Once you get used to making a positive difference in others' lives, it's hard to accept that you cannot help all people. Sometimes injury or premature death is meant to happen in someone's life plan. Why? Because without some misfortune we wouldn't be forced to acknowledge how precious life is. What is even more amazing is that sometimes there is intervention from the other side and that prayers can be answered.
Don't Kiss Them Goodbye wasn't on my agenda; I wanted to read it, but I didn't plan to do so for a while. Even though it appeared that the book would be a quick read at 193 lightly-spaced pages, I had other books ahead of it in the endless TBR queue. And, yet, the book just kept hollering at me until I capitulated. The timing turned out to be excellent. I read the introductory material on Sunday night and then felt compelled to read more on Monday morning. Without realizing it, I had begun reading the most comforting book that I could have possibly chosen on a day of incomprehensible violence, a book by a woman who claims that the spirits of those who die never truly leave us.
Allison DuBois begins with her own story, of the first time she saw a spirit and how her mother dismissed the incident as the whim of an imaginative child. This was frustrating for Allison because she understandably doubted herself and, for many years, kept her sightings of spirits quiet, aware that she would be laughed at, labeled odd or her comments dismissed. She gradually learned how to trust her own ability, though, and when she was tested as part of a program at Arizona State University, where her psychic skills were validated scientifically, her confidence grew. There are some other interesting personal incidents described, and she discusses her work aiding in the investigation of murders.
If you're not the slightest bit psychic and/or have no children who show signs of being psychically gifted, there is a portion of the book that might be a little bit dull. DuBois gives advice on how to encourage a child's psychic gifts and describes how she has done so with her own children. While it's interesting that a psychic has given birth two three little mini-psychics, that portion isn't relevant to everyone.
Probably the most interesting bits of the book are those where the author describes her own experiences at "readings". My understanding is that she relies entirely on what she sees (as opposed to doing something like reading cards or tea leaves - nothing of that sort is ever mentioned) and by "reading" she is referring to reading what a spirit is trying to get across to a living person, as DuBois describes each spirit as it appears to her, a visible image of a deceased person who shows her objects or gives her specific words in order to get a message across. She says the spirit of each person continues to live on, free from pain and often able to help the living in some way.
Whether you believe her stories or not, the book is fascinating. I've mentioned some of my own experiences in this blog, in the past, and they're quite different from those of Allison DuBois, limited to strong feelings, dreams, and an occasional waking vision. My husband learned to take my "feelings" seriously, early in our relationship, and I guess that makes us believers - if not in psychics who can actually see spirits, at least in the concept of a sixth sense. I appreciated the fact that she credits a "higher power" as that jibes fine with my own belief system.
Coming up: Wahoo! Wednesday
Apologies for the lengthy delay between posts and lack of visits to other blogs. I was quite honestly speechless after Monday's events and didn't feel like it would be wise to write during a time when I couldn't think of anything that would be of any help or comfort to anyone. My heart goes out to all who were effected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
Didn't get around to mentioning (because I didn't post): Our local paper prints photographs taken by locals in the Sunday classified section and they chose one of my photos for last Sunday's edition. Nobody informed me, so it was a bit of a surprise to open the Sunday paper and find my photo of a red-headed woodpecker in print. Cool. Now, if only they'd spelled my name correctly. Apparently, I don't type clearly enough. Ahem. Cough, cough. Right. It was fun, though, seeing my photo in print.
Neato mail day: Yesterday, three books arrived in the mail. Don't you love days like that? Here's what I got:
An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork by Etty Hillesum (snuck in with my Amazon order of Firefly and Serenity)
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (for a group read with Our Coffee Rings)
A Spoonful of Humor by Henry L. Lefevre (looks like loads of fun - expect this one to be slotted in, soon)
I am utterly failing the 30-Day Organizational Challenge. The timing is just not right for me; we have cool weather for such a short window of time before the heat arrives that I feel obligated to take advantage and spend every possible moment outdoors - planting, weeding, and organizing the gardens, enjoying the air (and lack of mosquitoes), and sometimes just walking around to photograph the wildlife. I'm fine with that. It's not really a failure so much as a shift in priorities.
Hope to finish tonight (and review by tomorrow): Earthly Joys by Philippa Gregory