Co-written by: Julie Tortorici
It was summer. I was four years old. I remember because I was in my backyard, playing in the dirt (as four-year-olds like to do), as my mother looked on from our home’s cement patio. She noticed me suddenly talking to myself.
“Who are you talking to,” my mother asked.
“Uncle Charlie,” I answered casually. Now, I had never met or seen my Uncle Charlie, but I knew it was him because he told me his name while we chatted. Uncle Charlie died before I was born, yet, there he was as clear as that sunny day, running his hand over the dirt right where I was playing.
Most mothers might have been shocked that their child was conversing with their long passed uncle. Many parents would have been scared even, but my mother had seen and heard spirits herself, so she was merely startled by the discovery that her daughter was a psychic medium too. She asked me then to describe him. I told her about his mustache, his dark hair, and that he was tall.
“What’s he saying,” asked my mother.
“He told me that if I want something I should just take it. Not wait for it to be given to me.”
She laughed. That was her response—laughter.
Some little kids have imaginary friends, but I had spirits. After my uncle gave me that bit of life advice (which I can’t say I’ve necessarily followed), I watched as he walked out through the boards of our fence and disappeared. I can’t explain why he was the very first spirit to pay me a visit, but he certainly wouldn’t be the last.
Beyond remembering what he looked like, what he said, and my mother’s reaction, I can also recall my feelings. I was curious about him. Oddly, I wasn’t scared. He was so nice, so calming and friendly. Somehow I knew that I didn’t need to be afraid. Also, it hadn’t occurred to me at that time that what I had seen was a spirit. I just understood somehow that he was both different and the same as me. I don’t remember feeling changed or altered either, as one can feel when they discover their “otherhood”. While I can mark it now as significant, back then it didn’t seem at all remarkable.
That was the beginning of it all. Over time, accepting my talent as a psychic medium would be a winding road. There were years where I ran from my abilities. I chose to ignore the voices, the visitations, and the signs. Eventually—eventually—I was led to where I am today. Each time someone sits with me now, whether they are a new client, or someone who’s been with me for years, it’s always a fascinating, and powerful experience. I’m always grateful for it.
Knowing where I’d end up, that I would eventually choose to embrace my ability as a medium and psychic, makes those moments with my uncle more profound. That, although he stayed only minutes before disappearing through the gate, he wasn’t actually leaving. He was opening up an entirely new world for the niece he never got to know while he was alive.