23 Jan Lighthouse
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Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
Forgive me, as I am never sure where to begin telling a story. I never was a storyteller. I tend to include useless information and jump around. So I will do my best to do this story justice, considering it happened to me and the ones I love, changing us forever.
I never really gave it much thought. I was under the impression everyone had the…abilities that I do. I would be reading an article in some teenybopper magazine about a beloved pop star and suddenly an image would enter my mind of a frazzled young woman with wild dark hair, panicking about the article being completed in time for publishing. I of course have no way to verify that this flash was at all what she was thinking as she wrote it or if that even described her appearance but it was eerie nonetheless. There is also my knowing the next song that would come on the radio. Right down to humming any particular song, flipping on the radio and have it playing, sometimes right where my humming of the tune left off. Even now, as a habitual skeptic, I am willing to argue radio stations only play about 10 different songs all day. But again, still eerie.
Part of the reason I always thought this was ordinary was because I would often come across people like me. My old band’s lead guitarist who claimed to be able to hear people’s thoughts. His daughter who said she could see auras. Sean, my friend who sold me my house, who can sense the dead and help them pass on to the afterlife. My friend of over 10 years, Charles, who always knows someone is about to call him before the phone even rings and other things similar to my own experiences. There’s also my lifelong friend Sarah who sees black shadows surrounding people who wish to do harm to others. A former coworker named Tasha who, on a regular basis, had to burn sage in her home to stop something from throwing dishes around her kitchen at night. And last but not least, my husband. As a small child he climbed to the top of the stairs in his childhood home to find a man dressed in military fatigues and “a bloody dot on his forehead” who simply told him ‘Don’t do it.’ He was terrified but eventually forgot about it. Until one day when he was 18 he looked up in the mirror while brushing his teeth and realized the guy on the stairs was himself. That year, he dropped out of ROTC.
But as I grew older and got out in the world more I found out I am actually weird. Sean said he rarely meets people like us. A staunch atheist, I don’t even believe in this crap yet it was all around me and being told by people I respect and trust more than anyone.
I fear I am once more adding too much information. Perhaps I feel a need to defend my experience as I can almost hear the skeptics now. I AM a skeptic, I tried to explain all this away. Hell, I WANTED to. Since I can’t speak for others, I might as well assume all those friends of mine are completely making all that stuff up. Fine with me. But I know what happened last year. I’ll go ahead and tell it now.
These abilities of mine waned as I got older. Or I learned to ignore them. But after I had my son, things escalated quite quickly. He was (ha, still is!) a rather horrible sleeper. So I’ll be the very first to say I was exhausted his first 6 months of life. Sleep-deprivation can do some crazy things to you. But that doesn’t explain everything.
One night around midnight I woke up and in the faint glow of the nightlight I could see the bathrobes hanging on the back of my bedroom door. Which meant the door was shut. We never shut our bedroom door at night. Ever. At the time we didn’t have a baby monitor so it was a strict rule: leave the door open. The bathrobes even helped it naturally swing open. So I was confused, but when I heard my child’s screams I instantly woke up completely. I bounded out of bed and growled to my husband, “Why would you shut the door?” He groggily insisted he hadn’t. Annoyed, I ripped the door open and went across the hall to the baby’s room.
I bent over his crib and searched for his pacifier, all the while shushing softly and trying to soothe him. That’s when I heard it. Next to my ear his heartbeat bear was going “woosha-woosha-woosha”.
I had turned that m—-r f—-r off at 8 pm. It wasn’t helping my son sleep and it was getting annoying having to constantly reset the touchy timer. If you didn’t click it back into the Off position and wait long enough before turning it back on, no sound would come out. If you twisted the dial too fast no sound would come out. So I had said eff it and turned the damn thing off and left it off.
Now let me be clear. At 4 months of age, my son was not pulling to standing. He did not have the fine motor skills to hardly pick up his own pacifier yet. The idea of him standing up, reaching through the crib slats to the back of the bear, and blindly, but perfectly, turning the bear on and making sound come out is downright laughable. It’s like something out of that stupid Baby Geniuses movie. I couldn’t explain it. A brand new bear, with practically new batteries, that had never turned itself on before and couldn’t have possibly clicked itself into the On position, was beating next to my ear.
Our son slept in our bed for the rest of that night.
I contacted Sean the next morning. I had spent all night trying to understand how my door had shut itself. How a bear could turn itself back on. I kept reluctantly coming to the same conclusion. I was desperate for an answer. Sean said he could come over in a few days, just in the meantime tell it, whoever “it” was, to leave us alone.
The next few days were excruciating. Sleepless nights and long days of feeling followed in my own home. Of feeling like an idiot when telling an empty room to leave me alone. As Sean’s visit drew near activity in the house ramped up. Shower curtain rings would make sliding sounds on the curtain rod. Knocking on the living room walls. My baby crying and looking at something just past me.
Sean performed a ritual using a crystal to communicate with the spirit. Sean claimed the spirit, a sad old man, had seen me and my baby out somewhere and attached himself to me. He hung out in the baby’s room. But he liked my room the best. Sean asked if he meant us any harm, if he meant to wake the baby, both were answered by swinging the crystal to say “no”. But we got a “yes” when asked about my closed door and the bear. Sean helped him pass on and I watched as the crystal went from circling to a stop.
Sean had to come out one more time. We had invested in a video monitor at this point and on one particularly hard evening, we sat in our son’s pitch black room and watched on the monitor to see if he stirred after we set him down. I don’t entirely remember why or what we were hoping to accomplish through this. I just know we were tired. Then in an instant things went from calm (he let us set him down!) to upsetting. Flying over his crib, 2 feet from where we stood, something appeared on the monitor for only a second. We had been in there for about 45 minutes at this point and knew there was no bug or fly. And besides, it didn’t have wings. There was nothing physically there to explain what the hell had just appeared on the screen. Just a ball of white on the night vision monitor, flying over my son’s bed. I angrily left the room in tears. Why? Why was this happening again? Sean agreed to come over the very next night.
I don’t remember this visit as well. I mostly remember being angry and confused. Sean said this time it was a young woman who had passed away before she could have a baby. She loved babies and was sad she could never have them. I should have felt bad for her. I should have had sympathy. But I was PISSED. Not only were these events negatively affecting our lives but… they were also making me question everything I had held as true about the world. So Sean had to sit me down and explain a few things.
He told me I was what he called a lighthouse. Just as lighthouses guide sailors to land, I was a beacon of light to the spirits who are lost in between worlds. I’m someone who will notice them and lend some legitimacy to their confused state of existence. I will hear them knock on my walls and know it is them. They are not attaching themselves to me out of malice. They just want my help. I insisted I wanted nothing to do with them. Sean understood but said I could only ignore it so much, as there will always be at least a little light emanating from me.
I don’t tell anyone this story and I am even submitting it anonymously in the hopes that no one will ever attribute it to me. But I tell it because something has recently occurred to me and I’ve decided the story must be told.
These kinds of experiences did not happen to me before motherhood. I had funny things happen, like correctly guessing the song that was about to play, or unwittingly surrounding myself with people who hold unique abilities. But as far as I can tell I never got visits from spirits. I never had to tell invisible entities to leave me alone before. It wasn’t until my son arrived on this earth that these things started happening in our home. And it finally hit me.
As his mother, I must protect him. Because I am not the lighthouse. He is.
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