I shared my vision of the new store I wanted to open with healing rooms, interior design /Feng Shui, books, music, aromatherapy oils and blends and the wellness classes
I would like to have there too. About seven hours later Vanessa left. I could not stop thinking about her though. It would be so much better to share
this adventure with someone.Two months later we began our work together and started teaching and selling aromatherapy products and the
“Total-Sensory-Healing Class that was born in that barn on Kelly’s Island.
We finally opened our first shop (my second) on Rocky River Drive near Kamm’s Corner together in 2002.
We co-founded Cleveland Polarity with my friend, MaryJo Ruggieri whom I met while living on Kelly’s Island.
We had one healing room and all the above mentioned Total-Sensory-Living and Wellness.
Again the same response from people as my first shop, “I just had to come in here but I didn’t know why, I love this place….”
The stores name: ArcAncient Aromatherapy & Interiors came to me after days of trying to come up with just the right moniker.
The word Arc, in Barbara Walker’s “Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets” briefly stated read: “A female vessel bearing fruit or seeds
to give birth to a new world out of the destruction and chaos of the old.” Thus you have: Ark of the Covenant, Joan de Arc, Arc of the rainbow, etc.
OK, arc works for me, and since everything we were doing was not new but practiced thousands of years ago it just sang in my body.
So ArcAncient, Aromatherapy & Interiors was born. The two A’s could be written as: “As above so below” and they also looked like two MM’s when
written a certain way and since Mary Magdalene was our Patron Saint of Aromatherapy & healing it all seemed to fit just right.
That store didn’t quite fit all of our needs, and let’s just say landlord difficulty made it impossible so the new store at 1391 Sloane Ave in Lakewood was the next venture.
The difficulty of managing the new business and other personal considerations finally took Vanessa to her own quest.
I am grateful to her for partnering with me and helping to give birth to something I am so passionate about. Possessed might be a better term, but I just
cannot help myself from wanting to share the vision birthed back in 1989 from listening to Women’s Stories.
Now there are two treatment rooms, a psychologist and soon a nutritionist will join us too.
The Café serves up specials for the day, with the best Cappuccino’s and chocolate (every girl needs a little now and then) in town.
Our all natural line of bedding is the only choice for environment-body friendly sleeping.
Oh, and we have Jazz & Blues concerts at the shop from time to time for special events. We would like to make that happen more often too.
We have free mini-treatments and hors devours and a little wine.
This is my version of fun.
Gloria O’Neil-Savage’s Story
ArcAncient Aromatherapy & Interiors
1391 Sloane Ave.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107

216-458-1444
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MA PLUS BELLE EXPÉRIENCE VÉCUE…

Que je voudrais partager avec toi...

Ça m’est arrivé il y a plus de 15 ans, chez moi. J’étais seule dans ma chambre, il était environ 10h 30 du soir. Je me suis mise au lit, et je me suis endormie normalement, et rapidement.
. . . . . Puis. . . .  Je me suis retrouvée en train de voler dans l’espace. C’était la nuit, et je volais librement très haut, dans le ciel.  Au-dessus, je voyais le firmament obscur rempli d’
étoiles, et au-dessous, je voyais la terre et la forme des continents. J’ai soudain pris conscience que je n’avais plus de corps, mais ceci ne m’a pas inquiétée, car j’étais bien vivante et
même si il faisait nuit, ma vision était parfaite, et je voyais bien la terre au dessous ; Je suis descendue un peu, et je pouvais alors voir des villes dans la nuit, et toutes leurs lumières. En
fait, je pouvais voir partout, simultanément, ma vue était illimitée, et j’observais, tout : les avenues, des ponts, des rivières, des voies ferrées, les montagnes, etc.  Je ne sais pas
exactement quels endroits je survolais…, peut-être des villes des États-unis…
Je me suis alors souvenu  que normalement, j’ai une véritable phobie incontrôlable pour les hauteurs, le vide, et l’obscurité… Pourtant, j’étais dans un bonheur total, indescriptible, et si
intense, que c’était presque… insoutenable… C’était, à la fois, une plénitude absolue, une joie sans frein, une sécurité jamais connue, le sentiment absolu d’ être «entière», et  en «pleine
union avec moi-même», sans entraves ni limites, sachant que je n’avais plus besoin de rien… ni personne….!
Et puis…Il y avait cette sublime certitude de me savoir à la fois aimée et saturée d’amour pur, mais sans avoir la moindre idée de par  «qui» j’étais aimée, ni envers «qui» je ressentais
tant d’amour.  État  de conscience d’une rare essence,  qui englobait tout mon être.  Je n’ai jamais rien senti de pareil ici-bas, et il n’existe aucun équivalent avec lequel je puisse le
comparer.
Alors  que je me déplaçais à grande vitesse et sans  difficulté dans l’espace, j’ai  commencé à  «percevoir»  la présence d’un couple qui volait ensemble, pas loin de moi. Quand je dis  
«un couple»,  je veux dire que  «je savais» qu’il s’agissait d’un homme et une femme, mais je ne voyais que très vaguement leurs visages, car ils n’avaient pas de corps, eux non plus…
Je percevais leur présence. Ils apparaissaient… puis disparaissaient… et ainsi de suite. Ils émanaient un amour impartial, intense et parfait, autant l’un pour l’autre qu’envers moi. Je ne
sais pas qui ils étaient ….mais «j’ai compris» qu’ils étaient là pour moi, pour m’aider et m’accompagner dans cette incroyable, insolite,  et inexplicable expérience.
Puis, je me suis rendu compte que mes pensées avaient un énorme pouvoir… Il me suffisait de  penser à un lieu pour m’y transporter immédiatement…!  J’ai pensé à l’Extrême Orient,
le Japon…, ce pays avait un certain intérêt  pour moi,  depuis toujours…
Je me suis retrouvée à l’instant,  très haut, au dessus d’un ensemble d’îles montagneuses de couleur foncée, de formes allongées, en ligne, au milieu de l’océan, il faisait sombre, il n’y
avait presque pas d’étoiles dans le ciel. J’ai commencé à descendre tout doucement, et j’ai aperçu une ville, qui m’a semblé grande, car vue de plus près, elle était remplie de milliers de
petites lumières, partout. J’ai observé ce lieu pendant un instant.  Puis, n’y trouvant aucun intérêt particulier, je m’en suis éloignée, par le simple fait de le décider mentalement.
Puis, j’ai pensé à la France… et instantanément,  je me suis trouvée au dessus d’une autre ville. J’ai ensuite décidé par la pensée de me rapprocher de la terre, au point de voir les
lumières d’une petite ville côtière.  J’ai fixé mon attention sur un point déterminé et j’ai continué à me rapprocher d’un quartier vers lequel je me sentais intuitivement attirée.  Puis, j’ai
reconnu mon quartier, ma rue, et celle qui avait été ma maison et son jardin… mais pas comme c’est maintenant,  si non que, comme s’était avant.., il y a 40 ans, quand j’y habitais.
Comme si rien n’avait changé….


Là…. Mon enfance m’est revenue à l’esprit. Des flashs de mon enfance…, tristes…, pénibles…., des situations oû je m’étais sentie mal aimée, seule, voire rejetée, par des personnes
très proches de moi; souvenirs ensevelis dans mon sub-conscient et qui m’avaient perturbé tout au long de mon adolescence et  ma vie d’adulte.  
Puis…
J’ai «entendu» ces affirmations implacables, dont j’ignore la provenance et qui sont parvenues à mon esprit, en toute clarté :
«RIEN, mais RIEN… De ce qui t’arrive sur terre n’a d’importance, ni le pouvoir de te faire souffrir. Aucune souffrance vécue sur terre n’a d’importance…. Toute épreuve…. si dure
soit-elle… est futile, passagère, et ne peut, en réalité, ni t’atteindre ni te blesser… »

Puis, je me suis réveillée….dans mon lit…. Avec la forte sensation  de revenir d’un endroit oû le temps n’existe pas…   Je m’étais endormie à 10h30 du soir, or, cette expérience a duré
15 ou 20 minutes tout au plus… Pourtant,  à mon réveil, il faisait jour, j’ai regardé l’heure, il était 6 heures du matin.
Mon impression au réveil…. ?
J’étais triste… déçue, de me retrouver de nouveau ici-bas dans ce monde qui me semblait lugubre, vide, et banal.

. . . . . . Ceci n’est que le témoignage véridique d’une expérience réelle, «out of body» que j’ai eu la chance de vivre.  Une sorte de voyage astral….(?)

Je l’ai gardé pour moi très longtemps, car chaque fois oû j’ai osé en parler, je n’ai vu  qu’indifférence, doutes,  ou complète incrédulité….

A présent, j’ai compris que peu importe que l’on me croit ou non…., ça ne changera rien au fait que je l’ai bel et bien vécue.

Jacqueline Meuret.
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Angels Exist In A Political Flaw

I am a Blob Induced Light Source Artist from The Root Of War (legalized cockfighting) and Presidential Medal Of Freedom candidate with my Art as creativity of The Medal.
I grew up on a legalized cockfighting farm in Schriever, Louisiana. I knew it was wrong. I was taught at school that the root of war is when humans mimic and think like
animals. This happens on a legalized cockfighting farm. Legalized cockfighting is inhumane and uncivil. My human and civil rights were violated. The law says a gamecock is
not an animal but is a fowl. It was a twisted and sad childhood. As a child, I believed if I spoke up about the political flaw of legalized cockfighting it would cause a nuclear
war.
When I was 13 years of age my younger brother and I were racing on motorbikes. I saw him get hit by a car and he died instantly. Everything was in slow motion and there
was no sound. I saw his body go up into the sky and a black shadow seperated from his body. At that moment I felt myself split and a part of me lifted with this black
shadow. While I was up there I saw a bunch of black blobs going fast in all directions. I then saw a light and my brothers shadow went into this light. Then I saw a transparent
blob come out of the light and it "hit" me. I started to feel myself slowly sink back down into my body. After this happened I believed if I talked about it the world would end.
It was the same end of the world fear I had with legalized cockfighting at home. Growing up I felt something pressing on me like a weight. I did not realize at the time that it
was from this blob. I did not tell anyone.
When I was in college I was studying art. One night I was reading the Book of Revelations from The Bible about fire from the sky. Instantly I felt this weight or pressure rise
from my feet up my body into a spot in my brain. It felt like steam hitting the inside of my skull. It felt good. It was a release of pressure. I thought to myself maybe this blob
was trying to tell me something. It was. It was telling me to use this spot in my brain as a light source for my paintings and drawings. My paintings and drawings had no depth
and were flat until I used this spot in my brain as a light source. They came alive instantly. It was a gift from GOD and had a message. This blob was an angel. Its message to
me is to make cockfighting illegal for humanity.
DAD'S STORY

On July 22nd I was in route to Washington, DCfor a business trip. It was all so very ordinary,until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I
collected my belongings from the overhead bin,anannouncementwas made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the UnitedCustomer
Service Representative immediately. I thought nothing!of it until I reached the door to leave the plane andI heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr.
Glenn.At this point I knew something was wrong and myheart sunk. When I got off the plane a solemn-facedyoung man came toward me and said,"Mr. Glenn, there is
an emergency at your home. I do not know what theemergency is, or who is involved, but I will takeyou to the phone so can call the hospital." My heart
was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over.Woodenly,I followed this stranger to the distanttelephone where I called the number he gave me! for
the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to thetrauma center where I learned that my three-year-oldson had been trapped underneath the automatic garage
door for several minutes, and that when my wife hadfound him he was dead. CPR had been performed by aneighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had
continued the treatment as Brian was transported tothe hospital.By the time of my call, Brian was revived and
they believed he would live, but they did not know howmuch damage had been done to his brain, nor to his
heart. They explained that the door had completelyclosed on his little sternum right over his heart. Hehad been severely crushed. After speaking with the
medical staff, my wife sounded worried ! but nothysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.The return flight seemed to last forever, but  finally
I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garagedoor had come down. When I walked into  the intensivecare unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my
little son laying so still on a great big bed withtubes and monitors  everywhere.He was on a respirator.
I glanced at my wife who  stood and tried to give me areassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream.I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded
prognosis. Brian was going to live, and thepreliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles
in  and of  themselves. But only time would tell if hisbrain received any damage. Throughout the seeminglyendless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian
would eventually be all right. I hung on  to her wordsand faith like a lifeline. All that night and the nextday Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever
since I had left for my  business trip the day before.Finally at two o'clock that afternoon, our sonregained
consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautifulwords I have ever heard  spoken. He said,  "Daddy holdme" and he reached for me with his  little arms.
By the next day he was pronounced as having noneurological or  physical deficits, and the story of
his miraculous  survival spread throughout thehospital. You cannot imagine, we took Brian home, wefelt a unique  reverence for the life and love of our
Heavenly Father that comes to  those who brush deathso closely. In the days that followed there was! aspecial
spirit about our home.Our two older children were muchcloser to their little brother. My wife and I  weremuch closer to each other, and all of us were very
close as a whole family. Life took on a less stressfulpace.Perspective seemed to  be more  focused, and
balance much easier to gain and  maintain. We feltdeeply blessed. Our gratitude was truly profound.The story is not over (smile)!
Almost a month later to the day of the accident, Brianawoke from his afternoon nap and said, "Sit down Mo!
Mommy. I have something to tell you."At this time in his life, Brian usually spoke in small phrases,so to say a  large sentence surprised my wife.
She sat down  with him on his bed, and he  began hissacred and remarkable story. "Do you remember when I got stuck under the garage door? Well, it was so
heavy and it hurt really bad. I called to you, but youcouldn't  hear me I started to cry, but then it hurt too bad. And then the 'birdies' came."  "The birdies?"
my wife asked puzzled. "Yes," he replied. "The birdiesmade a  whooshing sound and flew into the  garage.They took care of me."  "They did?" "Yes," he said.
"One of the birdies came and  got you. She came to tell you
"I got stuck under the door." A sweet reverentfeeling filled the room.The spirit was so strong andyet lighter than air.
My wife realized that a  three-year-old had no concept of death and spirit!, so he was referring to  the beings who came to him from
beyond as "birdies" because they were up in  the air like birds that fly. "What did the  birdies look like?"
she asked.  Brian answered, "They were so beautiful. They were dressed in white, all  white. Some of them
had green and white. But some of them had on just white." "Did they say anything?" "Yes," he answered.
"They told me the baby would be all right." "The baby?" my wife asked confused. Brian answered. "The b aby laying on the garage
floor." He went on, "You came out and opened the garage door and ran to the baby. You told  the baby to
stay and not leave."My wife nearly collapsed upon hearing this, for she had indeed gone and knelt beside Brian's body and
seeing his crushed chest whispered, "Don't  leave us Brian, please stay if you can." As  she listened to
Brian telling her the words she had spoken, she realized that the spirit had left his body  and was looking down from above on this little lifeless form.
"Then what happened?" she asked. "We went on a trip," he said, "far, far away."  He grew agitated  trying
to say the things he didn't seem to have the words for. My wife tried to calm  and comfort him, and lethim know it would be okay.
He struggled with  wanting to tell something that obviously was very important to
him, but finding the words was difficult."We flew so fast up in the air. They're so  pretty Mommy," he  added. "And  there are lots and lots of
birdies." My wife was stunned. Into her mind the sweet comforting spirit enveloped her more soundly,
but with an urgency she  had never before known. Brian went on to tell her that the "birdies"had told him
that he had to come back and tell everyone about the "birdies." He said they brought him back to the house
and  that a big fire truck,  and an  ambulance were there. A man was bringing the  baby out on a white bed and he
tried to tell the man that the baby would be okay, The story went  on for an  hour. He taught us that
"birdies" were always with us, but we don't see them  because we look with our eyes and we don't hear them because we listen with  our ears.
But they are always there, you can only see them in here (he put his hand over his heart). They whisper the things to help us to do what is  right because they
love us so much. Brian continued, stating, "Ihave a plan, Mommy. You have a plan. Daddy has a plan. Everyone has a plan. We must  all live our plan
and keep our promises. The birdies help us to do that  cause they love us so much."  In the weeks that
followed, he often came to us  and told all, or part of it, again and again. Always the story remained
the same. The details were never  changed or out of order. A few times he added further bits ofinformation and clarified the message he had already
delivered. It never ceased to  amaze  us how he could tell such detail and speak  beyond his ability when he  talked  about his birdies. Everywhere he
went, he told strangers about the  "birdies." Surprisingly, no one ever looked at  him strangely
when  he did this. Rather, they always got a softened look on their face and smiled. Needless to say, we have not
been the same ever since that day,and I pray we never will be.  You have just been sent an Angel to watch over you. Some people come into  our lives
and quickly go...Some people become  friends and stay a while...leaving beautiful footprints on our  hearts
... and we are never  quite the same because we have made a good friend!!  Yesterday is history. Tomorrow amystery.
Today is a gift. That's why it's  called the present! Live and savor every  moment...

From the Los Angeles Times
One Mother's War

By Jeff Nachtigal
Special to the Times
Published January 30, 2005


TRACY, Calif. -- On the day her son Patrick McCaffrey died on a blacktop farm road in northern Iraq, Nadia McCaffrey's war began.

Her first act was to invite the press to the Sacramento Airport when her 34-year-old son's flag draped-coffin was brought home at the end of June
2004.

"Patrick was not a private person. All his life he loved people," Nadia McCaffrey explained. "Why should I hide him when he comes home? He
would not have wanted that."

At a time when the Pentagon was attempting to keep photographs of the returning coffins out of the American press, the Sacramento Airport scene
attracted international attention.

From the first interviews with newspaper obituary writers, Nadia was outspoken about her own opposition to the war as well as her son's growing
reservations at the time he was killed.

"Patrick was overwhelmed by the hatred there for Americans and Europeans," Nadia told a reporter for The Times. "He was so ashamed by the
prisoner abuse scandal. He even sent me an e-mail to tell me that not all the soldiers were like that. He said we had no business in Iraq and should
not be there. Even so, he wanted to be a good soldier."

Since her son's June death in an ambush outside the big American military base at Balad, Nadia McCaffrey has appeared at dozens of peace rallies,
anti-war vigils and ceremonies for other soldiers killed in action. Along with a handful of other parents whose sons and daughters have died in Iraq,
McCaffrey dedicated herself to the anti-war movement.

In late December, she went to the Middle East, traveling to Jordan with a humanitarian aid delegation sponsored by the San Francisco organization,
Global Exchange.

The group distributed $600,000 in humanitarian aid for victims of American military actions in Fallouja. But plans to travel inside Iraq, where Nadia
hoped to visit the site of her son's death, were scrapped because of security concerns, not just for the Americans but also for the Iraqis who had
volunteered to take them inside.

In Jordan, Nadia met with five Iraqi mothers who had lost children in the fighting.

"My dream," she said, "was to be able to find at least one Iraqi mother, who like me suffered a loss, and be able to have an exchange without hatred
or anger about the way we feel. Talk about what to do to start working for peace. And do it mother to mother, with no governments."

Before leaving Jordan, Nadia had already decided to return in 2005 to set up a non-profit safe house for women and children. And she still wants to
see the farm road where her son fell.

Born in France just after World War II to a Serbian father and French mother, Nadia has long been a pacifist.

"I grew up in the aftermath of war," she told an audience at a Unitarian church in Davis in December. "I remember Dien Bien Phu (the 1954 French
colonial defeat in the Indochina War). Then we had Algeria."

At the Davis church, homemade cookies were spread out on card tables and a youth chorale sang carols. Yellow helium balloons drew attention to
a donation box for the upcoming Middle East trip, and to a signboard displaying a picture of Patrick in dress uniform, his face a study in seriousness.

"The basic meaning of the mission is peace," McCaffrey told the small audience in a speech that was part plaintive mother's grief and sharply worded
call to action. "It's a first step, and I hope that other people will follow."

Patrick, she said, loved children and worried most about the Iraqi orphans who were starved for food and love. Then she held up a picture of a little
Iraqi girl holding a sunflower as big as her head. She said that the girl had given Patrick the flower the day before he was killed.

"I am going to Iraq because someone has to do this," she said, her dark eyes flashing.

Now 59, she is an impressive figure who speaks with a slight French accent.

A man in the audience stood slowly and asked: What about your safety?

"I am not afraid," Nadia said in a strong, clear voice. "I am not afraid of dying."

Despite her long-held opposition to war, when Patrick came home after signing with the National Guard just a month past 9/11, explaining that he
had to "do something," she accepted her son's decision. But as Patrick increasingly expressed his doubts about the American mission and what it
was accomplishing, her concern grew, then erupted into full-blown anger when the news of his death arrived.

So she channels her anger and grief by connecting with people and helping them deal with the sorrow of loss.

In many ways Nadia is uniquely qualified for this role.

Building on her own history of near-death experience, Nadia has worked for years as a hospice caregiver, comforting the dying. Ten years ago she
set up a non-profit organization called Angelstaff (http://www.angelstaff.org/) to provide caregiver assistance and emotional support for people who
were dying. She communicates by e-mail with an international network of people who are involved in hospice care. Now this group calls and e-mails
to give her emotional support.

Don Murdoch thinks people naturally gravitate to Nadia because she is so focused and has no "phoniness or agendas." "People are drawn to her,
her ring of truth. She believes what she's doing," said Murdoch, who met Nadia seven years ago when he began doing hospice care.

Nadia's first brush with death came when she was seven years old in provincial France when she was bitten by a poisonous snake. She says that in
the ten days she lay partially conscious she had a vision of a woman that introduced herself as "Je suis ta petite maman du ciel," or "I am your little
heavenly mother." The vision asked Nadia to share her message of love with the world.

Her most recent near-death experience came in August, two months after her son's death. Suddenly stricken by fever, she was rushed to the
emergency room. Doctors told her both lungs had collapsed.

After this attack, Nadia said she asked herself why she was still alive while her son was dead.

"When I thought of this, and Patrick, I would have taken his place with joy, but that's not the way the plan was," Nadia said. "I think there are no
coincidences, no accidents; things happen because we are meant to do certain things. It's totally up to us to fulfill what we have been left to do."



My Journey
by Ken Prather





I was nine years old when I developed rheumatic fever. This was in the late fifties. I was confined to a wheelchair and kept home for two years.  
Then, very early one morning, the fever turned to flu and pneumonia.  My mother and father took me to the doctor, who gave me a whole lot of shots.
On the way home, I had a reaction to the shots and contracted hives in my throat and on my tongue. I couldn't breathe.

My father took me back to the doctor's office. There I was given another shot to make the hives go away.
On our way home, I had another reaction to the shot. This time I started to have convulsions and swallow my tongue.
I was choking to death and the only thing my mother could do was insert her hand into my mouth and hold onto my tongue.
I almost bit off two of her fingers. This time, they took me straight to the hospital. They were wheeling me down a corridor and doctors and nurses were everywhere.
It was at this time that I had my first encounter with the other side.

All of a sudden, I found myself floating in the corner of a room. I knew one thing for sure; it sure felt good to breathe again.
I was looking down at the floor, but it didn't bother me because I could move without walking. I just kind of glided through the room wherever I wanted to go.
I felt so happy and so alive. I was almost like an explorer finding a new country. I moved into a hallway.
I could see people everywhere, but why couldn't they see me? "Oh! Maybe they are too busy," I thought. I saw doctors, nurses, and even a delivery man.
Nobody could see me, and I couldn't figure out why. Then I saw a minister with a bible. I thought if anybody would take time to talk to me, he would.
I could still glide through the air anywhere I wanted to go, so I followed the minister into the room I had come out of. Once back in the room,
I retreated back into the safe corner both crying and holding hands. Things were a little fuzzy, as if I were looking through a mist, so I moved closer.
Oh, my goodness. It was my mother and father. What were they crying about? I called out "Mom, Dad, I am up here," but they did not look at me or talk to me.
I was starting to wonder what was really going on when the minister approached my mother and father with his bible, and began reading to me.
I wondered who the three of very still in bed and not moving. I wondered how I could be down there, if I was up here.
Then I heard the minister give me my last rites. At that time I felt a sudden sensation pulling me back into my body.
I didn't want to go back because I felt really good where I was. I was told I must go back and continue with my earthly lifestyle, and that my parents
loved me and needed me very much. (You see, I am adopted and an only child).
At this time, I opened my eyes and everybody was happy and hugging me. I had slipped into a coma and had been given 24 to 48 hours to live.
Everybody thought that this nine-year-old had been in a deep sleep. They just didn't know that he had made his first trip to the other side.
It wasn't until I was 17 years old that I mentioned it to my parents. We were sitting at the kitchen table one night and I told Mom and Dad I had
something to share with them. I said, "Remember the time when I was nine years old and you two were in the hospital room with me?" My dad said,
"Sure we do." I said, "I could see you." Puzzled, my father said, "There is no way you could have seen us. You were in a coma."
I told him he didn't understand. I said I could see him from the other side. He said, "Son, you have been watching too much Twilight Zone."
I looked right at them and said, "You were not alone. You had a minister with you giving me my last rites." My father looked at my morn and said,
"How could he know that?" I told them he had on a brown jacket with a blue tie. It was at that point my father dropped his beer can and believed me.
I had been given a very special gift, but would not realize it until much later in life.
***
Years later, when my dear mother passed away of a sudden and massive heart attack, I was devastated. I had lost my best friend, but I felt I could
always ask her for help. Then one night, she came to me for help.
I was in Fort Wayne driving home one night, when all of a sudden the whole sky and everything around me became a bright light.
Not a blinding light, but a beautiful, passionate light filled with love. I pulled my truck over. I was curious but not scared, because I felt my mother all around me.  
Her sister, my aunt, was in a hospital in Lafayette, Indiana at that time. She had terminal cancer and didn't have long on this side.
My aunt was having trouble and needed some reassurance that somebody was waiting to help her cross over.
My mother told me that I must travel 150 miles to let her sister know that it is okay to let go, because she will be waiting to help her to the other side.
It was so wonderful to feel my mother again and I didn't want it to end.
I left that night to go see my aunt. My wife went with me. When we arrived at the hospital, I told some of the other family members exactly why I had come.
I felt like a messenger with a very important message. They had mixed emotions. Some of them believed in what I told them, and some thought
I was watching too much science fiction.
The doctors and nurses said that my aunt was in a coma and would not respond to anyone, nor would she  know me.
There were about ten people in my aunt's room when I walked in. Among them were her two sons. As I walked in, her eyes opened up and she said,
"Hi Kenny." (That's what my mother always called me). Everybody in the room gasped. I looked at her and said, "I think you know why I am here, don't you.
" She said, "Yes I do, but I need to hear it from you, and so does my family. I told everybody in the room about my mother waiting for her,
and it was O.K. to let her cross over. Then my aunt slipped back into a coma.
Two days later, when my cousin called me to tell me his mother had passed on, I told him I already knew. He said the nurses wanted to know if my
aunt had had any visitors the night she had crossed over. He told them that the family had been there earlier, but everybody had gone home.
The nurses said they heard my aunt tell a lady by the name of Edna that she had been expecting her and that it was nice to see her again.
Then Edna said, "Take my hand and we can go now." The next time the nurses checked on my aunt, she had crossed over.
My cousin told me I had a very special gift, but I wouldn't find out until later in life just how very special it is.
***
It was a fall evening in 1998, and I was walking home from work.
I was about one block from home when a car pulled over and four or five guys got out with baseball bats.
I was beaten and left for dead, but I don't remember much about it. I do remember falling down in somebody's front yard and the next thing I knew, it was 32 days later.
I was in the hospital with a broken back, convulsions, and seizures. My kidneys, lungs, and brain were all failing to function.
I was put on life support in ICU. My children were planning my funeral.
It was at this time, I went on the most beautiful and wonderful journey of my life. It was a journey to love, compassion, and the planes of knowledge.
It was a journey into time, where time does not exist.  It was a journey home.
I walked along a great spiritual path to knowledge, where all the questions about creation you could ever think of were answered.
The answers were within. I was the essence of creation. I couldn't really say I was walking down this path. It was more like when
I wanted to be somewhere all I had to do was think of where I wanted to be, and I was there.  The abundance of knowledge I was picking up was unbelievable to me.
Then I was told if I came back, I could not bring some of it back with me.
I learned that compassion, love, and caring have a lot to do with where our soul starts its journey on the other side.
Forgiveness is one of the greatest assets of all. Not only should we forgive others, but, most of all, we should forgive ourselves.
I saw many beings of light. The ones with a deeper knowledge of love, compassion and caring had a brighter and more intense light.
They were almost of a higher power. You could almost say they were like teachers of the light.
The light was so bright and intense, but like my mother's light, you could stare at it and never blink your eyes.
I continued on my path of knowledge until I came to a beautiful green pasture. I absorbed all of the knowledge that I could from this beautiful setting.
I was told and shown that all creatures have a soul and a spirit - that we should care for and love all creatures, whether they are two-legged, four legged, or otherwise.
It was a beautiful arena of beings, where loved flowed everywhere.
It was at this time that I was told and shown that I must return to the earthly side, and I would be shown later that there is much to be done on the earthly side.
Now that I understood more about them, they told me it was time to cross back and learn more about myself.
When I opened my eyes, a doctor was standing above me. He said, "Mr. Prather, can you hear me?" I said, "Yes, I can."
He told me that I was in a hospital and needed a very serious operation. I asked him what time it was and how long I had been gone.
He told me I had been on life-support and in and out of ICU for over a month. It seemed like only seconds to me,
but now I realized where I had really come from and could understand the timelessness of it all. On the other side, there is no such thing as an earthly time span.
Time is forever, and forever is now.
The doctor said, "If we don't operate on you, you will die. If we do operate, we have a 50% chance of losing you on the operating table.
If you make it through the operation, it is very doubtful you will ever walk again." The doctor said to me with a puzzled look,
"This doesn't seem to bother you at all, does it?" If he had only known where I had been and why I had come back.
The operation was a success, and I had two 13" Harrington rods inserted into my back to hold my spine straight.
The doctors had told me that I would never walk again. I was out to prove them wrong with a little help from my friends. I spent the next 3 months in the hospital.
I not only started my physical recovery, but also my spiritual connection and my spiritual education with the spirits from the other side.
It was during my third month in the hospital that I received a very wonderful gift - a gift from above. O
ne night I was feeling a little down and asked for a sign of any kind to let me know that I was headed in the right direction.
Two nights later, I woke up and almost sat up in bed. (That would have been a miracle in itself.) I felt a wonderful and warm presence in the room.
I was wide awake, so I knew it wasn't a dream. The presence was almost as strong as when my mother had come to me.
There, before me, emerged a beautiful angel dressed in the most brilliant green dress I had ever seen.
She had long blond hair and wings to match. She took one look at me and said, "Continue on your path." I knew at this time, I was on the path of my own destiny.
I had been sent back to do a job - a job that I would soon find out about. After three months in the hospital, I was transferred to a long-term facility.
It was a nursing home with about 150 residents. Among the residents were many people with terminal illnesses.
I seemed to form a very close bond with these people. It was very uncanny, but I seemed to know when souls were ready to cross over.
It was at this time I started an outreach program called Reaching for Joy. It was not only about helping people on this side,
but also helping people make the transition from the earthly side to the other side.
Now I was beginning to see my purpose and destiny more than ever.
I was asked by many families to sit with their loved ones as they were getting ready to cross over. I also found out that my being there helped the families
left behind realize that it is not the ending, but only a different beginning.
Even while I was in the rehabilitation hospital, I knew there was something else I should be doing. I knew I had to continue down my path.
There was still a lot to do.
Then I found the Hospice Organization. At once I understood I had to be a part of hospice. If anybody could understand everything I was going through, they could.
The people were so loving, caring, and compassionate. I knew I had found a home.
I started making counseling calls for hospice even when I was in a wheelchair in the nursing home. My physical therapy was coming along really well,
and I was starting to walk with a walker. This is when I was given a roommate. His name was Frank.
Frank was admitted with terminal lung cancer and was given two months to live on this side. As it turned out, Frank lived ten months.
Everybody thought that we would make really good roommates. You see, Frank did not believe in the other side, but I knew right where he was headed.
It turned out that we would be teaching each other. The ten months I spent with Frank was another gift from above.
It was gift of a higher education I could never get from a college or university - an education in life's lessons.
Spiritual Visitor
Frank had a dog named Brutus. Every Friday, Frank's son brought Brutus to the nursing home for the day.
Frank would take Brutus around to see the residents and make their day a little more cheerful.
It always seemed that Frank would go to sleep and I would get stuck taking care of Brutus. But that's okay.
The dog and I had a very good working relationship.
Frank was in his ninth month with me, and his health was declining very rapidly. It was on a cold winter night when the night nurse woke me up at 2:00 in the morning.
She said that Frank's dog was at the back door. I told her that was not possible. Frank was sound asleep and I could not wake him.
I took my wheelchair to the back door, and there standing outside was Frank's dog. We let him in and the dog just stared at me.  
We called Frank's son and he said the dog had come up missing at 6:00 p.m.
The dog had walked eight miles on a cold winter night to be with his master, who was getting ready to cross over.
The dog had never walked to the nursing home before. He had only come in a van. Once inside the room with the dog, I knew Frank and I had a very special visitor.
I felt the presence of a spiritual being in the room, and a golden glow formed around the dog.
It was at that time I knew the dog had not walked alone, and truly had a spiritual guide.
It was such an amazing story that the local TV station came out to interview Frank about the dog the next day.
I truly knew that it was just another chapter in my education from the other side.
Frank passed away two weeks later, seeing the other side. I have now been out of the rehabilitation hospital for one year.
It was then that I found I.A.N.D.S.  What a wonderful organization they are.
I understand now that there are many people who have crossed over and come back.
Many of these people are confused and need compassionate help.
I now understand my destiny is not only to help people from the earthly side to the other side,
but also to help people from the other side back to the earthly side.
I keep myself busy as a hospice counselor, and operating my outreach program called Reaching for Joy.
I am also happy to say that Reaching for Joy is an I.A.N.D.S. support group in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Since my departure from the hospital, I continue to grow and learn from the miracles and gifts sent my way.
I hope by writing this, I have shared some with you. The spirit world is constantly present, but you must be channeled in to them with love,
compassion, and understanding.
In closing, I would like to thank the hospice home of northeast Indiana and the I.A.N.D.S. Organization for being a part of my path of destiny.
I will leave you with a bit of knowledge and wisdom to help you find your best friend.
Since my accident almost three years ago, many people have asked me:

A. How do you deal with it?
B. How did it affect you?
C. Are you mad about everything and at anybody?
D. Did it depress you and how do you move on?

Let me first of all say that spiritually and mentally,  it was a blessing in disguise.
The next article best describes how I feel on my journey back. It will be in an upcoming book to be entitled "Joy's Stories."
Finding My Best Friend The essence of man is his spirit and soul. The spirit and soul is the combination of mans inner self.
To become patient and content, man must find one's own inner self and become his own best friend.
When man has found his inner self, he has found his true soul mate. Having now attained the knowledge of knowing himself,
man can now conquer all problems with the help of his spirit and soul. His spirit will take him to levels of knowledge and self-discipline
that he felt he never could attain. Once he knows himself, he becomes much closer to his creator.
With your spirit and his spirit combined, there is nothing the human soul cannot overcome. How do you know when you have found your inner self?
When you are content and happy being with you. But most of all, when you cannot only ask the questions, but can give the answers.

In Spirit,
Reaching for Joy

Ken Prather
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