I was about 6 weeks into my cross country trip, drifting the van I called home from one side of the United States to the other with no particular agenda. I had already come up through Oregon and Washington on the 5, and shot back south on Highway 90 out of Seattle, before hopping on the 84 into Boise.
From there I had continued down into Utah and stopped in the state capital of Salt Lake City. After a few days mulling around the city itself, I ventured out into the small suburb of Layton to attend a meditation group I’d discovered online. It is with this meditation group the story begins…
It was a Tuesday. I contacted the host, and arrived at the address in the early evening to find a big, beautiful house nestled into the stunning hills and bountiful nature of the northern Utah valley. I parked my janky four-wheeled-home at the end of the cul-de-sac, then timidly shambled up the sloped driveway and across the path through a well manicured yard. I approached the massive double doors at the front of the house and looked up at the giant arched sentinels before me.
I reached out to push the door bell, then waited intently listening to hear the footsteps approach from the other side of the wood barriers. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had been practicing this particular type of meditation for a few years back home. I wondered if there would be any Mormons in attendance, and if the practice was compatible with their religion.
While I waited in contemplation one the left door swung open and I was greeted by the smile of a woman who appeared to be in her fifties.
“Hello,” I said. “Are you Kate?”
“Yes, I am,” she said beaming.
“I’m Perry. We spoke on the phone. I’m traveling and was hoping to attend the group meeting this evening.”
“Of course!” She said, as she hurriedly pulled me into the house. “Come in, come in.” She abruptly ushered me through a hallway then down a flight of stairs to a large open room bordered with a snack table and guests. In the middle of the room were several folding chairs laid out in a circle. The people scattered around were chatting with familiarity as they waved their paper plates and plastic cups around and gestured.
“You’ll have to forgive me for rushing around, but this is my house, and, so as the host I have many things to do and attend to. Feel welcomed. Help yourself to the food and introduce yourself as you wish. We’ll start the meeting in about 10 minutes. Now, if you’ll excuse me…” The doorbell rang again as she was talking. She quickly straightened up the snack table before floating off to retrieve more guests.
Feeling a bit shy, I decided to hang back and keep to myself. I took a seat in one of the chairs and waited patiently for the session to commence. While I waited I was approached by a bubbly girl in her twenties and her mother. They were curious to see a new face in attendance, and came over to get the scoop from me directly. They were very friendly, and I ended up rapping with them until the meeting started.
The group was bigger than I expected; about 30 people. There were only about 10 people in my group back home, and that was on a good day. We were normally fewer.
Kate started the meeting by introducing me to everyone, then opened the floor for announcements and information about upcoming events. After the brief check-in, we read from the book around which the meditation was centered around, then, as a group, we engaged in the practice. When the meditation finished, we had an open discussion on what we had read and what we felt during the time of silence. It was a very smooth and interesting experience.
We closed the meeting with a sort of a prayer and well wishes for the world as we held hands and mentally focused our energy on our positive intent. With that the class was over.
Some people got up quickly to dash off to whatever the next thing was they needed to do in their busy lives. Others hung around and got up to finish off the snacks and catch-up with the friends in the group that they didn’t get a chance to talk to before the meeting started.
I stayed in my seat and witnessed all the interactions taking place around me. I was thinking how much I had enjoyed the class and how happy I was that I came. Just then, I felt a rush of some indescribably energy flow over me and I heard a voice in my head nearly screaming at me to go and talk to the host, Kate.
I had never experienced anything like this before, and the initial shock of it paralyzed me. Am I going crazy? I thought to myself. I stayed in my seat and grappled with what I was experiencing. The harder I tried to resist, the stronger and louder the voice got until it was no longer bearable. It was as if there were a full choir performing between my ears.
I shot up out of my chair and marched straight over to Kate, who, now that the party was over, seemed much more relaxed. She had a drink in her hand and was talking to one of the guests.
I politely interrupted, not sure if the sense of urgency I was feeling was visible on my face. “This might sound crazy,” I started “but I need to talk to you… The thing is, I don’t know what I need to talk to you about. I just know it’s important.”
“Of course,” she replied without missing a beat, as if this sort of thing happened to her as often as she received phone calls. “You’re welcome to stay until everyone has left, and then you will have my undivided attention.”
With nowhere to go, and nothing to do otherwise, I was more than happy to hang around and get to the bottom of the intuition that I was nagging me so strongly . I walked over to the snack table and waited idly.
While I waited, a few more mediatators came over to me and asked more questions about me and my trip. I tried to answer politely, but all the while, a burning curiosity bubbled in the back of my mind in anticipation of my one on one with Kate.
A half an hour passed before Kate finally waved goodbye to her last guest. She closed the big front door and turned to me with the same friendly smile that I had become accustomed to seeing on her face. “Now. Let’s talk outside, shall we?”
She waved her arm as she walked past me and gestured me to follow. We went through a massive kitchen and out a sliding glass door that led to a modest, yet beautiful back yard. A covered patio outside sat next to a small rushing creek. The crackle and bubbling of the rushing water filled the air as the glass door slid closed behind me.
We pulled up seats at a wooden table on the Patio. I took in the beautiful late evening scene while we settled in.
“So,” she started “what is it you want to talk to me about?” She gazed at me with brown eyes full of concern, like a grandmother worried about her baby grandson who had just fallen.
“That’s the thing,” I replied honestly “I don’t know.”
“That’s fine,” she said. “Let’s just talk then, and see what comes up.”
I was a bit taken a back by her response and openness. If I were to put myself in her shoes, I don’t think I would have been as kind or as hospitable. Here I was, a drifter in his mid-20’s from California, driving around the country in his van, and wanting to talk.
For all she knew I could have been a crazed, psycho killer who had just escaped from some sort of detention center for the clinically insane, or some dastardly Ted Bundy type, going from state to state and leaving a body count of unsuspecting strangers behind him. And yet, she was happy to be alone with me and give me her full attention, with no judgment or worry whatsoever. I thought to myself that perhaps she was the crazy one.
We started with small talk. I told her a bit about myself and shared some of the stories from my travels. I found out she was a successful real estate agent. She told me about her family and how she came to live in Utah. I was shocked to find out that she had grand kids in college. From how young she looked, I wouldn’t have guessed she even had kids my age.
The conversation continued and deepened. We started talking about books and philosophy. Then all of a sudden, as I was in the middle of an anecdote, Kate cut me off abruptly, “You have an Aunt Anita,” she said to me, her eyes suddenly transfixed onto mine with deathly seriousness.
I was at a loss. I glared back at her while I tumbled through my memory banks in search of the name she had just declared. Aunt Anita, Aunt Anita… Who is Aunt Anita?
I came up with a blank on the name. “I don’t think so.” I told her sadly. Somehow I felt bad, as if I had made her wrong.
“Perhaps it sounds like Anita?” she ventured.
“I have and Aunt Nan,” I told her, “and I’ve dated a few girls who’s names may be close…”
“No, it’s Anita,” she cut me off again, mater-of-factly. “You have an Aunt Anita, and you need to see her.”
“Maybe she is crazy,” I thought to myself.
I decided to check with my parents. Maybe this mysterious family member meant something to them. I excused myself briefly to send my dad a text message asking if the name rang any bells. Kate and I continued talking while I awaited for a response.
Five minutes later, I received a text back from my father. “Yea, you have an Aunt Anita. She lives in New York. You met her two years ago when we went back to Connecticut for my family reunion. Why do you ask?”
My jaw slid to the floor. Two summers prior I had gone to the East Coast with my Parents, for the first time since I was a child, to meet all my dad’s extended family and childhood friends. I was introduced and re-introduced to so many people that I hadn’t remembered them all. And Kate had just told me Anita’s name with absolute certainty, when I hadn’t even recognized it.
“This is crazy!” I thought to myself.
It turns out that Kate was a psychic. She claimed to have had the gift since birth, and, for a period, actually worked as a professional with her own storefront in a local mall. She gave me a private reading and, for the rest of the evening, told me stories of her professional days as a medium.
She invited me to stay the night in a spare bedroom, and I took her up on the offer. The next morning, we went to brunch at a local restaurant with some of her friends. My seeing Kate socially made me really begin to realize what a special lady she was. Everyone seemed to seek her advice and wisdom, and she seemed to be overflowing with it.
When we got back to her house after the meal, she held counsel for a young man whom I had seen in the meditation group the day before. This lady was really something. She was a pillar in her community and incredibly generous with her time. She gave everyone with whom she interacted her undivided attention, and sincerity.
I stayed the rest of the afternoon at her house, sharing more stories, discussing philosophy, and trying to soak up as much of her wisdom as I could. I left in the evening, with my sense of purpose renewed as I continued my adventure east.
I started my car and bade farewell from my window. I shouted to her where she was waving in the driveway. “And what do I say to my Aunt Anita when I see her?” I asked.
“That I can’t tell you. You’ll know when you get there,” she grinned.
I shrugged, and waved back as I honked my horn and pulled off.
Going to See Anita
I continued my journey east, and, after about a month, I arrived in Virginia where my Aunt Nan lives. I asked her if she was close with Anita, and told her about my experience in the Beehive State. She told me they talked quite often, and offered to call her while I was there.
I stayed with my Aunt Nan for about a week, and during that time, she rang Anita’s residence. Anita’s husband, my uncle Max, answered and informed Nan that Anita had been suffering for months from a horrible case of shingles, a terrible viral infection that can be incredibly painful, and for Anita, a women in her 80s, had the potential to be fatal. Max said the blisters on here skin were so bad she couldn’t put on a shirt due to the pain the material of the clothes caused.
This was a startling revelation, and deepened my curiosity as to my role in this whole puzzle. I eventually took Anita’s phone number and address from Nan and carried on with my journey, swinging north up the east coast to New York and Connecticut, to visit the old stomping grounds of my father.
Two weeks later, I was standing on my Aunt Anita’s porch. It was a gray summer afternoon in Rye Brook, New York. The humidity made the air thick and heavy like a weight on me. I wiped my brow while I waited for the door to open.
I had called earlier in the day and knew they were expecting me. Anita was still sick, but had agreed to see me after I told her I had some very important information to pass on to her.
My uncle Max opened the door, and I could see his big smile, blurry behind the grated screen door. I stepped back to allow him space to open it. “Lee’s son!” he declared as he shook my hand, and then used it to pull me into an embrace. “How have you been young man?” he let go, then stepped aside to let me in.
I told him I was fine as he proceeded to lead me through the living room and into the small kitchen. There, at a round table, was a thin women with a short, smokey-gray afro. “Hi Aunt Anita,” I greeted her with a wave, knowing the condition on her skin would cause great pain if I gave her a hug.
“Oh! How are you doing, honey?” she managed to beam a great big smile at me from her seat. “Come over here and let me get a look at-cha,” I stepped in front of her and she give me a quick head-to-toe once-over. “You look good. Just like your father. Sit down and tell me how you been, sweetie?”
I pulled up a chair and sat down, my uncle Max rolled up his sleeves and casually leaned against the countertop adjacent to where Anita and I were seated. I filled them in on my travels, and we caught each other up to speed on the family gossip. At some point, Max excused himself to go run some errands and left me alone with my aunt.
Right then, I knew what my purpose with my aunt was. At this point in my life I had been practicing many different types of alternative healing modalities, such as reiki and chi gong. I felt the same energy that made me stay and talk to Kate in Salt Lake surge through me. It pulsed up and down my spine, and then flowed out down my arms and into my hands.
I started to tell Anita about my meeting with Kate. How I had embarrassingly forgotten her, and how Kate specifically had directed me to her. Tears rolled down her cheeks, as I recounted the miracle to her.
“She said I would know why I came when I saw you,” I explained. “And it’s true. Anita I understand you’re very sick right now. I happen to study a few different types of alternative healing practices. If you’re open to it, perhaps I can perform some of this healing work on you today,” I offered.
“Of course sugar,” she whispered through tears of joy.
I spent the next half hour or so transferring the energy surging through my body and into my hands and onto her by using the methods I had developed through a combination of practice and intuition. Shortly after I finished, Max returned home and re-entered the kitchen.
We exchanged pleasantries a little while longer, before it was time for me to leave. I said goodbye and thanked them for the visit, and then strolled back to my car and continued on the road.
A week later, I was on the highway in Ohio making my way back west. I hadn’t heard from Anita since I left her house that day, so I decided to give her a call and check in to see how she was doing.
Max answered the phone. When I told him who was calling, he excitedly told me to hold on and rushed off the phone. The next voice I heard was Anita’s feather soft tone on the other end of the line.
“Great news, honey!” she exclaimed. “I’m glad you called. I wanted to get a hold of you, but I didn’t have your number. I’m all better, thanks to you. I woke up the day after you left completely cured. It’s a miracle.”
I was floored. I didn’t know what to say. “That’s great,” I managed to stutter in disbelief.
The truth of what she was telling me started to sink in. After a few seconds I was able to form a better response. “I’m glad you’re better Aunt Anita, but it wasn’t me who healed you. Your recovery was between you and the universe. I just happened to be a conduit this time. But I’m glad you’re better.”
We stayed on the phone and talked for a few more minutes. She signed off, thanking me again and telling me to have my dad call her next time I talked to him. I promised I would, and then wished her farewell and hung up.
After the call I just kept on driving. I stared chuckling to myself at how unpredictable the universe is and how interesting life can be. I knew then that I had just been a part of something magical, and the witness to an incredible miracle that I wouldn’t soon forget.
Then and Now
First I have to address the skeptics. Yes, this is a true story based on true events that actually happened. I wouldn’t have believed it either if it hadn’t happen to me. Shit, it did happen to me and I’m still skeptical. But when I review the facts, there’s no way of rationally explaining all of the coincidences.
First off, I was the one who approached Kate, not the other way around. I could have written her off as a con artist or a kook if she would have came up to me, claiming she needed to talk about some random family member of whom I had never heard. But the irrational feeling I had to talk to her, and acted on, was all mine and totally beyond logic.
When Kate did talk to me, she was the one who knew Anita, when I didn’t remember her. There was no clue or lead that could have revealed that information.
And it all fell into place when I arrived at my Aunt Nan’s house and discovered my Aunt Anita was sick. Someone healing overnight from a life-threatening infection is incredible, regardless of the circumstance. The fact that I showed up the day before only adds to the mystery of the circumstance.
There were also other personal predictions that Kate shared with me privately that are still coming true until this day. Many of them that seemed just as unlikely at the time of their revelations.
My Aunt Anita is still alive and well. Every year since that summer, she sends an Easter card to my parents’ house addressed to me. Unfortunately I’m never there to receive the cards because, ever since that summer, I’ve continued traveling.
As for my philosophy on health and healing, it hasn’t much changed over the years. Without getting into too much detail about it here, I think we all call to ourselves and manifest the hurting and healing for the lessons we need throughout our journey in this life. I know that I didn’t cure my Aunt, any more than I made her sick. Whatever lesson was there for her in that experience was created and extracted by her. I was merely a peripheral character in her plot.
Kate is still in Utah, and from the pictures I’ve seen of her, hasn’t aged a day. We’ve exchanged e-mails a few times over the years and have kept in indirect contact through social media.
Intuition is a funny thing. Sometimes we ignore it and end up kicking ourselves later. Sometimes we can’t ignore it and are forced to act. In my life I’ve learned that listening to that little voice in your head, that first instinct, will never lead you wrong. After this experience, and others like it, I’ve aimed to make acting on my intuitions second nature, and, when I have, it has always led me to the kindest people and the most amazing places and situations.
Trusting your gut is trusting the universe. Sometimes, what you want isn’t what you need; and sometimes, what you get isn’t what you asked for. But if you learn to let go, and trust the universe and whatever plan life has laid out for you, you’ll be able to take it all in stride.