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The Awakening

by Selina Humphrey

*The House*

           This is the house that birthed generations; the house that flings open doors to all who dare to encroach like a one story welcome mat; rooms that hug and console and enslave and betray; this was the start of it all where scenes play out as endlessly as picture show previews; the glass door makes no mention of the cast iron skillet where in between the den and kitchen breaking bread is natural and conversations envelop minds like rotating spokes on a wagon wheel; this is the place that sold the bug because of the little red wagon; each room has a story, a bed, a life, long gone;  this is the space where the unmentionable, yet regarded, float endlessly as if to touch your shoulder in remembrance of the lives lived muted within the rules that are blaringly written across every square inch of every wall; this is the house that death rules.

*The Call*

           It was 2am. The ringing of the phone pierced my core because I had always known nothing good happens after midnight. I will never forget the desperation in my great aunt’s voice, as it deepened the knife which was already piercing my heart from the call.

           It was the knowing. The knowing in her voice as she spoke. The knowing that we both held for what reality the night brought. And yet, she still called me to be her strength, the same way in which I leaned upon my oldest child that night when I screamed my sobs: NO NO NO NO NO… It was as if my being couldn’t stop the repetitious words to will it not in existence.

           “He’s not breathing. I think he might have passed away. Can you come down here?”

           We both were in the knowing, yet we both denied what would soon be the most significant thing to have happened to me thus far, and too much had already happened in my short lifetime.

           “I’ll be right back, but I think that Uncle Johnny has passed away.” Why I told my oldest without truly knowing for certain looms over me. Did I need emotional support in the same ways that my aunt leans on me? She is my mother, after all. Is this what the eldest child is supposed to endure? He grabbed me in my cries and joined in the willing of the repetitious “NO!”

*The Discovery*

           Usually, I don’t know how to react in a time of crisis, especially when it involves the ones whom I love the most, but like a disassociated robot I fumbled with my spare set of keys to open the door that would thrust me into survival mode. There she was, sitting on the couch as white as a ghost, rocking with the knowing. 

           I don’t think he is breathing! The thing fell out of his nose, and I don’t think he’s breathing!”

           I ran past her as she rose to follow me to the den. It was still not a natural sight, him lying in a hospital bed next to an untouched potty chair. He finally resigned to the fact that putting on an adult diaper was a necessity after giving in to taking morphine. The home health nurse insisted it was for his benefit. He was strong like that, choosing to pretend that he didn’t soil his pants and the seat of the microfiber couch and refusing to take narcotic medicine even though he had to be in excruciating pain. This night, he bypassed the potty chair, put on the diaper, took his medicine, and slept in that misplaced hospital bed for the first time, and he absolutely was not breathing.

           I touched his cold face and pushed the tubes back into his nostrils. I leaned down and placed my head on his. Nothing but the knowing. My uncle. The only man to show me unconditional love. A father in every sense of the word. Dead.

*The Destruction*

           Death. Loss. Changes people. I was no exception to the rule, and I had become accustomed to such labels. Despite having to be strong for my family, especially my children, the internal devastation took its toll on my mind, body, and soul. Destruction personifies with tragedy, and years passed engulfed in a hazy fog of depressive nights numbed with alcohol.

           “What song are you going to sing tonight?” This semi-stranger whom I vaguely remember from high school was setting the precedence with his successful career in teaching music. “Are you going to impress me?”

           “Ummm, I will probably just stick with my go-to song. ‘Dreams.’” 

           I clumsily walked to the makeshift d.j. stand and gave my request. I knew it was a Wednesday because karaoke became a weekly past-time. Any other day just blurred into the next. I hoped I didn’t have to sing before him. I hoped I didn’t have to sing after him. Another shot would have probably made me forget about him completely and fall back into singing simply because I loved to. 

           “Oh, look who it is!” My table mate’s already perky voice perked up more, and I knew who I was about to see. He should have been home with my pregnant sister, but I, of all people, knew the need to escape reality sometimes. He should not have been wearing my Uncle Johnny’s coat. 

           “What are you doing here? Why are you in that coat?” I didn’t attempt to hold back my disgust or tears.

           “Your sister told me to put it on because it is freezing out. I was leaving in some thin jacket, and she said to just wear this one. What’s up?”

           “That doesn’t belong to you, and I don’t care what she said. That belonged to my uncle, so tell me why on earth you think it is ok to have it on?” I immediately sent my sister a hate-text.

           “Dude. For real, take the jacket.” He looked full of empathy, and I realized what a mess I was to even suggest he freeze simply because I couldn’t contain my grief. It was now my sister’s, but had she known he would see me, she never would have allowed him to wear it. Was everyone aware of what I had become since his death? Johnny would never have accepted my hateful behavior. He would have given that coat off his back to someone in need.

 

*The Meditation*

           Something in me had to change. I know some people gain a stronger sense of faith when losing someone significant, but I was just so lost. I have always had a belief system, but what really happens when someone dies? 

           I walked into Maven’s apothecary with my best friend and only had plans to shop. Clothing racks were superior to simple thrift stores because there was a witchy flair and the smell of herbs imbedded in the fabric. Lacey was there to check out sculptures of Gods and Goddesses, but I had not taken the guided meditation class yet. Lacey did attend, but she was still trying to decipher images she had seen. This was all new to me.

           “I have a few free minutes if you would like me to run through the exercise with you.” Her voice was comforting and inviting. Stella. “Just sit down and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Exhale.” 

           From what she told me on our walk to the back room, these types of meditation techniques could be found anywhere on the internet. I let myself partake in the process. 5,4,3,2,1…and we were both in Alpha state. It is easy to let your mind create vivid imagery when you are seeking out truth. I had no idea that I was not in control until a voice, not Stella’s, started speaking to me.

           “You know why you are here. You have always known. You know me too, all about my story, and I know you can relate.” I saw her dressed in spring attire, stunning in a white flowing dress and flowers in her hair. I started to become consciously aware that I had fallen deep into my own subconscious. “I must go now. You see him coming…” 

           I immediately opened my eyes and began to talk, but Stella demanded I close them quickly. She insisted I come out of this the correct way. She hurried through counting backwards and we sat staring at each other.

           “I talked with Persephone. I know it was her.” 

           Stella said, from the sound of it, Persephone didn’t ask anything of me other than to converse and become self-aware. The queen of both worlds pushed me forward.

 

*The Astral Realm*

           Finding a decent guided meditation was not as easy as she had made it seem, but I decided to try one with good reviews. I had no clue what I would encounter. I decently knew my tarot deck and had many occurrences which were supernaturally unexplainable, but nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced.

           The same process of counting down to Alpha state started my journey, and I found myself floating on my back in the ocean. Once I was aware of where I was, I began to struggle against the waves.

           “Don’t fight it, just float. You don’t ever have to struggle.” I looked towards the voice, and it was him! Uncle Johnny was above me. I’m not sure I had ever seen him so carefree and handsome, even though he was both of those attributes all his life. 

           “How are you flying?” I just wanted to be near him again. I missed him more than I had ever missed anyone, but there was a complete absence of sadness. A knowing that this was real. A knowing that he was here to speak to me from the spirit realm.

           “You want to see something cool?” His smirk was undeniable, and I nodded yes. “Come fly with me and I’ll show you.” My body effortlessly lifted out of the water and began to soar at lightning speed away from the earth. “Look down. What do you see?”

           “It’s like, the earth is on fire. Why does it feel like we just left a horrible place?”

           “You’ll see.” He sounded so reassuring, and I knew at that moment that hell existed on Earth. Repeated cycles of life until one is fully awakened. “Would you like to go in? I have something to show you.”

           The moderators voice guided me to seek out a building. I envisioned myself passing through a waterfall into another dimension. The building I found was full of books. A wall infinitely high. 

           “Who do you see in the pictures?” It was me, but hundreds of versions of me from different time periods. “Look closer at the wall.” They were all my books. I had written them, and I knew they were vital to existence in this place…whatever this place was.

           “I don’t understand.” I looked to my uncle for assurance, and he firmly took my hand.

           “Don’t ever question yourself. You have awakened. These books, your books, are in the Akashic Records. You have been a writer for many lifetimes, and from this point on you will only know success.” He was so sure.

*The Knowing*

           Now, I know the meaning of life. Some will awaken in this lifetime, some partially, and others not at all. My words are a sum of my infinite legacies. We don’t just get one attempt. We mess up, move forward, and hopefully awaken to this life’s purpose. 

           It is easy to block out the existence of spirit guides when we are busy on life’s arduous journey, but they are always there. Watching. Listening. Making plays to guide us towards our highest selves. He was right. That day I awoke from my meditation, began writing, and my life has never been so blessed. Perhaps, it was all along; I only needed to see myself through his eyes. I am the house that life rules.

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