Dead on - Notes from 'the other side'
By: ANN MARIE FRENCH
Published: October 26, 2008
The Saratogian, Saratoga Springs, NY
Georgia O'Connor talks to dead people. Admittedly, before I walked into her Stillwater home, I really wanted to believe O'Connor could connect with my deceased loved ones from "the other side." What I didn't anticipate was having her really be able to do it. I met with O'Connor in the name of journalism. After all, wouldn't I be crazy if I went for any other reason?
My task was to interview O'Connor about her life as a medium and the details of her upcoming event at the Courtyard by Marriott in Saratoga Springs on Nov. 1. I asked the questions, she gave the answers and, at the end, she offered proof that all she'd just said was true.
Taking a few minutes to center herself, O'Connor began my reading by talking about a mother figure who was coming through. Since both my mother and mother-in-law are both very much alive, I knew that was wrong and said as much. O'Connor remained adamant, saying it was a female one generation above me, maybe an aunt. This back and forth - O'Connor relaying information to me and me telling her it didn't make any sense.
O'Connor said this type of thing was not unusual. The spirits often send through someone we've never met before, as evidence that the medium is not pulling a fast one. O'Connor runs downs the facts of what we've learned. This person is likely an aunt. O'Connor is quite sure the woman's name is Virginia - who "crosses young" and acknowledged a living male uncle named Larry or Laurence. There was more information as to the names of other people who were with her on the other side. Without accusation or frustration, O'Connor simply asks me to take the information home and find out if it may apply to someone else.
The rest of the reading went much smoother. Granted, there were certain things O'Connor said that I felt could be attributable to anyone - the movement of a photo in the house by the deceased to let the living know they are there, flickering of lights in the kitchen, and dreaming of the house they lived in to mean I had been receiving a "visit." There was also some mention of my running, the details of which are readily available online. So those things I'll give to the doubters.
It was the things O'Connor said in between that sold me. In addition to Aunt Virginia, two other women came through - my grandmother and her sister. Seriously. My first personal truth was when O'Connor said, "The ladybugs are from" my grandmother.
My parents have, on occasion, had some ladybug problems in their home and, at times, are literally having to vacuum them up. I don't have this problem, yet when my parents were visiting - leaving the morning I saw O'Connor - my house was full of ladybugs. My mother and I had a conversation about how unusual it is for me to get them. I came home that afternoon to a house without a single ladybug. Later that night, my sister found ladybugs in her house after my parents spent some time with her.
My grandmother also remarked through the medium that she did not have the clotting in her blood anymore. She died as a result of a blood clot on the brain.
Without provocation, O'Connor said my grandmother's answer was a yes to my constant questioning of whether she knows about my children. In fact, my grandmother said she shows up on one of the pictures of my children as an orange ball. I knew immediately the photo she was talking about - a picture of my oldest daughter as an infant bathed in an orange glow of light, a weird color only visible once the photos were developed.
Through O'Connor, my grandmother asked me to apologize to my own mother for her "for being a little difficult at the end." Boy was she! My grandmother also said something about being with her own parents on the other side and remarking that it was her mother who "came to get her and helped her cross." A point important to my mother, who, in my grandmother's last moments, asked her to let my grandmother's late husband "to come get her."
O'Connor said my grandmother felt compelled to let her know that I was never any trouble as a child - always a good girl. My grandmother immediately clarified that by saying I was a little mouthy once or twice. Anyone who has spent five minutes with me knows if anything gets me in trouble its my mouth.
For me, the clincher was O'Connor stumbling to explain to me "the towel that buttons." She had no idea what it meant, but I did. When my grandmother died and it came time to go through her belongings, I took a few of her kitchen towels. They are dishrags that have a knitted top and a button. The knitted portion loops around the oven handle or the refrigerator handle and the button secures it. At the time of her death, I was a relatively recent newlywed and thought the towels would be useful. They continue to be used in my home 10 years later.
I left O'Connor with wet eyes and a lump in my throat because I knew I'd just spoken to one of my deceased loved ones. Was it the person I'd hoped to hear from? No, but I was glad to have gotten the messages I did. For those moments, I felt a love and a peace I hadn't felt in quite some time.
As for Aunt Virginia, I pulled my car off the road when O'Connor's house was no longer visible. I called my husband and, without prefacing the question, asked him about an estranged uncle.
"Did your Uncle Larry have a wife who died?"
His answer sent chills down my spine. "You mean Ginny?" he said.