I'm not totally sure I believe in it, but some really strange things have happened to me over the years.
I was a really precocious child. I could read and write by the time I was four and had a wonderful imagination and very vivid memory. I still retain most of those qualities. For instance even today, I can vividly remember myself and my bother sitting on our living room floor watching live on TV Neil Armstrong take the first step on the moon.
If I close my eyes and let my mind wander a bit, I can still remember my first day of school... What I ate for breakfast, the smell of the school bus... What the kids sitting next to me were talking about.
I also have an uncanny sense of direction and an almost photographic memory for landmarks and routes. I'll only consult a map once or twice and that's it. It stays up in my head. I can go somewhere once, and years later be able to retrace my tracks to find the exact spot I was years before. That and I can find north without consulting a compass, sun or stars...
My father once told me that his mother, my grandmother, who was born in Ireland, was born "with a veil" and could heal people with just a touch. She was filled with all kinds of Irish folklore that I wished she had imparted to me.
The one thing I do wish I could remember was a time when I was very young. I remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother and my maternal grandmother, and I was talking about something. I don't remember what it was I said exactly, but I do remember my grandmother turning white as a sheet and my mother was just as shocked. I was shoed out of the room and sent up stairs for a nap at that point but didn't really think much more of it. I couldn't have been anymore than three or four years old at the time. I know it was before I started school, so I at least had to be younger that five.
My memories being the way they are, I was frustrated for a long time of not knowing what exactly I had said to upset my mother and grandmother like that. Shortly after my father died in 1992 I moved back home for a bit to help out my mother along with two of my sisters. One day after I had gotten home from work in the morning I was sitting having coffee with my mom, which became sort of a ritual every day I worked. Get home from work, pour a cup of coffee and sit with my mother to discuss current events, work... Stuff like that. But that one fleeting memory was bugging me and one day I broached the subject. My mother was quite candid with me and told me what she could remember from that day.
Here's where it gets creepy.
I was three years old. I was already talking, and could actually hold a conversation with adults. Mom and grandmom were talking about some distant, long deceased relatives when I interjected with a correction about a certain cousin. This cousin died in 1930.
I had gone on at length about the car I drove, (Model A Ford) life in Carbon County Pennsylvania in 1929... Coming home from France after "The Great War", How I hated working at the coal mine but with the Depression and all, it was the only think I could get to feed my family... Apparently I was speaking as if I was one of my great uncles who died in the coal mines in northeastern PA around 1935.
I wish my mom was still around to relate to me that story again... Because that's about all she could remember of it. But what she did remember was that I was very clear and concise about people, places and events of the day.
This out of the mouth of a three year old in 1968, talking about things that happened over forty years prior like I witnessed them myself. Things I had no reason to know. There wasn't even any pictures around our house of my grandparent's house to give me these ideas.
So who knows for certain if reincarnation is real or not. I'm still not sold on the idea but I still do have a very clear and vivid memory of certain things in my life. Sometimes I dream of different times in the past and I'm not sure if they're subconscious memories of a life before this one or just my over-active imagination coupled with my love of history opening up while I'm asleep.
Maybe I'll never find out... Maybe I will.
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden