Father’s Love and Blessings

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Many years ago, at  a time  in my life when I was  worried and depressed, I decided to make the  360-mile drive to visit my only aunt, Jennie Shaffer Hull, who lived in Falconer, a  suburb of Jamestown, New York, to ask for advice. The only  person  I knew  in that  locality was Aunt Jennie.

After I had  poured  out my  troubles,  she asked  if I would  be willing to go to  Lily Dale,  the Spiritualist  community, to  get a  reading  from a medium. She had heard that many  persons found help there. Although it was only  thirteen miles from her home,  she never had been there.  There was  no way anyone  in Lily  Dale could know anything of my life.

Today Lily Dale is widely known. It was  not very  large in  August  1949 when we  walked  through the grounds wondering  which cottage to stop at. Finally we selected  a small  white house.  With shaking  fingers I pressed the doorbell.

A pleasant woman about  thirty years old, opened  the door   and asked me  to step in. All I want  was an  answer to something that was  troubling me, so  when I asked  her if  she would  read for me  and  what she  charged, her answer  frightened me.

“I do not charge” she said, “but I will bring  you  messages from the dead and you can leave on  the table whatever you think  it was worth.” I had not bargained for communication with the  dead!

We were  ushered  into a small  room, furnished  only with   a small table and  three chairs. I sat across from the medium and my aunt  took her place alongside me. The medium  took both my hands in  her and  closed her eyes. After a few  seconds  she started jerking. “Please be very  quiet,” she said. “The messages are not very loud.” first my grandfather Michael Shaffer came.

He said he  wanted me to know  he was  well and happy. next came my  grandmother Adeline. In life  she was stern and outspoken, and what she said  did not surprise me,  for it was the sort of  things would say: “You made your bed. Now lie in it.”

Even though I recognized my grandmother’s  character sharp tongue, still it did not convince me that the dead were speaking. The next message I received  did. Suddenly the medium jerked so hard  I hardly could hold  on to her hands. As she quieted she said, “Here is  a very  young, handsome man.

He says  he is your  father and he has  something  he wants  to give you. He could  not give  you this  before, for he left the Earth before  you came. His gift is a  father’s  love and blessing.”

I started to cry, for the fact of my father’s death was   absolutely correct. He had been a  bookkeeper in his father’s  laundry and one day a heavy roll of paper fell from  a high  storage platform  and struck him on  the head. He regained   consciousness only long enough to call my mother’s name  before he died.

My earthly troubles seemed to pale in the light of the  monumental  knowledge that the dead are very much alive.  I was  now  ready to leave,  but suddenly the medium turned   to Aunt Jennie. Her first husband,  John  Shaffer,   had been  a  bridge contractor.

He went out early one morning to see  that everything was in order for the men  to start working  on the  bridge. He stepped on a loose plank, crashed to the  pavement,  below, and died instantly. A year after his  death my aunt married again,  then began  to wonder  if she  had  broken faith with John.

Should she have remained  single?  We learned that afternoon that those  above see us  and  know when we worry. John’s message was : ” Don’t worry.  You did  exactly right in  getting married again.” Then  Aunt  Jennie started  to cry and we left- but  we made  one mistake. When we stopped  to put our money on the table we  did not ask our reader’s name.

If she had business cards on  the table we were too upset  to notice. For  fifteen years my  husband Kenneth  took me every year to Lily Dale, but we  never did find  her again.

Ruth N. Bixler

Halifax,  Pennsylvania

January 1972

 

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