Two years ago, I made an appointment to see a psychic in Chicago. The wait to get into her office was more than 700 days. To that, I said "What the hell" as I put my name on the list and chugged the rest of my wine.
Flash forward to the end of May and the medium's secretary calls me to confirm my appointment. Like an expensive pair of loafers purchased online while tipsy, I had completely forgot I did this. Nonetheless, I said I'd be there and booked a flight back home.
I wanted to do this because my mom's father, mother, and brother had all passed away long ago. I am so close with my mom, I could not imagine what it was like for her to be unable to call, text, or fly to see them. I figured a one-hour session with a medium might be the answer.
And I was right.
As we waited outside for our appointment to begin, our hearts pounded. My mom's for what it may mean if this lady turns out to be legit. Mine for the fear she'd be a complete hack. "Let's not have any expectations," I kept reciting to my mom the way someone going on a blind date would. I mean, on one end of the spectrum, I thought this could turn out to be nothing more than a waste of money and a laugh. On the other, a bonafide conversation with the dead. So I took out my phone and I pulled up a new note. I typed 3 sentences - one to each of the deceased letting them know we were 20 minutes away and asked them to PLEASE come through. Yes, I know how crazy this sounds.
A fiery Latina emerged from the back of the nondescript storefront on the Northside.
"Ex-New Yorker in the house," she said to my mom. "I love it!"
"How did you..."
"Because the session has already started, my dear. And it's going to be really good," she said, showing us her arm full of goosebumps.
Within 30 seconds of sitting down, the medium said spirits were lining up to talk to my mom. The first one?
"I'm seeing a male. Young. He's standing beside you indicating he is a sibling, not a father. Name starts with a P. Died instantly, tragically. He wants you to know, he did not suffer. It was an accident."
My mom and I looked at each other, immediately recognizing that it was her brother, Paul, who died 50 some odd years ago when he was a teenager.
"Can I ask a question?" my mom says. "What do you mean an accident?"
Paul died in a car accident.
Immediately I started to cry because I knew this was real.
Next to come through was my grandfather.
"I don't know why I'm calling him your grandfather," the medium said nonchalantly. "Because you never called him that. You called him Pop Pop."
She was right. I called him Pop Pop. The psychic went on to nail several other nuances about him that were totally un-googleable and entirely accurate.
Finally, my grandmother - Jane - a woman who I had never met but whose memory I have always been so drawn to, emerged. The psychic said: "I see many, many calendars indicating this person has been gone for a while." The 35th anniversary of her passing was a few weeks ago. "But hold on, she's coming through."
Jane thanked my mother for the "A-name" that honored her. My middle name, Ascher, is Jane's mother's maiden name. She also said that she met my soul before I was born and that she wanted my mom to know she did a good job raising me and felt very similar to me. The next day, I wrote an email to my aunt to ask her in what ways she thought we were twinsies and she said she had once found an entire manuscript that Jane wrote along with a rejection note from a literary agent. My aunt believes she had a secret goal of becoming a writer.
Speaking of being a writer, the medium interrupted the session to say she knew I was working on another book. She then went on to describe a scene in said book that I've only been thinking about lately. That's right. She described a scene that DOES NOT EXIST IN THE WORLD but that I've been racking my brain on for weeks. She then went on to draw a picture of something that's currently being stored in a closet in the house I grew up in. Because, of course.
The medium clicked, sweated, ticked, and flinched as messages poured through from the other side. Our session went 40 minutes long because she literally could. not. stop. talking with my dead family members. She finally asked them for "last messages" and then started laughing.
"Em, did you text them or something before this session?"
"They want you to know they got the message."