Alligator surprise.

I have a rich and vivid dream life. Although I’m not disciplined about writing down my dreams, my right brain is clearly very active — at night and in my waking world as well. Lately I’ve been having some strange dreams, but also I’ve been having strange experiences overall. Spirituality is becoming more important to me–not religion–and is taking a larger space in my consciousness. I’ve been thinking a lot about my intuition and my psychic abilities and wondering why I’ve pushed all that aside for so many years. If you’d like to read on, I’ll tell you about some of my experiences, and then I’ll tell you about the alligator.

My family is full of “sensitives,” people who are in touch with something outside the visible, physical world, so my intuition and visions were really never doubted or questioned. It wasn’t until later that I realized one shouldn’t discuss or expose these things with just anyone. One of my grandmothers was very tuned in to spirit, and that might have even fed her interest in Pentecostal religions. When my family visited “home,” I would often spend a night or two with her and sleep in the same bed. As I was trying to fall asleep, she would tell me about people she had seen, people who had crossed over. Granny was a fairly young widow. Her husband died when she was 49 (give or take a couple of years, because we don’t all agree in the family about how old she was when she died). At that time, her youngest child was only 5. She had already lost one son at age 4. She had given birth to ten children, but several had not made it to adulthood. (There is one child who isn’t in any of the records I could find. That could have been due to stillbirth.)

Her son Randolph died at age 10 after a serious bout of pneumonia. The last thing he did in this world was to get out of bed and start pulling on his overalls. When Granny tried to send him back to bed, he said, “No, Daddy’s here to take me fishin’. I’ve got to go.” And he died where he stood. He would come back to see her from time to time.

The Depression era was so hard on her and her children. Her surviving children were pulled out of school, because first their father died, then Randolph, and there were fewer of the clan to feed the many mouths. They were put to work on the farm. One of her daughters contracted polio, which stunted her growth and resulted in her being in braces for as long as I knew her. This aunt was also developmentally delayed, whether from polio or something else, so I grew up with folks that had disabilities all around me. It was simply part of life and didn’t make them seem different or scary to me. One of my uncles had a wooden leg. They were a wiry, scrappy bunch–brooding and suspicious. I’ll never know what made them all that way, but my grandmother was special. She never lost touch with her children, because they came back to her in spirit. Curious that I don’t remember her talking about my grandfather. From the little bit I’ve learned over the years, he could be a tyrant. She never married again.

Granny claimed also to have seen Jesus. She had talked with him face-to-face, and if memory serves me, this was after Randolph’s death. He died the year after his father. Her grief must have been immense and nearly unbearable, so it doesn’t surprise me that something incredible had to pull her out of it. After that first visitation from Jesus, she claimed she had seen him several more times over the years. She was the most devout woman I ever knew. She learned to read by reading the Bible, and she read it once through every year. I can’t say I’ve ever done that, though I certainly got all the high points in church while growing up. I always got stuck questioning things as I read.

I’ll have to admit that all of these visions my grandmother had scared me a little. I used to pray that no one would appear to me, because I was afraid of ghosts. Granny said there was nothing to be afraid of. They were the same people we knew in life but now they were spirit.

I had many psychic experiences of my own, but never experienced anything visual until after my father died. He died at 59 due to cancer (a gene I seem to have gotten and which killed most of his siblings). At the time he died, I was homeless, living in a car with my boyfriend and working for a telemarketer part time. When I called my mother (from the call center), she delivered the devastating news. We all had complicated relationships with Dad because of (we now know) his PTSD from the war, but I loved him. We shared music together. When one of our coworkers learned my father had died, he invited us to stay at his apartment for a long weekend.

I was inconsolable, so I crawled into the bed in our coworker’s only bedroom and cried … and cried. I couldn’t seem to stop. Our friend went to work that evening, and my boyfriend left to go get some food, though I couldn’t eat. The apartment was silent as the grave except for my sobbing. The only light was coming from the small dining room by the kitchen. I looked up to see the shadow of a man outside the bedroom door. He appeared to be just outside my vision, around the side of the door. The dining room light cast his shadow.

“Who’s there?” I said.

Nothing. The shadow was still.

“Paul, if that’s you trying to scare me, please don’t!”

The shadow was still. Finally, I said, “Daddy?”

The shadow shifted slightly, as though to come into full view.

“No!” I shouted. “I will go crazy if I see you!”

At that moment, the door to the apartment opened. Paul came in, rattling fast food bags as he shut and locked the door.

“Did you see someone in the apartment?” I asked.

He shook his head. “No one’s here but us. Why, was someone here?”

“My father,” I said. My sobbing had stopped. I had the feeling that my Dad was okay and that he was in a good place.

That is the one and only time I saw the ghost of a human in my waking life, but I’ve had visions of other kinds. Pets who have moved on and such. I’ve also had prophetic dreams. I’m going to cover those in another post, but I will tell you that I saved one life and redeemed another.

Now last night’s dream was far more frivolous, but I did see spirit there. So much of the dream is lost to my waking busywork, but I’ll tell you what I remember. I was walking a golden retriever, which I have never had. I’ve had Samoyeds, English Bulldogs, and mutts, but never a golden retriever. As I was walking this dog, we passed an opening — a hallway or opening to a courtyard or something. Through that opening, I saw a very large alligator! He opened his eyes and lunged at us, just a little, enough to scare us. The dog jumped, and then I jumped. Later in the dream a man was talking to me, and he kept referring to the dog as Lila. I was very annoyed. I said, “No, I’ve never had a Lila. My ex-husband’s new wife did.” And the man just kept talking about Lila. So I guess I channeled her dog last night.

And depending on what you believe about dream interpretation, the alligator was calm overall. Some would interpret that as my having conquered my emotions and my mind. Some might interpret it as the alligator trying to attack, meaning I have more work to do. But whatever you believe, the dream was just so weird.

I’m probably going to be writing about this stuff for a few posts, because it’s all coming up for me again. I’d love to hear about any supernatural happenings you’ve been a part of (or that you’ve heard about).

Have a great holiday weekend! Jude

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