Recently an Amazon reviewer, Jan, said she wanted to know how those close to me responded to my experiences and why I didn’t include them in “A Reluctant Spirit: A True Tale of God, Ghosts and Gut Instincts.”
Well, there’s an easy answer to why I didn’t: No one, not Ken, my parents or my closest friends knew my entire story. I’d censored what I’d shared to everyone. I didn’t want to lose those important to me.
Luckily, those fears never came to fruition. Their love for me has shined through, even if they don’t agree with my views or believe in the supernatural.
Here are my perceptions of how those around me reacted to my memoir.
Ken, my significant other
I’d worried that Ken would read A Reluctant Spirit and then leave me because I was too weird. Well, he didn’t! His primary reaction to my book was that I was much more spiritual than he’d imagined. He knew I read the Bible nightly, but hadn’t realized the depths of my beliefs. He continues to remain unconvinced of the existence of the paranormal, but he always has my back and respects my perceptions of my experiences. One day, I hope he’ll have a definitive ghostly experience that will make him a believer. For years, he was mystified by my renewed health, but he revels we can once again hike and travel together.
Mom and Dad have always been there for me. Upon reading my book, both were alarmed by aspects of my story they hadn’t known. My mother, who’s experienced the paranormal, has since shared more of her eerie anecdotes with me. My father, who like Ken supports his mate, goes with the flow, even though he doesn’t quite understand my and mom’s experiences.
My primary physician
I didn’t see Dr. Jeffrey Millman for about 18 months after my visit to Goldfield. When I did have an appointment with him, he told me he thought I’d switched doctors since he hadn’t seen me for so long (my poor health had required me to see him every two months or so). When I shared my story, he replied, “Miracles happen all the time. Doctors are just not supposed to believe in them.”
Virginia Ridgway, the former Goldfield Hotel’s caretaker
I treasure what this kind woman told me: “You really understand the Goldfield spirits.”
First, I want to say I respect their spiritual paths and devotion to God. But I’d assumed they’d dissolve our friendships after reading my book. And I dreaded the thought of them reading it.
One friend, upon finishing A Reluctant Spirit simply said, “You’re a good writer, and I know you did this out of your love for the Lord.” We’ve never discussed my memoir’s content.
Another—who I was afraid would shun me—said very little about my book after she read it. In fact, she waited a couple months before telling me she’d done so. Over the course of time, she’s made random comments supporting aspects of my book. It’s as if she had to digest my experiences to see how she could relate to them.
Other evangelical friends and family members have stayed silent, though I imagine they are praying for my soul. But, hey, who can’t use more prayer? They’ll probably never read my book, which is fine.
I remain grateful to all of those who are a part of my life. Their grace and understanding have been a tremendous blessing to me.