Jenn is a elementary school teacher and a brilliant one. Her childlike playfulness matches her classrooms’ essence perfectly. She teaches from such a compassionate and wildly imaginative manner, that I sometimes wish she had been my teacher.
We met years ago in energy medicine school. When it came my turn to introduce myself to the group and I mentioned I worked as a medium, Jenn inhaled suddenly and froze, staring wide eyed at me, as if her very life was threatened. Overtime, our similarities far outweighed the contrast, and we became great pals. I was surprised years ago when she first reached out to me for an appointment. Again, that resistance was palpable, yet I had to admire her willingness to dance with her discomfort. She follows her heart, even if her head seems to object. We have learned much from each other; one of God’s sweet gifts in my life.
Jenn came for a session two weeks ago. I was surprised when we immediately connected to the other side. Immediately present was her maternal grandmother. Granny started with a kiss on Jenn’s left cheek. She had a bold personality; she brought chocolate chip cookies, Birthday wishes for Jenn’s Mom, and sparkly celebration cards with small denominations of money. She was aware the family had been sifting through her personal treasures. She talked about shared TV dinners and chicken pot pies while watching Lawrence Welk. Since her husband had died before her, she had become very independent, and celebrated that very quality in Jenn. As I blended more with Granny's memories, I became Jenn as an infant boldly walking and exploring in diapers all accessible surfaces. I could feel Jenn’s bold personality had always been evident. Granny started thanking Jenn for taking care of her daughter, Jenn’s Mom. Granny seemed to know Jenn had spent years working on her relationship with her. She recognized her daughter was very stubborn and childlike in manner, but not a natural Mother, which Jenn mourned. Granny thanked Jenn for choosing to accept their relationship and transcend it with forgiveness. She recognized that Jenn became such a great shepherd for her students largely due to the void created by her Mom.
Jenn’s eyes rested on a cherished gift on my desk; a nest. “Is that chocolate?” her childlike nature discovering a treasure I had forgotten about resting next to the blue and speckled real eggs. “Yes, it is called a Baci. It is an Italian kiss. It is a hazelnut dipped in dark chocolate. Each one has a fortune wrapped around it in a couple of different languages”. “Huh, Mom and Grammy went to Italy together In 1959” Jenn remarked popping the candy in her mouth. She unwrapped the fortune, reading it in each language. I smiled thinking how much I adore Jenn and her ability to just explore each moment with such fun. Thank God she works with our kids.
Jenn got rather quiet when she read the fortune in English. "An affectionate word from a friend can cure sadness." The fortune was clearly inspired by Granny.
After a moment, Jenn shared a story. “Granny lived at Leisure world in Seal Beach. I was a wild child; busy, active, strong, sort of unbound. One time, I was at her house and she held out a nest made of cotton with a real dove’s egg inside. She asked me to hold it gently and she put the egg into my hands. In my joy and wonder, I was so excited that I crushed it. I was so little. It went all over my yellow pajama dress. Granny was upset because of the mess. I was upset because I cracked the egg.
This was a core story for me. It inspired one of the fifteen art pieces that evolved into an art show I did in 2012.
It’s as if I have lived with a silver sash of melancholy across my heart and down my left side related to generations of loss on the maternal side of my family. To consider living without that weight and burden is a turning point for me."