Around eight o’clock in the morning on Thursday, March 26, 2009, I was sitting with my husband, Cort, in his bedroom. We were chatting about nothing in particular. All of a sudden, in a matter-of-fact voice, he told me, “We need to formulate a plan for the next twenty-four hours.” At the time, I wondered if it was going to be his last twenty-four hours.
Bedridden during the final days of his life, drifting in and out of sleep, Cort told me in a moment of clarity that I needed to write this book, “to make it easier for the next guy.”
The last weeks of Cort’s life were filled with one spiritual adventure after another as we each walked with those on “the other side” of the veil. As I recorded those happenings in my diary, I never imagined that I would write a book about the experience one day.
After his passing, Cort visited me in my dreams. I also experienced other dreams that foretold events. I recorded the details in my dream journal.
In looking back at the spiritual adventures and foretelling dreams, I came to wonder why I, an ordinary woman, was open to seeing spirits and angels and receiving visits from those who’d passed over to The Other Side.
I began to write down all the incidents Cort and I experienced, as well as those that happened to me over the course of 60+ years. I realized the number was significant, beginning at the age of three, when I hovered near the ceiling at night in out-of-body experiences.
In order to share my husband’s spiritual adventures in a book, I needed to tell my story as well, to lay the groundwork for the readers to see where my spiritual path has taken me.
I came to learn, among other things, the power of words spoken out loud, and to meet my spirit guides and guardian angels. I realized The Source of all things possible walks beside us on our earthbound journey, giving us encouragement and guidance for the asking.
This book was not an easy one to write. During the process, four years after Cort’s passing, I continued to cry as I remembered some of the events. But I wouldn’t have missed Cort’s last road trip for anything in the world.
SETTING THE SPIRITUAL STAGE
Dream-weaving in the coral dawn
unfurling conscious thought
of space and time
to soar unleashed
in a sphere of healing
Snuggled in sacred moments
of solitude Stargazer lilies
perfume morning’s breeze
brushing the breath of a kiss
across my brow
as a slight press of palm
binds with mine.
Renewed by Spirit’s visit
I will venture
life’s potholed pathway
secure in the knowing
shoulder to shoulder
with those afoot
on the other side of the veil.
— Susan Parker
IN THE BEGINNING
Out-of-body experience was not in my vocabulary when I was three years old. I wouldn’t have known the meaning, for floating above my bed was a game I played at night after Mom turned off the lamp in my bedroom. I would drift up out of my body to hover near the ceiling, giggling. What great fun this was! But as I grew older, the ability faded into the busyness of being a little girl.
Growing up in Eureka, California, I don’t recall having had further paranormal experiences. Nor do I recall having conversations with those on The Other Side. Life was normal enough as I played with Tippy, my Collie/Airedale-mix dog and best buddy. Together we embarked on grand adventures, exploring what nature had to offer among the Redwood trees and skunk cabbage-laden streams, all within a two-mile radius of my neighborhood. In the woods across the fence from our family home, my friends and I would rake fallen leaves from the trees to make walls for pretend mansions, picking weeds for our salad and sipping air tea, pinky fingers poised like dainty ladies.
Some days I pretended I was a horse, prancing and snorting around the school yard, tossing my then-golden locks as if they were a long, flowing mane. On other days, I was a rock and roll star, singing my heart out in the back yard to anyone who would listen; most often, it was Tippy.
As a teenager in the Sixties, I was occupied with school and typical teenage insecurities. I worried about whether or not the boys liked me; wondered who was going to be my first kiss; agonized over what to wear bowling on Saturday afternoon; and feared getting caught by Dad as I sneaked into the woods behind our house to share a cigarette with my friend, Diane. Once I got my driver’s license, confidence kicked in, as I was sure I looked “pretty cool” tooling around town in my 1957 baby-blue Chevy.
In those days, communicating with spirits on The Other Side was the furthest thing from my mind. Not until I was in my mid-twenties did the spirit world begin to open up for me with precognitive dreams.
The first incident I recall was a dream that involved my paternal grandmother, Bridget. She was living in Santa Rosa at the time, making plans to move back to Eureka where she and my grandfather lived after immigrating to the United States from Ireland in 1927. In the dream, her move to the new apartment was delayed because the owner needed to repaint the unit; the kitchen was painted turquoise, but my grandmother wanted it repainted white. Also in the dream, her rent was to be $83 per month. Both issues proved to be true, except her rent was $85.
Several weeks later, I dreamed there was a fatal car accident on a country road between Eureka and Arcata. In the dream, there was confusion as to whether it was my Uncle Jerry who had died or his son, Gary.
One morning, soon after my dream, I received a telephone call from a friend asking if I’d heard about Gary being killed in a car accident. In the afternoon I received another call from the same friend who stated that the person killed was my Uncle Jerry, not Gary. As in my dream, there was confusion as to who had died on that fateful day.
Within a few weeks of Uncle Jerry’s death, I had a dream about my mother and father, who were divorced at the time. In the dream, they were sitting in Dad’s pickup, which was parked at the street corner near our home. Dad was in the driver’s seat in the cab and Mom was in the camper in the bed of the pickup. In a flash, the entire pickup and camper burst into flames with fiery fingers shooting out of the windows in all directions. I was terrified. No way could I rescue them from the fire. I awakened, screaming.
These three dreams happened within the course of a few months. I called a psychic I knew and told her about the dreams. I was distraught over the dream about my parents, fearing it would come to fruition, as had the two previous dreams. Her explanation was that it reflected Mom and Dad’s separation, but the dream didn’t necessarily mean they would die in a fire. I understood the separation part, but I couldn’t accept the possibility that they might be in danger of dying in a fire.
I’d had enough of those precognitive dreams. Out loud, I pleaded to no one in particular for the dreams to stop. I couldn’t handle knowing in advance if something bad was going to happen. With those words, I turned off my dream-valve.
Years later, I would wonder how my precognitive dreams might have evolved had I not begged that they stop.