Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Reading with Medium John Edward

Just the same way that massage therapists sometimes need to go see a massage therapist to unwind, or a hair dressers will sit for another hair dresser to look pretty, so too must a medium sometimes become the lab rat for other mediums.

When the urge for a reading hits a medium, the stress of finding another good medium who doesn’t know anything about them sets in. Truthfully, it’s not that hard to figure out who the good mediums are. All you have to do is talk to them. It doesn’t usually take long before most mediums say something that smells fishy. That’s not to say they are frauds or anything, but you can’t underestimate the value of “style” when it comes to your reading.

For instance, I am a very much “in your face”, Dr. Phil style of medium. I tell it like it is, whether you like it or not. Really, it’s Spirit who tells it like it is, but Spirit knows my personality and convictions, and they know I won’t sugar coat the hard stuff.

The truth about mediums is that they are always suspicious of other mediums. There’s the whole professional jealousy part of it, but then there’s also that “ego” that makes mediums falsely believe they are somehow more “gifted” than the person next to them. In my case, it just happens to be true. ;-) That was a joke.

I’ve had a couple of amazing readings in my days, but the one that truly stands out was with the gifted medium, John Edward, better known as the dude from Crossing Over who talks to the dead.

Following is a detailed story I wrote about that experience. I hope you enjoy it.

This is a story. A LONG, WONDERFUL STORY.

A long story about a particular Tuesday in my life... Tuesday, February 17th, 2004, to be exact. The day that I had my face to face Crossing Over experience with John Edward.

When people hear that I was read by John Edward, they immediately ask, “What did he tell you?” “Who came through?”

No matter who asked, I couldn’t even begin to answer these questions because it is impossible to remove the information received from the actual experience itself. So here, for the first time, I will try and convey to you the sequence of events as best as I can remember them. In total, my reading with John Edward lasted probably all of 5 minutes. Within those five minutes, John Edward made several references to conversations and places I had experienced earlier that same day.

Tuesday 2/17/2004 -

8:46 AM - Ground Zero – World Trade Center

It wasn’t intentional for me to be standing at Ground Zero this morning, and at this time - the exact time American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. Exiting the subway, I had walked in the wrong direction and found myself staring at the large void. I had five friends survive 9/11, one of them my upstairs neighbor, a fireman who was injured as the South Tower came down. Like many New Yorkers, I watched the towers fall live before my very eyes.

It’s still hard to go back to those day, because on some levels, I still haven’t dealt with some of the shock, anger, hate, fear and sadness that was permanently imprinted in my mind that Tuesday morning.

Yet, in spite of this hole in the ground, this painful void before me, the sky above me is not raining down debris, but reflecting my heart, now clear and full of piercing blue hope.

9:04 AM - NYPD Headquarters – 1 Centre Place

Walking past 1 Centre Place, NYPD headquarters, I ask a security guard to please direct me to the New York Office of Health & Mental Hygiene. Now before you go making any wise cracks about my hygiene, mental or otherwise, I’ll have you know that I was looking for the office of Vital Records. I lost my passport and I’m getting married in Mexico, so two great reasons to get my birth certificate. Besides, in New York City, my mental hygiene is what gives the Big Apple character.

9:38 AM - Office of Vital Records – Room 133

Last name? Cairo. First Name? Marcel. Place of Birth? Le Roy Hospital, Manhattan, NY

I had all the answers. Wrong!

The vital records clerk hit the breaks, “Wait a second. Your father’s name on your birth certificate does not match what you just gave me.”

“What? That can’t be! “ Then I remembered. My real father got booted off all legal papers after he had kidnapped me and my older brother, Alex. Once we were safely back in the US with my Mom, my Step Dad, Tom Snead, legally adopted me and my older brother.

“Try Tom Snead,” I told the suspicious office clerk. BINGO!! I was born after all, and now I have a birth certificate to prove it.

Then looking closer, there was something strangely familiar about a certain date on my birth certificate. Not my actual birthday, but the date that my Mom and real father filed the certificate... October 10th... four days after I popped into this wacky world. However, October 10th is very important for another reason, it’s Tom Snead’s birthday, my (step)Dad. And the date my fiancée, Leigh and I, are aiming for for our wedding!!

“What a strange coincidence,” I thought. My real father and mother filed my birth certificate on my Stepdad’s birthday. Then I remembered a bumper sticker I once saw... Coincidences are miracles where God decides to remain anonymous. Why not? After all, Tom Snead was my Dad. He raised me and loved me like his own son, and to me he was the greatest Dad in the world. Chalk up another miracle to “anonymous.”

11:11 AM - The Read Cafe – Brooklyn, NY

Patrick is late. Patrick is always late. I haven’t seen or spoken to him in the eight months since Leigh and I left New York for California, so I don’t mind his habitual tardiness. Besides, I chose The Read Cafe because it was closer to Patrick than the other nearest cafe, three blocks further up the road. Three blocks make a huge difference in my schedule today. It’s my last full day in New York. I have more friends to see, and I have to catch the 4:24 PM train to Long Island to see John Edward.

The Read Cafe holds a special place in my heart. It’s a mini library/bookstore/coffee house close to where I used to live. Sometimes The Read would have musical bands or guest speakers. The owner’s name was Brooks. He was a 30 something year old white boy from the Midwest, who consumed literature and knowledge the way most New Yorkers consume coffee. The Read was a perfect relationship for him and the city.

In addition to being The Read’s owner, Brooks was also its head waiter, busboy, cashier and resident guru. In fact, Brooks was a certified Buddhist teacher. In 1998, he decided to introduce the basic principles of Buddhism to anyone interested enough to show up every Tuesday at 7:30 PM. Once again, Tuesday would play an important role in my life.

In 1998, my soul was a complete mess. That Tuesday when I first walked into Brooks introduction to Buddhism, I was battling severe bouts of depression. I think God put me in that cafe that day because after listening to Brooks talk about Buddhism for just an hour, I was joyful – truly joyful.

So joyful in fact, after three Tuesdays, I skipped the fourth Tuesday’s class to go to a movie, and I never went to another class again. Like a good Buddhist, though, Brooks forgave me. After that, when I got my coffee and bagel at The Read, I would jokingly remind Brooks that the three classes I did attend qualified me as a Buddhist Bystander, and therefore I deserved a discount on my breakfast. “No dice,” he would say. “Buddhist believe in balance, and your balance is $1.50.”

All these memories rushed back to me for the first time in five years. Later in the evening, John Edward would remind me again.

4:24 PM - Long Island Railroad – Penn Station

“This is Havana, our new baby.“

Christine, Kat and Laura were my travel partners to see John Edward in Long Island. Before boarding the train, they all had seen pictures of Havana, a shelter dog Leigh and I had adopted only a week earlier in South Central, Los Angeles.

Leigh and I have been unsuccessfully trying to have a baby since November, 2001, three years (see Video). Even though we’re planning an October wedding in Mexico, we feel like we’re getting too old to delay our becoming first-time parents. So we adopted a dog. Leigh joked the day we adopted Havana that a dog would help us test our parenting skills before the real thing came along. And boy was Leigh right. Havana tested us from day one. Just one year old, Havana shows all the signs of an abused dog. Dramatically skinny, torn pads on her paws and refusing dog food in preference for grass and garbage. She has kept us up and worried almost every night. Just leaving her in California for our trip to New York caused us severe emotional distress. We hired a dog sitter and called her twice a day. We’re neurotic parents already.

I wish Leigh could be here. She had to return to Long Beach the night before. I bet she’s playing with Havana right now.

6:33 PM - Marriott Hotel – Melville, Long Island

Christine, Kat, Laura and I head straight to the Marriott cocktail lounge. We just found out that John Edward will be 30 minutes late. House Merlot all around.

7:34 PM - Salon 7-12 - Marriott Hotel

The room is buzzing. Christine, Kat, Laura and I are sitting about 6 rows back from the stage. There are about 300 people in the room anxiously watching an empty microphone on a stage adorned with just one chair. There are no props, no cameras and no curtain. Just the audience and a room full of dead friends and relatives all waiting the arrival of one man.

John Edward walks in. Heartfelt applause. He’s late because he was at his own cousin’s wake. She died from cancer just days before. The revelation creates an immediate bond between John and the room. All awe of his celebrity disappears and the readings begin.

8:07 PM - The Moment – Row 6

The people sitting directly behind Christine, Kat, Laura and I are receiving a message. They are friendly Long Island women in their 40’s, the kind that love to talk and laugh and then talk and laugh some more. This is nice, but not so nice when you have 300 people waiting for you to get what’s being said to you.

John’s is trying to deliver a message from their grandfather or some close relative. The women can only make sense of about 70% of what John is saying. Mostly, they are just so giddy that John is talking to them that they forget to pay close attention. At one point in the reading, one of the ladies even tries to place a cell phone call to her mother, effectively talking over what John was trying to convey.

During this reading, Kat, Laura and I start to believe that part of the reading might actually be for us, or more specifically, for Kat. John gave the row behind us names of people that were exact names of people in Kat’s family. Names the row behind us had difficulty placing. Then John kept asking the ladies behind us to place a reference to the game Candy Land and to teaching. This made sense for Kat because she teaches a music program to little kindergarten kids. John also mentioned that he needed to go to the the uniformed officer that was somehow part of what happened on 9-11. This reference made sense to both me and Kat. My upstairs neighbor was a fireman that day and was injured running for cover as The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Kat’s brother is a New Jersey Patrolman and she also had a 9-11 connection.

John was intent on finding the person(s) that could validate the previous messages and could also validate a connection to a very close friend who had been sexually abused or raped. This was the clincher. Kat knew this message was for her. Since I didn’t know then who John was referring to, I wasn’t so sure yet, so I whispered to Kat, “I don’t think this is for us.” Upon my insistence and against her own certainty, Kat didn’t interrupt John.

After another minute of wrestling with the message and the women behind us, John Edward paused and looked directly at where Christine, Kat, Laura and I were sitting. He told the ladies behind us, “I think I need to come up a row from where you are... directly in front of you.” All of our hearts froze. That’s us, we’re directly in front of those ladies. Kat was right, the message was for her. The lady behind us handed over the microphone.

“You must have a teacher connection,” John said, looking at Kat.

“Yes. I’m a teacher,” Kat replied.

“You have the connection to a person who was sexually abused or raped?”

“Yes. A close friend” Kat offered up.

Feeling certain that he was now on the right track, John continued, “Who
connected to you is Laurie or Lauren or...”

“Laura... my sister,” Kat pointed out.

“I’m Laura.” Laura added for further confirmation.

“Ok. I’m definitely with you, then.”

Kat and Laura’s reading went on for about another couple of minutes. John
brought up a validation about Kat and Laura’s grandmother who, just this past week, was admitted into a nursing home. John mentioned details about problems related to getting the grandmother to eat, and Kat and Laura validated that just two days prior, the grandmother pulled out her oral feeding tube, and a feeding tube had to be put in her stomach.

I was pretty excited that Kat and Laura were getting read. When we arrived in Long Island, Laura had told me that she was hoping to connect with a family friend named Ryan who had been killed just months before in a boating accident. Ryan’s mother was still a wreck. Both Kat and Laura were hoping to deliver a message of hope to Ryan’s mother, and I was also praying for it up until the time we were being read.

Then as if a new spirit had come into the picture, John Edward paused and then asked, “Which one of you has the Tom who’s crossed over.”

Kat and Laura shook their heads ‘no’, so I raised my hand. John looked at me and asked if Kat, Laura and I had come together.

“Yes, we’re all friends,” I said.

“OK... Then Tom must be your Dad because that is how he his coming through...like your Dad.”

“Yes. Tom was my Dad... my Step Dad... but my Dad, you know.”

Those of you familiar with John Edward know that he doesn’t use the term ‘Dad’ too often. He usually says ‘father’ or ‘father figure’ or ‘the male above you’. For John to say ‘Dad’ was an important validation. I only ever called Tom,‘Dad’, never ‘father’. My real father was always, my father.

“He’s also telling me that he became your Dad from when you were very young... like 5 years old or before.”

“He married my Mom when I was about a year and a half old.”

“It’s interesting because although he says that he was your Dad, and I know he was your Dad, it almost feels like there is a brother like bond there. Like you could sometimes be like brothers...”

“I can see that.”

At this point, I wasn’t really sure how to interpret this part of the message. In fact, I was a bit stunned. When John Edward is relaying a message to you, you almost start to have an out of body experience. You’re there, but your brain doesn’t function properly. I guess the Long Island ladies behind me must have experienced the same loss for thought. Now I think I know what John (or Tom) meant by the ‘brother’ comment.

Tom was a jokester and a flirt. When you were with him and he was flirting with the world (men or women), you weren’t just his son, you were his sidekick. Tom elevated you to his level. Also, my older brother Alex and I served as brotherly counsel to Tom during his fights with my mother. Their fights were horrible. My brother and I were more than just mediators. When we spoke to Tom we were like brethren trying to help each other get through a difficult time. Finally, when I was 18, my Mom and Dad divorced, and the relationship between Tom and myself evolved even further along this brotherly road.

I also thought this message could also be a reference to Tom’s oldest son Jim, my older step brother, who was also like a father figure to me growing up. Just weeks before this reading Jim and I resumed our communication and relationship as brothers.

John Edward’s reading continued...

“Now, I don’t know exactly what Tom means by this, but was there was some kind of issue with a name change?

“Yes. He legally adopted me. I had his last name for awhile.”

“Actually, it’s a little bit more than just that. Did you not know that he adopted you? He’s telling me that there was an issue about you not knowing that you had his name or that he adopted you.”

Oh my God! This morning at the Office of Vital Records getting my birth certificate. I had told them my real father’s last name instead of Tom’s. Here was Tom joking with me because I forgot for a moment that he had legally adopted me.

“This morning I went to get my birth certificate because I’m getting married, and I had given them my real father’s last name instead of Tom’s. I forgot that they changed the name on my birth certificate to his instead of my real father’s.”

Then John looked at me rather quizzically, “Did you just have a baby? Or are you going to have a baby?”

“uh... not that I know of, not yet.” I said rather confused. The audience started to laugh and go “Ohhh Ohhh!”

A sudden smile came over John’s face. “Tom says that there is a new baby... if it’s not here yet, then it’s coming.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this. Just one week earlier Leigh and I had adopted a one year old puppy, Havana, who we call our little baby, and we’ve been actively trying to have a baby for years, so Tom could have been going either way. I decided it would be too weird to mention the dog.

“My fiancée and I are actively trying to have a baby.”

“Well, guess what. There’s a baby coming. Tom says he’s going to be grandfather. And he also says that he is going to be at your wedding.”

[SIde Note: Leigh and I became pregnant exactly 4 months after this reading and were married 8 months after the reading].

Then, John’s attention drifted away from me for a moment. He looked over at Kat.

“You must be a musician because they are showing me you playing a guitar.”

“Yes. I play guitar.” Kat acknowledged.

“But that must not be the only artistic thing that you do, because they also tell me that you have a second creative passion... like painting.”

“Yes. I am a painter also.”

“They want to tell you thank you for the private music concerts that you give in your room.”

What you need to know here is that 3 years ago, Kat took up the guitar and with some help, taught herself to play. Now she takes her guitar to different schools throughout New Jersey playing musical concerts for little kids. Right before we caught the train out to Long Island, Kat, Laura and I had been talking about just this thing. Laura had been joking that before Kat moved out of the house, Kat drove her nuts practicing her kiddie songs in her room really loudly.

John Edward then switched gears...

“I also have a contemporary here who crosses over real quick, just like that (snapping his fingers). This person could have been a childhood friend.”

At this moment, Kat, Laura and I are thinking, Ok, this is going to be from Ryan who had drowned after a freak boating accident. Laura either did not make the connection at the time, or what John Edward said next did not resonate with her interpretation that it could be Ryan coming through.

John Edward began to elaborate some more, telling a personal story from his own life. He said, “I feel as if the way one found out about this person’s passing was the way that I found out about my friend Nancy’s passing. I had had a reading with a psychic and they told me that my friend Nancy was sending greetings I was dumbfounded because I didn’t have any dead friends named Nancy. My friend Nancy was alive. Then a few days later I went to a sweet sixteen party, and someone at the party came up to me and said, ‘did you hear about Nancy... she died last week.’ So the psychic was right.”

As I sat there listening to John Edward, I was flooded with a familiar feeling. I felt somehow that he was talking to me about my friend Ellie. Ellie was a friend I made my last year in college. We became super close friends in a short amount of time, as if we were lifelong friends. Her friend Nancy was the one who called me when Ellie died. It wasn’t just the name ‘Nancy’, though, that provoked this familiarity within me. It was also the mention of the sweet sixteen party. The connection to death and party resonated strongly with me in regards to Ellie. Ellie died at a wedding. Instantly, just like in the way John snapped his fingers. She had been battling cancer for five years.

In 1990, a month before I moved to New York, Ellie decided to quit chemotherapy. It was destroying her strength. She wanted to enjoy and live life outside of the hospital. A couple of weeks after I arrived in New York, Ellie and I spoke on the phone. She asked me to come back to Texas to be her date at a wedding she was to attend in Austin. I didn’t have the money to return. The night of the wedding, Ellie came to me in a dream. In the dream, I apologizing to her profusely that I couldn’t go with her to the wedding. She told me that it didn’t matter because she had so much fun. At the end of the dream Ellie said, ‘Goodbye. I have to go now.’ The next day, I received a call from Nancy. Ellie was dead. She collapsed right there on the wedding dance floor, swirling around in the hands of my stand-in, a blind date she had met only hours before the wedding.

After telling John Edward about Ellie, John said, “Just know that your Dad is bringing her through.” Then John added...

“There must have been a change of religions associated with your Dad, Tom. He’s saying that there was a major moving away from a religion, but then there was a return back to it .”

“Yes. My Dad belonged to the Christian Science church. He left the religion for many many years, and before he died, he rediscovered his faith.”

I didn’t elaborate in front of the 300 people in that room that night, but I knew what this message meant. My mother was a doctor. In the Christian Science faith, doctors are not looked upon too favorably. When Tom married my Mother he was essentially banished by his own mother. This was always a huge pain in Tom’s heart. Although he spoke to his mother briefly before her death, they never really mended that break. I knew with the message that John was telling me, Tom was letting me know that not only did he reunite with his faith, he reunited with his own mother.

John goes on...

“Tom’s also saying that you share some similar experience with religion. That although you are spiritualist in nature, you have been meandering and searching in and out of different faiths...

It’s true. In more ways than one. My family is 100% Jewish, but other than a brief stint in my youth, I have been a mixed bag of beliefs. Technically, I have been a member of the Spiritualist church for over 20 years, but as of late, I have been checking out other churches because I get frustrated with some of the antiquated ways in which the Spiritualist Church conducts its business. A few weeks before this reading, I finally had recommitted to getting more involved with the Spiritualist Church.

Then dear old Dad had to throw in a joke...

“This is a bit strange, but your Dad is telling me that you are more like a Buddhist.”

I started to laugh. “Uh huh.” What else could I say? No way was I going to try and explain to 300 people how this was Tom joking around with me about those Buddhist classes I took at The Read Cafe back in 1998. I only wish John Edward had said “Buddhist Bystander,” then I could have explained the joke to everyone.

“Your Dad is also letting me know that there are a total of four Toms in the family. ”

“Yes. I think that’s right.”

There was Tom, my Dad, his son, Tommy Lee and his son Tomasito. I figured the fourth Tom must be my Mom’s brother, Thomas.

“How is Sabrina connected to you?”

Sabrina was a mutual friend that Kat and I shared. I acknowledged that we knew who Sabrina was. John didn't have much to add to that name other than to say they wanted to recognize her. Later, after we left the auditorium, Kat let me know that Sabrina had been sexually violated, and that when John had mentioned all those clues at the beginning when he was trying to find out where he needed to go with the messages, the mention of the friend who was sexually violated had made Kat certain that those messages were meant for her, and not the ladies behind us.

“Just know that this is your Dad’s way of letting you know that he’s here and he wants you to make sure to let his family know that he’s there with them as well.”

Then John Edward felt his energy being pulled to the opposite side of the hall. He turned away from our row and searched out another person.

“Somebody has to have a connection to October 10th, or the 10th of a month...”

October 10th is Tom’s birthday, the date my parents filed my birth certificate and the day Leigh and I may just get married. It was Tom’s final way of signing his name to the messages I just had received. No one where John Edward had moved to could place that date in relation to his family. Instead of jumping up and hogging more time from other people hoping to hear from their loved one, I said...

“Thank you, Dad. Thank you for being here for me.”

Monday, January 29, 2007

Who moved my fridge?

Our kitchen remodel just concluded after a very long three months. I don’t know about where you live, but here in California, good contractors are both hard to find and hard to keep. This very simple fact actually explains why our small kitchen remodel took so long, and why it took an additional six months just to get the project started.

I don’t even want to get into the story of how “José or “No Showsé,” as my wife called him, messed up everything he touched. What I do want to talk about is our unattractive refrigerator.

Being that our outdated refrigerator is already too big for the space we have, it was definitely going to have to move for any work to begin. So, with a very unceremonious road trip to our living area, our “Ugly Betty” took up residence next to our book shelves and dinner table. And there she lay for three long months.

At first, being able to pull a Henry Miller book out from the library with your left hand, and then some sugar-free syrup from the fridge with your right seemed like a luxury the rich could only dream of knowing. Then, however, the true downfall of this unpleasant arrangement became apparent as the fridge began leaking water and my daughter’s Dora the Explorer “chill” chair fell victim to water damage. As you may have guessed, our insurance premium was too high to even consider submitting this claim. Sadder than that, though, was that soon enough, we all got used to walking through the fridge pond to get to the TV remote.

Fast-forward to this past Saturday, and the fridge is now back in its old spot, a cool time capsule, unburied and distorting our very lovely, updated kitchen.

The problem, though, is that we cannot stop walking into the living room to fetch the butter. Seriously, even when I instructed Nina, my 21 month old, to go put the magnet on the fridge, she walked right past the kitchen into the living room.

So why does the refrigerator look out of place now in its right place? I’m sure there are countless university studies on this, but like usual research and footnotes give me headaches, so I’ll just generalize and assume their existence.

This assumed research I never read got me thinking about how readily we all adapt to negative situations, and how quickly we form habits out of them. Personally, I can think back to many failed relationships where I, or my partner, allowed negative behavior to become an expected routine. How did these bad habits affect my beliefs and perceptions of love, trust and faith? Who knows, but I’m sure the damage was done.

So think about it, did you or someone you love move your fridge? If so, here is some helpful advice on how to put it back where it belongs.