A Psychic journey begins. Everything we do whether it’s a job, hobby or wild endeavour has a beginning. My first view of the spirit world came in 1957 as a 6-year-old boy in England, with the death of my grandma, Annie Smith. I remember quite well my aunt’s grey, stone farmhouse in the hills above Lancaster. Grandma went there to live I believe when she became ill. I had been there before and relished the wide open countryside, fresh cow’s milk and clean air. There was to be no fun this time. My father took me with him and we stayed there for the death watch. Grandma lay on a small bed in the kitchen, by the fire. My memories are of badly lit rooms and angry adults, whose faces I couldn’t see. Being little nobody really looked at me anyway. Waiting outside the kitchen while her children went in to be with her, the last thing I expected to hear was her calling out, “Bring Laurence in here.” An uncle shoved me through the door and I sat on the side of her bed and stared. Gone the plump faced woman with a smile that lit up a room. Instead a frail shell lay there, silver hair shining on her head, eyes half closed. The bed dwarfed her and I jumped when her gnarled hand came out from under the bedclothes, grabbed mine, and she said, “Everybody, get out.” They left reluctantly and I sat and she still held my hand in a fearsome grip. To me she seemed to be sleeping and waking at the same time. Now I know that she was very close to dying. Suddenly she sat straight up in bed, eyes wide, hair sticking out and yelled, “Annie, get me the frypan, I want to cook Laurence some chips.” With that she promptly fell back and died.
Her children moved in and I found myself in a tug of war with grandma. Her hand still grasped mine. An aunt hurried me outside where I stayed with some other cousins and listened to the crying and arguing coming from the house. Fast forward to the cemetery a few days later. My endearing thoughts here are the sight of grandma standing to the side of granddad’s headstone. That and the way the grounds swept away to a small vale in a shimmer of green grass, dotted with old gravestones. She looked to be quite well and kept smiling at me. My uncle stood next to me crying, he looked down, saw my smile and promptly smacked me across the back of the head and said, “You’re Grandmother’s dead, show some bloody respect and cry.” I cried, not from her supposedly being dead but from the whack. It hurt.
Fast forward a year and miracle of miracles we have a television set. It has a round screen in a square box, naturally it’s B&W. The power cord is interrupted by a meter box, if you want to watch the telly you have to feed it coins. Until I discovered girls, TV fought with books for my attention. We didn’t have much in the way of choices for programmes, crikey they could have shown parliamentary question time and it would’ve been interesting. I digress. I well remember being in my favourite position on the floor, on my stomach, chin on cupped hands and staring at the screen. The weekly viewing highlight was, The London Palladium, a variety show and there would always be a few pennies for the ever hungry meter box . I arrived on the carpet first, taking up the best position and settled down. Staring hard at the screen I noticed something strange happening, the screen became coloured, a white aeroplane began flying across the screen and over brown, barren countryside. A title appeared, The Flying Doctors take a look at the opening credits here and you’ll see what I mean. This show didn’t air on Australian TV until 1986, that’s 28 years later. I became quite excited, then normal programming resumed. So what we have so far is, Clairvoyance, or clear seeing re: Grandma and Scrying, or crystal ball gazing for the TV show. I know, one swallow doesn’t make a summer but it’s a start. I would like to say that a glorious time ensued where I cavorted with guardian angels, spoke with fairies and picked the numbers for the football pools. It didn’t happen. My life, already one steeped in perverse acts against me didn’t shine at all. What it did until the next psychic awakening was prepare me for a life as a psychic/medium, giving me an abundance of experience in death, loss, pain, love and suffering.
Let’s shuffle forward here to my last year in the army, sitting in the guardroom between patrols. One thing you never had trouble finding was a deck of cards not this deck in the Tex Ritter song though. Where was I? Yes, cards. One of the other blokes, I forget his name so I’ll call him Bob, sat at the table in our quarters playing patience. I sat opposite reading a Woman’s Day magazine, engrossed in an article on the old art of using playing cards to read fortunes. I recalled a few stories about grandma Annie, and how she would read the cards and palms for people. There is some anecdotal evidence that her mother was related to Gypsies, probably where my father got his tendency to nick things from. Bob looked up from his game and said, “What are you reading Smithy?” I answered, not expecting ridicule and scorn, “All about reading fortunes with cards Bob.” After he’d finished laughing and slapping his considerably large thigh, he said, “Go on, show me then.” Determined, I picked up the deck, opened the magazine, dealt out the cards, and followed the directions. When I’d finished reading he sat back opening and closing his mouth, “How, did you know exactly what’s wrong with my wife, how did you………” He went on and I promptly put the cards away and didn’t do it again until 1990.
The Awakening. On reflection my awakening as it were, came in 1982. If you visit my Last Police Blog. in there I give a personal and detailed view of my life between 82 and 87. I won’t go into it in detail here, however after a whiplash injury I began showing symptoms of epilepsy, in regards to: seeing, hearing and smelling things that weren’t there. Testing over a couple of years showed that epilepsy wasn’t the cause. My firm belief is that extreme stress brought about these events. I had already experienced a notable Out of Body Experience, this excerpt is from A Policeman’s Lot #14 concerning the shotgun murder of a woman by her husband.
She was removed to the morgue after midnight and I accompanied her remains. This is where things a little spooky come in. You entered the morgue cold room via a large stainless steel door, being the holiday break it was a full house. When bodies are placed in there they are put in the row on the left, feet against the wall. Then a tag is put on the wrist. Bodies awaiting pickup are on the right side as you come in. I signed her over to the attendant and returned home. I needed to be back there at 7am for the autopsy. My head had no sooner hit the pillow and I fell into a deep sleep. I’d had an out-of-body experience before but nothing like this one. I found myself hovering in front of the door to the morgue’s cold room. The door disappeared and I stood next to the woman. Looking around I could see misty blue forms hovering above each body, however there was only darkness were the bodies awaiting pickup were located. She stood next to me terrified, lonely and asking questions I couldn’t answer, I could offer nothing but support. My alarm clock rang and I felt myself being pulled away but not before I noticed that another gurney had been put next to hers. It was head first against the wall. A quick breakfast and I drove the squad car back to Brisbane. The coroner was ready to go and I went to the cold room to wheel her out. I nearly fell over when I went in to find another body next to hers, head first against the wall.
Yes, I was a copper. Me being inducted in 1980.
I must mention a dream I had in 1982. In the dream I stood in the newsagency with a lotto coupon in my hand, and 6 numbers glowing a bright gold. Leaping out of bed I wrote them down on a piece of paper. On the next lotto day I used the numbers on each game I played, and still do. Back to the story. After I left the police service in February 87 we moved to an old farmhouse on 10 acres in Lowood. These were the days before key cards, I didn’t have a cheque account only a normal one. I had to pay the removalists with the last of my cash when we moved in on the Friday morning. My retirement money would be in the bank Monday, the trouble was we could only scrape up a $1.87 in change between us. The bank had closed for the day, we needed a loaf of bread and the lotto closed at 4pm. The bread won out and I didn’t get the numbers on. A good mate, Eddy came over the next day and we spent hours unpacking and moving furniture. the house felt good, although the rooms were small. Sitting down on the lounge watching TV we both looked towards the main bedroom door at the same time. A boy, dressed in a khaki safari suit stood there looking at us and then walked through the mirror and vanished. We looked at each other, shook our heads and then came the next shock, the lotto draw. You guessed it, 5 of my numbers came up with the sixth one as the supplementary. Yes folks, a whopping $26,000.00 was not to be ours at all. I sobbed.
To say I’d become a mental and physical wreck would be an understatement and not just from missing out on a small fortune. I could manage a couple of days cleaning the place up, then I would be on the floor or bed with my body in extreme contortions, and useless until they stopped. The only good part, I had a six-pack Big Arnie would envy. It’s amazing how flexible the human body can be. Our barn stood a metre off the ground on stumps, I owned a WW2 Willy’s Jeep at the time and I had it backed up to the barn, while I put rubbish in it for a trip to the dump. A 110 year old Moreton Bay fig tree stood in front of the house, I looked up and saw my deceased father and grandma Annie standing under it waving at me. I promptly fainted and fell headfirst into the jeep. Yes, ouch. That July my sister, Noreen took her own life. We were out visiting that Friday and returning home I received word that the police wanted to see me at her house. When I arrived her body still lay on the floor, she had her pink nightie on. No amount of screaming at and shaking a dead person will bring them back. She was my best friend and she’d left me behind.
It was a dark and stormy night. (Really) Early August is usually dry here in Queensland, cold at night and in the early morning, and pleasant through the day. Not this Friday night. The rain came down in torrents and then flew sideways, hitting the windows like nails. Our old house shook on its hardwood stumps and the ansalite roofing on the back veranda rattled like kettle drums. A glass-fronted wood stove stood in the open plan kitchen, and lying in bed I could see it clearly. I’d stoked it up this night, then damped it down. The two Chihuahuas lay snuggled on the end of the bed and the three cats lay in front of the fire. I remember falling asleep then hearing a loud knocking on the back door. This led into the laundry, 3 steps down from the kitchen. Struggling out of bed I put my dressing gown on and padded out to the kitchen, opened the damper on the fire and went down to the back door. I struggled to open it and when I did I saw Noreen standing there. Her hair, usually curly hung in wet strands. Her pink nightgown, soaking wet, clung to her body. I went out into the freezing rain and put my hand on her shoulder and said, “What is it, what’s the matter?” Her hands covered her face and she said, “I’m all alone, nobody wants me.” Then she began sobbing. I led her inside: pulled out a chair for her at the table, sat her down, put the kettle on to boil, set two cups out, put tea bags in them and returned to bed.
I’d no sooner laid down when I sat up again, returned to the kitchen and she’d gone. Everything was as I had left it. The cats were all wide awake and sat by the chair where I’d left her. She loved cats. The chair itself was wet and I stood there and cried my heart out. Was it my imagination? Was I delusional? I gave this much thought over time and I believe that her visit became the defining moment in life, which motivated me to discover my future as a medium.
Next week: Where do I go from here?