I was out for dinner with family that had traveled in for my grandmother-in-law’s 99th birthday when I looked down at my phone and saw it glowing. Someone had messaged me. I held it just within view underneath the table, and opened a message from Mollie Morningstar, a psychic medium who was offering me tickets to her event the following evening.
Mollie and I have a mutual friend who introduced us because we both love hula-hooping. I had attended one of Mollie’s readings before, and I follow her on social media. I adore her posts.
Excited, I interrupted the conversation at the table, “Anyone want to go with me to see a psychic medium tomorrow?”
No one immediately answered. I thought I was going to have to search for a date outside of my dinner company until Barbra, my sister-in-law in from D.C. answered, “I’ll go.”
By the time I finished work the next day, I was ready for an evening on the town. Barbra and I were almost the last guests to arrive to Mollie’s reading and took a seat in the side wing, next to, we would come to find later, three sisters that cried tears of joy when their father’s spirit came through, demonstrated by Mollie dancing a Southern Jig that their father once used to do for them when he was alive.
Mollie did this for many people in the room, not dance a gig, but gave them something familiar and exclusive to their tie to the spirit communicating to them.
I watched and noticed why they were all there, the audience members: they were all missing someone dear to them and were looking for a glimmer of knowing the spirits of the people they loved were still with them. Most everyone seemed hopeful with anticipation, and the audience came to know each other’s stories as messages came through, creating what felt like to me a beautiful bond between strangers. Barbra described the experience later as one where, one minute the audience is laughing and the next, everyone is in tears or trying hard to hold them back.
Towards the end of the session, I wondered who if anyone would want to come through to me. I couldn’t think of anyone who would. I was going to ask Barbra if she could think of anyone who might come through to her, but I didn’t because I was fairly certain Barbra was skeptical. She didn’t say anything to make me believe she was, but she had a look on her face, and cracked a few jokes about the various topics the spirits decided to bring up, like paving a driveway. But the more Mollie connected the audience with their loved ones, the harder it was for us not to believe.
Then Mollie asked if someone was celebrating a birthday. Three people raised their hands. I couldn’t help but think of Martha, born 99 years ago in a farmhouse in Eagle River, Wisconsin, but I didn’t raise my hand. Then Mollie mentioned the name Art. I faintly recalled that was the name of Martha’s husband, but wasn’t sure.
I nudged Barbra, “Isn’t that Bill and Mike’s (Barbra’s husband) grandpa’s name?”
“Art has left someone behind that he loves very dearly, his wife, anyone here associated with the name Martha?” Mollie asked.
Warm chills surged up my spine. Interestingly enough, two other people in the crowd connected to an Art and Martha. I didn’t raise my hand to make a third because I was afraid that I would be stealing another person’s ghost away.
Mollie continued, “He acknowledges that there’s been a lot of cleaning going on and he says it feels good to breath again.”
The audience members who had connected to an Art and Martha didn’t connect with that part of the message, it didn’t pertain, but my husband had just finished cleaning our apartment for guests coming in to stay with us for Martha’s party, and we had just completed spending almost two weeks cleaning my mother’s home so we could put it on the market. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to raise my hand.
Lots of people clean all the time, I thought, and there are lots of people named Art and Martha and have birthdays.
Mollie continued, “I’m getting another name connected to Art, a William or Bill?” Mollie looked around the audience for some takers. Bill is my husband’s name, short for William, still, I was reluctant to claim the ghost of Grandpa Art. After all, I had never even met him.
I listened to the message, making mental notes, in case I would find later that the spirit named Art was in fact communicating to us: create a budget, hold out for the right one, he loves his wife very much, but then I began to worry that Art wanted to say something very specific to us, and because I was too shy to stand up and acknowledge him, he would miss his chance. That’s when I tried to communicate to Art directly.
I said in my mind, “Okay Art, if you’re trying to say something to me, you have to give me a bigger sign so that I’m certain it’s you. I don’t want to steal a ghost away from someone else if it’s not really you.”
And that’s when Mollie said, “I see that Art did very well for himself. He’s dressed in a suit and I see him writing checks.”
As silly as the next part of this story sounds, that’s always how I imagined Art: in a suit writing checks. Only I know this. You might ask why this is how I picture him, and it’s because in the pictures I’ve seen of him, he’s wearing a suit. The checks are because we receive them from Martha on birthdays and Christmas. They’re a big deal and are generous checks. These checks make it clear to me that Art worked hard to do great things, and that’s why he and Martha can be generous to their family and loved ones. So that was it, that was the sign. I raised my hand and claimed him.
Mollie came over and stood closer to Barbra and I, “He acknowledges a double wedding, did you two have a double wedding?”
“No,” I answered, “but we probably should have.”
I was shaking with excitement, so Barb had to take over and explained to Mollie, “We married brothers and we were all friends first before Anna and I married into the family. We lived together in the same house, and pretty much did almost everything together until we moved away.”
“Well Art acknowledges this and he wants to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Martha, who he loved and cared for very much.”
I was so excited, until I thought about telling this to Martha and worried about how she might react.
I envisioned the scenario: Hi Martha, happy birthday, guess what? Barb and I went to a psychic medium last night and got a message from your husband. Sorry, I know you’re Catholic and might not believe in this stuff, please don’t think I’m weird. And I hope this doesn’t make you sad.
Then Art reassured me, right away, almost interrupting those thoughts that were already making me hesitant to deliver the message to Martha.
Mollie said, “He says to feel free to tell Martha this and that she will be very accepting of his message,” before she told us, “but Art is a very polite man and he doesn’t want to take up any more time because there are many spirits here who want to get through, so he’s excusing himself now. He knows everyone is at peace with his passing.”
Then Mollie told us to bring the beautiful flower arrangement that stood at the center of the stage to Martha for her birthday, which we did.
The next day at Martha’s party, the flower arrangement sat in the middle of the dining-room table. Martha thought it was beautiful and wanted to know who it came from.
I don’t know how to make a long story brief, so I offered the task to Barbra, “Do you want to tell her?”
Barbra politely declined. Not knowing what to expect and how Martha would react, I felt my face turning red as I told Martha what had happened, how Art’s spirit came through.
I couldn’t see Martha’s face, because I sat behind her, at the ‘kid’s table’, but everyone who could see her said she was smiling and the story brought tears to her eyes.
I wrapped up the story with, “So really Martha, even though Mollie was nice enough to send these flowers to you, they’re from Art too.”
Later on in the evening, I also found out that Art’s middle name is William, and that a lot of cleaning had taken place at Martha’s house that week as well to prepare for the party.
It also turned out that Art is an old pro at communicating from the other side. One of Art’s daughters and his only grand-daughter have both received messages from him through a medium as well.
And Art was right, Martha was open and happy to receive the message. She didn’t think it was weird at all. I was glad I had the courage to speak up and claim his messages, after all the hard work Art had to do to get through, from placing the thought in Mollie’s head to offer the tickets, to bringing Barb in from D.C. so she could help recognize him and verify his name. What a clever man Grandpa Art is. I was also honored that Art would use Barbra and I as instruments to send a message and some flowers to his true love, Martha, on her 99th birthday.