Measures in Time

Measures in Time

The eternal smile, worn tight, fosters an agist culture that demands youthfulness. Constant bombardment of natural cures, anti aging creams, cool sculpting to going under the knife for the sake of erasing time stares back at you in the mirror. The deep circles or sagging neck, the jowls all define the human person as it ages. The greying of the hairs, crows feet flying, smaller eyes, are but the signs of father time and the measures he places upon the human body.
The time it took someone to experience life, to outgrow diapers, to spell, read and write, hit their first baseball, or learn to ride a bike, is wiped away. Where did the line go that signified true loss and pain or , the moment you captured love in the eyes of another? Is it magically lessened? Sent away in one knife and one pull of the skin? Where did the smile upon attending the grandchild’s first birthday go? What happened to the wrinkle that upturned on its own, that symbolized the marriage to the love of your life? The frown line when you scrunched your face thinking? That cuteness with abandonment filled by botox. When the character lines are erased, where might have the character of the moment of that particular memory have gone? Each subtle pull of the fingers, tightening ever so gently, takes away what life intended you remember. The scar from falling in the river on oysters, the laugh lines from the comedy club, a night spent with friends to the minutest engravings left behind after the worst breakup, where has it gone? Holding the lifeless furry body of your best friend after getting hit by the car, where is the life line on you to connect you to that moment? It’s gone. This is life found in the memories of your skin, character lines of where you have been, and what your soul has experienced.
The attention placed on the soul must be greater than the attention placed on the outward appearance if one is to remain forever young.

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The Brown Leather Satchel with the Gold Buckle

It was kept in the trunk of my fathers old Chrysler. The smell of leather and cherry pipe tobacco came from the bottom of it when the satchel was open, and when he did have to open it, there in lay his syringes, his stethoscope, and other medical necessities that the local small town doctor carried with him on house calls. When he came home, that same brown leather satchel had prizes in it for us children who stood on the steps leading to the spare room waiting to surprise him when he came home. We would jump on him and act as though we had not seen him for years. Out would come the trinkets the pharmaceutical reps would have brought him during the day, now presents for his children. They were pens, to spinning balls with names on them that we had never heard of or understood how to pronounce but they were the highlights of his coming home beside himself.

He was the first doctor and the last doctor to practice the art of going to someones home to tend to the sick and elderly. After he passed, no one I knew or came to know made house calls. A rarity then, certainly unheard of today unless the doctor is a concierge medicine practitioner, just another name for high dollar visits. There was nothing uppity about my father. Nothing that said affluence or better than in position or life. Most of his patients couldn’t pay for their care let alone the medicine that he gave so freely. They were the poor, the starving, trying to survive in a small southern town in South Carolina. Money was the reason he became a doctor, the honest route, to help was in his nature. When they couldn’t pay, we would come home from school to find pies, baked items, fresh produce from their garden on our door step. “A way of payment back for what he had done” can be heard echoing in my mind from my days as an adolescent. Several times we would have gifts of puppies or other animals. There began my love affair with nature and animals of all kinds. It came from my father.

If it was on the weekend, they would come to the house and the garage turned into his medical exam room. Like clock work the cars would be coming down the driveway to see Dr. Lawton.

The first time my ex husband, 15 years my senior met my daddy, my father sat him down and brought out the brown satchel bag with the golden buckle and pulled out hydrogen peroxide and band aids. Mending people with that salt and pepper hair, those black rimmed glasses and soft demeanor was Daddy’s way. He had a fan that day. He still does.

When he passed I was given his national geographic collection dating back to the 20’s and his brown leather satchel with the golden buckle. I put every memorable thing that I had from his medical practice in that bag to include pharmaceutical statues of African chiefs that my father kept on his shelf at the office. Perhaps I could have wanted more but those were the items that meant the most to me and still do.

Eventually my sister went on to fill his shoes but in a different medical setting and in a different town, this time a city, not the country were our life began.

Many years later,  I went into my attic and saw that precious parcel sitting all by itself. I emptied out the brown leather satchel with the golden buckle and handed it to my sister at Christmas. It was now her turn to mend the sick, and put band aids on grown men.

Daisy

Daisy

She wore a white cloth diaper with lots of safety pins stuck through it on her head, wrapped like a turbin surrounding her stubby areas of black hair that still remained., other areas with no hair. The thick glasses were handed down from the local eye bank or probably my father and she finally got a telephone in her wooden shanty when she was 90 years of age. Time stood still in Cameron SC and it still does.

Daisy imprinted herself on me as a baby, from the time our eyes locked, having lived over 70 years and counting when she came to be our “Mammy”. In the south, they were not housekeepers or babysitters but lovingly called Mammy’s. Today, even fourty years plus later, Mammy is not an appropriate term or considered politically correct when speaking of the hired “help.” She was not that, she was so much more. She was a boo boo kisser, a spanker when it called for it, a bean shucker, a flu shot giver, and a hugger, the most important quality of any good Mammy, a hugger.

To me Daisy was not hired help but my family. No matter what the white folks thought of her or how they treated her, she still was like my second mother and I am white, she was Black, but I am not describing the difference in our colors, rather the important difference in the mindsets that shaped these derogatory cultures that  spawned slavery. A dreaded curse for the south and having to relive it whenever I say I am from the South, that is the first thing that people think of. I get asked so many times, “Have you seen the movie the help?”  Yes, and Yes to what you are going to ask me.

There are fond memories of her sitting on the living room couch, or chair watching tv with a corn cob pipe in her mouth, the hair wrap, and her very thick coke bottle bottom glases, shelling beans or peas while we played with our toys. The moth ball smell never came out of her clothes and she had the “black smell” that only particular older blacks from the South had. It was in her skin and such a distinct smell that if she were to come around me now, I could pick her out of a hundred souls because of her skin’s smell.

I was known as the boy baby. Not because I am a boy, but rather a tom boy among girls. I had all the bumps and bruises on my body that my baby brother should of had. I was rough and tumble, tree climing, bush hogging female. So with that kind of nature, I was very accident prone. Mama threatened to name me Grace. That was how my parents and especially Daisy could tell me apart from my very feminine twin sister Amy, was that I was the wearer of plastic bandaids and the bearer of deep scars.

She never learned to read or write always signing her name with an x when asked. Picking cotton in the fields of South Carolina were left to the blacks starting at the age of of a child, and no one ever knew how old she really was when the good Lord called her home because they did not give birth certificates to slaves or children of slaves. Daisy’s mother and father were what history books speak about, the chained African American’s of long ago, sold openly on the slave market in cities such as Charleston and she was one of many children in her family that grew up and lived in Cameron SC.

Married at age 13, Daisy had 9 children, some not making it out of the womb, or maybe she was 9 years of age when she married and had 13 children. I simply can’t remember that part. When she died, her alcoholic son Thomas, was there but most had already gone on to be with their Lord. Why did the almighty let her live so long? Daddy thought she was well, well over 100 years of age when she died but sadly, there was no way to prove it.

When Mama and Daddy had bridge club nights out, all of us children, four in total would line up on the couch and watch Daisy sleep in the leather chair. Her body would jump violently and we would start crying and screaming, never waking her up. She slept like the dead when she closed her eyes. We were afraid she was having a heart attack in her sleep or feared the worst, she was dead. Sometimes she did it to pull a prank on us. Doctors kids know everything about everything and we swore she was dying. Mama and Daddy would eventually come rushing home to find everything normal as it should have been and Daisy still alive.

When Daddy died, I gave Daisy Daddy’s wheel chair. I wheeled her upfront to be with the family, and covered her up with his blanket. She was family. She was my cherished Daisy and no one was going to tell me otherwise. Color didn’t matter to me. It never did. Even when the community of Cameron SC made my father build a waiting room onto his medical clinic for the coloreds, the blacks in the 1970’s or 1980’s, because they smelled funny, I never saw color.

Being the outcast, rebel and instigator, I enrolled in the Miss Black Orangeburg pageant. I did it to cut the stigma  between colors. The audience gasped when I walked out on stage. It was to prove a point at age 15. I did exactly that. Even though it was not the right kind of point to make, maybe it coming from a teenager who hated the segregation even in modern times, might have touched someone. I did it. I did it to prove there is no difference in color of a human being.  I can still hear that loud gasp from the hundred or so patrons and some certain members of the audience saying, “What in the hell is that crazy Lawton girl thinking?”

Today, my soul says go home, just go home Mary to the piece of history that few know about. To that special place that doesn’t exist today. I will, eventually, but I don’t think the time is right. The sad part is seeing what the South still believes in. If I could have given Daisy more, I would have because she gave me so much. She gave me the biggest hug of my life.

Copyrighted, TM 2000  from my book

A Portal

This morning as I was in my hotel bathroom, preparing myself for work, off to my left, I caught a vision of the doorway, the path, leading to the other side. It was right there, beside me. It has never appeared to me that way before. i have witnessed the giant marble steps that my twin walked up when she cried for help to seeing the Arch Angel Michael appearing before me in a whiteness with the golden light behind him. The idea that it was my time had suddenly crossed my mind but this vision vanished a few seconds as fast it appeared. Was a spirit coming through that it opened for? They don’t normally enter my world this way or if they did, they didn’t make it so announced.
This was not a door per say as we know it with a door handle, knob or sliding glass but an opening of white, almost as if a cloud had formed into a doorway. This opening I knew. I immediately knew what it was intended for, a white entry way leading into what I could not see, a walkway, a path to follow and it was filled with love. When it closed, it closed from the bottom up. There was nothing to be afraid off. Nothing at all. Was this the proverbial tunnel that so many people speak of. Was this the way a soul travels in a near death experience only to return and tell of? Their diminishing senses upon the death of their body is awakened with a renewed sense of life. This journeying soul ifeels an all encompassing love from a golden light on the other side and is  greeted by lost loved ones, This we know from store.
If it was indeed my time, then I would have gone right there as it was the most welcoming feeling, the most loving feeling I have had for a long time.
Magicians use smoke machines to create an illusion of mystic means and this was no different. It appeared and as soon as it appeared it was gone.
Was I to die this day? Was the door intended for my soul not yet finished with it’s mission? Why did I see the entrance to what some refer to as the pearly gates, the golden gates, the heavens, leading to a power much greater than ourselves? Perhaps this was not meant for me but to relay this to someone else, so that they know not to be afraid. Perhaps that I was born with the gift of being a medium, I am to relay this message. Justly so, Perhaps.
Scrooge was not there with the angel of death pointing his ghostly, craggly thin skeletal finger at his demise. Darkness didn’t appear and fade into another drama of the wrongs I committed in this lifetime, rather a lighted path, a warm loving path laid out before me only I could not see the path but yet, an all knowing of it being there. This is what a medium has been gifted with, an all knowing in a way to see, to hear, to feel the other side and the souls in it.
The vision went on to a gradual fading of everything we know, as depicted in the movies, but can only be described similar in circumstance to a passenger looking out of a airplane window. The view is starting to become obscured, with a thick blanket of whiteness overtaking the view, the clouds slowly dissipating what the eye has before it. The natural light fades with the onset of the clouds and then a brilliant golden light emits from above as though the sun peeked its way out. The noise, all noise cancels and the harmonious voices of thousands of souls singing can be heard in the background.
When i state that the doorway is open upon ushering in a reading, the doorway is different. The souls that have crossed are now in a different room behind a different door, like a large conference room standing in line, waiting their turn, a holding room. They come freely, some not all or all but not some will inevitably show. The doorway is different than the doorway I saw today. However, it all leads to the same magnificent place, a place that offers total unconditional love, like the puppy you have who just wants to show you how much he bestow his gratitude and love upon you. Unconditional love is what awaits us with no strings attached.
As I walked out of the hotel and boarded the plane, I experienced Dejavu as we ascended into the clouds. I relived what I felt in the bathroom this morning. It can’t be lived twice, so I know this vision was not intended for me but to relay it to others as a remote viewer, psychic and medium.
This is what Heaven wants you to know.

Three Escorts

He saw angels standing at his window sill in the hospital room. Large angels that were waiting on him. The fragile hairless man who stood up was ravaged by the disease that had him. Yet, he jumped out of bed to see his companions who would, along with his father escort him to the otherside. He had never seen an angel before, there were three waiting on him, their wings outstretched, all in white gowns, with crowns of gold on their heads were waiting for one of their beloved souls to cross. He asked if I saw them. I had to see them! They were so beautiful!

A few hours later, this fragile man was comatose muttering in his sleep, “How are you going to take me home? Yes, I want to go home. How are we going to get there? Piggy back?” then he laughed.
I knew he was talking to his father, my Granddaddy, who was present in the room, ready to retrieve his son. He had died about 12 years earlier of a different form of the disease that had my father.
I stepped out after that to refresh myself and left the hospital grounds for a while. Suddenly upon walking through the parking garage tunnel that led to the hospital, I knew he was going. I innately knew my father was not to live much longer. A voice whispered to me, hurry, just hurry. Running to meet death, I had to tell him goodbye.
Holding his hand while his breaths were shallow, strained and heavy, gargled by the mucous in his chest. I asked him to check on me from time to time, and to tell God and Jesus I said hello, that I loved him dearly. I always would.

Not yet fully able to come to grips with his death which was so imminent, I held back what I really wanted to say and that was to say how lucky I was to have him as a loving father, one who stood by me all those years and who only wanted the best for me. No girl could have been as lucky as me.

He squeezed my hand. In that moment, I knew he could hear me. He knew. There is life in a comatose state before we pass. Thank God he knew how much I loved him.

With all the family around, he arose from his coma to ask what was happening with his body. My sister, a physician, had to tell him, “Daddy, you are in the hospital.  He asked, “why?”
“Because Daddy, you are dying of lung cancer.”
He nodded as though he understood, being a doctor himself. He then said he loved everyone very much and laid back down, his head upon the soft pillow and stopped breathing.

What Heaven Really Wants Us To Know

The lady in the elevator was rude. Pointing out that I could not see the number 5 had been pressed and not 3. Not looking up to meet my eyes, was a way of hers to let me know I was less than, not important in her world or others. I didn’t matter. It happens every day, all day, the mentality of others toward others.

The young man standing in the get together with other young cronies, some of them female, starts to laugh when they lay eyes upon me. Is it the way I look or that I am older? Am I not dressed nice enough? Is it a way of being defiant and important in their world, to shun the older people as not important? Is it a way to make someone feel less than? It’s the mentality off others toward others.

The cute puppy immediately runs up to me as I exit the elevator, picking me out of strangers walking past. He knows. He sees what I try to carry, what I try to instill in others, the “Good Soul”. It only comes with the white light. Animals know when you are a good person or not. Their built in uncanny sense of awareness is very distinctual and humans do not poessess it. I carry the white light. I am merely one of millions of souls on this planet in a body but my soul tries to walk along God’s path.

What Heaven really wants us to know is that we as individuals are indeed loved, by something much bigger than what we will ever be able to see while alive unless you have a gift or unless you someone meet your maker but come back. Heaven wants us to know that when our time comes we don’t just go away but are still learning. We have a job to do here, to learn how to be better souls in a body that perhaps might not work, might not be perfect and might not be what we wanted. We still have to learn from our mistakes and right the wrong. Learn from the mentality of others so that you don’t repeat it.

We need to learn to be grateful for what we have, be grateful to be able to give to others perhaps the last dollar we own, the last smile a person may see, or the last laugh someone may experience from our jokes. It comes with compassion and it comes from God.

Empathy and compassion, stepping outside of our own needs to see the lost dog on the street, the homeless man asking for money or food, to the person who suffers from mental illness. It doesn’t matter how much money we have, what we wear. What does matter is how we treat people, the mentality of others toward others.

If you saw an elderly woman walking outside in the pouring rain would you cover her with your umbrella and help her? If you saw an elderly man with a flat tire would you call someone or ask if he is okay? If you saw a lost dog or cat would you try to help get it to its home?

Say you are rich, so you donate money to a worthy cause. It does not mean your soul is good. You donate it to give it away because if you don’t, the government will take it in tax form. What were your motives to begin with? Do you personally hand people money instead? Do you personally go out of your way to help an indivdual in need or find the most needy to help? Did you buy a turkey for the lady who supports her grandkids and disabled husband and yet, she only has one lung and lives on food stamps? What have you done to deserve being called a Good Soul”? Remember, the mentality of others towards others.

Directions From The Other Side

It never fails to amaze me

everytime I fly to Italy to see my family I plan on going to  see my twin sisters grave. She died and was interred in Rome Italy in 2002.

Trying to find her actual family plot in the Italian myriad of mass graves, pauper markings and glass moseleums is quite a feat. She always comes through.

The very first I soloed my driving trip to her grave I was so very upset but had the faith she would instruct me where to go. She did. She led me to her grave as though I had been going there all the time.

The “backup’s, go one block, make a right, to yelling stop so loud in my head I thought my brain would burst, succeeded in confirming she was I need still with me.

This time was no different.  A simple Beth, you’ve gone one block too far,to I am behind that wall of trees once again proved she is still with me . This time I had a passenger who witnessed it first hand and he was Jewish.

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