Let’s Hear it for the Home Team!

The seed for the trip was our college student granddaughter’s reply to my casual question, “Where would you go if you could go anyplace in the world?” Her response was immediate. “Valencia, Spain—for its aquarium.”

A plan grew from this seed. She and I and her grandpa would travel to Spain in two years to celebrate her graduation, but a lot can happen in two years. Love and a cross-country move intervened. At graduation, she had a six-month-old baby and a brand-new job. We delayed the trip another year.

More happened. One by one, for reasons as varied as PhD research and a favorite soccer team, the trip expanded to include seven family members of four generations and to align with our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. A special offer bumped our frequent flyer miles up by 80,000. This adventure seemed particularly blessed.

Part of the Family

The missing person would be our granddaughter’s mom, my daughter Randi. In our after-death communication she had told me one of the reasons for our continued contact was family-line healing. I have prayed for years—to no obvious avail—to break the chain of suffering in my female family-line, which is full of trauma, debilitating illness, addiction, depression, and—six years ago—Randi’s death by suicide. I liked the idea that Randi was working with me on this healing, though I was unaware of us doing anything concrete together. My mother, who died in 1984, began regularly joining my daughter’s visitations.

I wondered why everyone wanted to go to Spain, why all the pieces fell into place so well. Neither financing nor organizing this trip for people coming from four states was simple. Yet we did it and each person enhanced the trip in special ways. The first arrival, my stepson, had food prepared when we stepped—exhausted—into our Valencia Airbnb. No salad has ever tasted better. The strong ones hoisted suitcases and the stroller. The bilingual ones translated.

The Family Ambassador

Our 18-month-old “ambassador” hugged every child in sight, climbed into women’s laps, garnered herself and her mom an invitation to Italy. (Apologies for the blurriness of my hurried attempt to capture one of these sweet moments.) The entire family helped us to renew our wedding vows and to celebrate with paella and cava, the local champagne.

Back home the flavor of the trip’s enchantment ripened slowly like a peach on a windowsill. I pondered the happy tears we had each shed. Whether at first sight of Sagrada Familia, or at our vow renewal, or on the feel of a 500-year-old book in the University of Barcelona’s archive, or on viewing the holy chalice in the Valencia Cathedral, or on lighting candles for dead beloveds, we each one, male and female, old and young, once or several times, had cried tears of joy. It was our twenty-year-old grandson who first marveled, “Spain makes our family cry!” Why was this so?

Now shifts are occurring. Career decisions have solidified. Health issues are resolving. Lightness can be heard in our voices. I have a quiet inner certainty that this trip has somehow brought about a new family pattern.

I wondered why and how, until I thought of the ancient ways. The shamans, the indigenous peoples call on their dead beloveds for help; they team up with the dead to strengthen their intentions. Why should it surprise me that collaborating across the veil would have such an effect on our family? If our trip to Spain was the catalyst for this shift, was the shared intention with my daughter and my mother (my “home team”) the force behind it? This appears to be yet another example of the powerful possibilities that can result from after-death communication.

The After Death Chronicles: True Stories of Comfort, Guidance, and Wisdom from Beyond the Veil. To be released October 6, 2017. Pre-order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound. Find out more on my Book Page.

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