Happy Birthday, Dad, who was my first guide on the “other side.” He would have been 106! I am still working on the book,
I am still working on the book, Conversations with a Hungry Ghost: Memoir of a Reluctant Medium, which was inspired by the experiences I shared with him since 1990 when I sensed him at his funeral. I promise to finish it after my trip to Dad’s birthplace in China. Definitely, by the end of the year.
In the meantime, I finished a paranormal short story, The Not So Secret Life of Emily Elizabeth. So, I thought it only fitting to offer it for FREE to celebrate Dad and all the other ghosts who want to share their stories. CLICK HERE to pick up your copy. Enjoy!
If you like the story, please feel free to share this link with your friends and to write a review when you are finished.
Today is a very special day – the beginning of a new chapter in my life. For over twenty-five years I have been researching reincarnation. It all started with conversations with my father’s ghost. Dad was a Chinese Buddhist, and I wondered what his beliefs in reincarnation would mean for his next life. However, like so many people, he did not know a lot about Buddhist beliefs about reincarnation.
But when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Then, Brian Weiss, M.D., author of Many Lives Many Masters, entered my life and, like a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly, I began to change. Like the butterfly, whose struggle to come out of its cocoon is an important part of its process to be able to take flight in the world, I have gone through a process to prepare me for this day – the birth of THE CENTER – RVA, a center for spiritual growth.
My reincarnation research, my conversations with my father’s ghost and all the teachers who have come into my life, and putting what I have learned into practice has prepared me for this next chapter. After years of training with Sanaya Roman, Brian Weiss, M.D., and Carol Bowman, I am pleased to “move forward in the direction of my dreams.”
THE CENTER – RVA is a center without walls. It is more about a state of mind than a bricks-and-mortar place. I will offer classes, workshops and gatherings while I continue to work on the book, Conversations with a Hungry Ghost: Memoir of a Reluctant Medium, and prepare for a trip to my father’s birthplace in China with my Roots Plus group.
Check out my website for THE CENTER – RVA and join me for my upcoming workshop, Karma 2 Dharma: From Healing the Past to Embracing Your Life Purpose.
Last, but not least, I want to say “Thank, Mom.” I had cared for her for over a year before she left her physical body in January, and I shared with her some of my beliefs about what happens and where we go when we die. It was an experience I will always treasure. So, I was not surprised when she came to me moments after she crossed over. Like a mother bird who pushes the baby bird out of the nest, she said, “Don’t be afraid. It’s time to fly.”
If you are looking for a diversion from shopping for Christmas or your everyday life, I hope you will check out, read, and review my short story, The Not So Secret Life of Emily Elizabeth.
On DECEMBER 17th, you can get it FREE on Amazon. It’s a quick read but not for the faint of heart.
“Life is a series of choices, but for Emily Elizabeth the choice is clear. Or is it? When justice blindly desserts her family, what can she do? Can Emily Elizabeth come out of her safe, librarian shell and take justice into her hands? And how will she know when justice has been served?”
Review By Wendy R. Williams on December 3, 2015“Carole Louie has penned a great short story! There’s more going on than meets the eye as mousy librarian Emily Elizabeth reclaims her personal power in a most unusual way. I loved the clever literary device of Emily Elizabeth shelving books featuring the author! I look forward to more of Carole’s quality work as she shares more stories inspired by her own personal past life memories.”
Don’t miss this offer!
Even though the story is written as fiction, I hope it leaves you scratching your head with lots of questions about life.
I am excited to share QCE, Quantum Consciousness Experience.
Check out this awesome link. http://www.radiooutthere.com/blog/audio/ROT4615.mp3
I have known for a very long time that I had a “gift” for designing. I will never forget the day I had a vision of being a designer. I was only eleven but I knew that it is what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was not an easy path. Somehow, I jumped over every hurdle and it has been very rewarding.
Another vision beckons me these days: to be an author. More hurdles to jump, “learning curves.” I offer this little short story, which was an assignment for my writing class. I joined the group in October. In the spirit – pun intended – of Halloween, the first assignment was to write a story about a conversation among three ghosts who are buried next to each other. Since I am working on a story about the conversations I have had with my father’s ghost, this assignment was right up my alley.
This story is fiction; however, it is based on my experiences. My father was Chinese and his ghost told me about many of the things in this story – things I did not know when he was alive. Do not be surprised if you experience goose bumps when you read it!
Colma, aka The City of the Dead, south of San Francisco, CA
Sunlight broke through the fog sending rays of light onto the copper lid of the coffin. Jimmy Lei stood there as if frozen. He watched as the family left the cemetery but still he could not move.
“What a waste,” he said as he looked at the elaborately carved granite double headstone and, then, at the well manicured grounds.
‘Well, will you look at that? What are the odds?” Ming Li tipped the pointed end of his fedora to the tombstones on each side of Mr. Lei’s gravesite. He adjusted the handkerchief in his breast pocket so that his initials were prominent.
“I don’t believe it,” W. G. Fong replied.
Jimmy said, “Who are you and what . . .” he stopped before he could finish. The man on his right died on April 5; so did the man on his left. “Wait just a minute. I died on April 5th, Ching Ming, the day I should honor my ancestors. The last time I saw my parents was in 1931. I was a new father and widower in less than two weeks. I had to leave my newborn son to return to America.” He looked around and saw the remnants of the Ching Ming rituals, evidence that others did indeed honor their ancestors.
“What are the odds that three people buried next to each other would die on the same day? Well, I’ll tell you. You have a better chance of winning the lottery,” Ming, who loved to gamble, said.
Mr. Fong recognized his family’s floral arrangement, the wreath with red ribbons inscribed with details about the deceased. His family, known for its beautiful calligraphy as well as its floral work, merged the Western tradition of placing flowers at a funeral with the Chinese tradition of an announcement scroll. “He must be Buddhist. See there. The words on the banner ask permission to enter into heaven and I heard a woman mumbling a Buddhist prayer as her fingers counted the beads on her mala.”
“What are you talking about?” Jimmy said.
Ming said to W.G. “He still doesn’t quite get it.”
“Don’t be so hard on him. You were the same, Ming.”
“Don’t remind me. It’s as if it were yesterday instead of fifty years ago.”
“At least, you were used to this country. I wanted to go back home to die or at least to be buried. I had no one here. In China, I had family who would honor me. I never dreamt that Huang Er, my brother’s second son, would come to the States and make good with the money I left him. I was a second son also. I knew he would be neglected in favor of the number one son. I knew Huang Er had talent but I see now that he also had ambition. He turned my little florist shop into a chain of fancy shops. When he dug up my body from the old Chinese cemetery, and had it moved here, I felt like a king. I guess it paid off to leave him my small fortune.”
“Old Uncle, you’re too old-fashioned.” Ming said. He patted the shoulder of W.G.’s mandarin jacket causing W.G.’s wispy white hair to fly up like a spider’s web disturbed by an intruder.
“Yes, but it is still an honorable thing to pay respects to your ancestors, whether you are a Buddhist like him; a rice bowl Christian, like me; or an Atheist, like you. Shou Shen, brother, Shou Shen.”
“Shou Shen – Filial Piety. You’re talking to an orphan, W.G., but I lived my life right. I did not need a parent or customs or a church to tell me right from wrong.”
“How can you be so sure you were abandoned? China was in chaos between the Japanese invasion and the fighting between Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists and Mao’s Communists. Can’t you find it in your heart to forgive them, Ming?”
“So, you did learn a thing or two from the Christian priests.”
“Yes, but, then, why am I still here? It’s now seventy years. Why didn’t I go to the pearly gates?”
“W.G., I think it’s something more than a coincidence – this April 5th thing. Hey, Jimmy, what’s your story? Why are you here and not in the Buddhist heaven?” Ming said pulling at his eyebrow hair that persisted on sticking out.
Jimmy looked forlorn. He tugged at the well-worn buttonhole of his favorite cardigan. “I made the preparations: the roasted pig, the whole fish and chicken, the paper money and petitions to the guards of heaven to burn in the altar, the family blankets, and a band to ward off evil spirits. I did it all. You tell me. Why am I still here?” He knew these last minute compliances to rituals could not make up for years of neglect. He knew that he had not sent money back to China, squandering it instead on gambling, drinking and women. He shut out those words – Shou Shen – because he knew he had not paid the proper respects to his ancestors. He knew now that the ticket into heaven was not words on a piece of paper, nor dutiful submission to a long list of rituals. He knew that he would have to pay dearly for his deeds in his next life.
“I was wrong,” he admitted to his new neighbors, “but I have another chance to get it right.” His broad nostrils flared, making them look even broader and his eyes even smaller. He tugged at the buttonhole like a child caressing his “blankie.”
“What are you talking about?” Ming asked.
“We are all still here – because we are stuck until we realize our karma. W. G., you would call it “sins.” I thought I got away with my deeds. I have to accept what I did wrong and make it right. I know that now. You think it’s too late but I do not think I’d be here talking with you now if it were too late.”
“If there’s a way to leave this place, I want to hear about it. Maybe, it’s time for me to look at my life. I thought I did the right things but now I’m not so sure. It was the ultimate gamble,” Ming confessed.
W.G. held his head down as he tried to hide the tears that ran down his sunken cheeks. “I went to the mission so I could eat. We were so poor. I’d do almost anything to get some food for my family. I ate the rice in the rice bowl and I hid pieces of vegetables and meat in my clothes to take home to my family. I worked in the kitchen just so I could steal the scraps of food left on plates.
“I listened and pretended to pray. I tried to learn the English language. Of course, they taught it to us by reading the Bible. I wanted to learn the language so I could be a “Gold Mountain” man. After I came to America to find my gold, I discovered the truth. Gold was not everywhere as the traders told us. I worked hard and sent money home to China. I guess I learned enough about sinning to feel bad because I just could not believe in their Jesus. I was not a good Christian man but I did love my family.”
Something in them changed as they shared their stories. They developed an inexplicable bond with one another.
April 5, 1991
“Look, our families are coming,” W.G. said. My nephew is an old man now but he looks young. He has a good family and a good heart.
“As many years as we’ve been here, our families never came at the same time,” he said to W.G.
Jimmy Lei’s family passed the first tombstone. Jenny said, “Hey, guys, he died the same day as Goompa.” Lily set the basket on the ground and, then, sorted out the incense, papers, and Jimmy’s favorite foods while the neighbors swept the grave sites and added fresh flowers.
“Hey, this guy over here, Mr. Wai Gauy Fong, died on April 5 also – but in 1920 – and Mr. Ming Li over there died in 1940. I bet they would have great stories to tell if we could talk with them. This is weird. I have a feeling this is not a coincidence.”
“Let them figure it out, either in this life time or the next. If we can, they will also,” Jimmy said to his new friends. “Are you ready to go now?”
“Where are we going?” W.G. and Ming said in unison.
“I’m not sure but I think we need to cross that arched bridge. It wasn’t there before but I feel we need to go over it. Remember, the Buddha said the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
As if on queue, they took that step together.
As I looked down at the funeral paraphernalia on Dad’s coffin, I wondered what happens now. To be more specific, what do Buddhists believe happens when a person dies?
Dad was a Buddhist, although not a very good practicing Buddhist. He left that to Auntie Tai, who prayed religiously at the family altar. As a Buddhist, he was subject to reincarnate into another life. I had no idea if he would reincarnate immediately or if there was a certain time before he would return. And if there is a waiting time, I had no idea where he would wait.
I tried to talk to Dad about Buddhism years ago, but he was not forthcoming. Mom raised me in the Southern Baptist Church after my parents split up, and we moved to Florida. For some reason, I did not have a conflict exploring Buddhism and Christianity. In fact, I felt even more curious about Buddhism. I especially wanted to know what was in store for Dad. Ultimately, I wondered if the same things would happen to me when I die.
Have you ever wondered: “What now?”