Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.

“B” is for BEAUTIFUL

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Beautiful Mountains, Beautiful Sunsets, Beautiful Trees, Beautiful Flowers, Beautiful Children and Adults

(all photos taken by Helen or close family and friends, used with permission)



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Eight-Year-Old Drowns! 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks #4


My Uncle, my mother’s big brother, drowned when he was only 8 years old! The picture above is one of only two I have of him , and he looks much  younger than eight. His name was Thomas Philip Kerse, Jr. but they called him Bucky. 

My maternal grandfather, Bucky’s father, Thomas Philip Kerse, (pronounced Kearse) b.1884,   was the son of an Irish cop and an Italian businesswoman.  I understand he was passionate about life–as the Irish and Italians have a reputation for being!  His wife, Katherine Steptoe Houchins, born in 1883 in Patrick County,Virginia, was a nurse and the granddaughter of a “Virginia Langhorne”– a name associated with old money and old Virginia families.   Although he was a police officer, like his father and grandfather, she had the reputation as the stronger one, the steadier one. Together they had seven children–one boy and six girls. For my grandfather to lose his only son–any child of course–had to have been devastating!  My mother was only four years old when her brother drowned, but she talked about it all of her life, so I know it impacted her life experiences and perceptions immensely. We lived only a half mile from the James River, near where he drowned, but  Mom’s strictest rule was that we NEVER go to the river without adult supervision!

The drowning must have seemed even worse to my grandfather because he was a boatman –a Captain!  He was a police officer in Richmond,Virginia, but he also owned a yacht in which he took parties on excursions–and held events for charity. He raised his children on the water–making sure they were all good swimmers. We grew up listening to stories of the family’s adventures on-board their marvelous boat “The Lady Jane”. In fact, according to the newspaper articles above, Bucky drowned right in front of his family, but they had no idea the tragedy was going on as they were having fun at a social gathering! Can  you imagine how wracked with guilt they must have been–how haunted by all the  “If only…” and “I should have…” thoughts and questions?  The newspaper says my grandfather was was “prostrated”!  Their beloved son drowned–life can throw wretched things our way.

And what of the 14-year-old boy who was with him? He was a child himself, out for a day’s fun with a friend. My mother said he tried to keep Bucky above the water, but the hook that the sailors had thrown to tow them in, had caught Bucky’s clothes, capsized the little dinghy, and Bucky’s friend Henry was in danger of drowning himself! My mother never mentioned him by name, and I never knew his name until during my genealogical research, I looked up the incident in newspaper archives on genealogybank.com. So, I looked further–and sure enough, I could follow Henry’s life through the papers of Richmond,Virginia–he excelled at school, married, had children, and held many applauded volunteer leadership positions in Richmond,Virginia, where he died in 1963.  Did he always remember? Did he speak of it?

If we look at the  U. S. Censuses, as we genealogy folks are apt to do, we can find even more pieces of the story. We can clearly see that the two families are living across the street from each other when the boating accident occurs–the boys were neighbors and friends, but we can also see that by the 1930 census, they had both moved away–to different parts of town. New starts? bad memories–who knows?  

We also see a bit of other interesting information on the censuses. Henry’s father and mother were German–they had only come to America in recent years. The accident was in 1922– WWI, where we fought the Germans was just over in 1918– were there hard feelings among the ethnicities of the German, the Irish, and the Italians? I never thought of any of this until I started researching my family’s genealogy–perhaps if I had, I could have asked some questions.

After all is said and done, I’d like to think that my Uncle Bucky was his friend’s guardian angel perhaps–helping him move forward through his life, and that he watched over his parents and sisters as well. 

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On the Fifth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me, Five Golden Rings!

Five Golden Rings bring to mind so many images and feelings, with angels’ halos high on that list. Today however, on this 5th day of Christmas, I’m thinking of my loved ones and designing a bracelet of rings for the women/girls in my immediate family, which happen to be five right now! 

The new Pandora charms–the essence collection–has inspired these thoughts in me. (Let me make it clear, unfortunately, I have no financial relationship with Pandora, these are just my thoughts!) The very word essence captures my imagination. We have given Pandora charms to our daughters for several occasions in recent years. We gave Ali one that represented the birthstone of her new baby to add to her collection . For Christmas, we gave Annie a gingerbread man with a beating heart! Many of you know that Annie has entered culinary school this year to become a pastry chef. Just before Christmas she and her baking partner won a blue ribbon for their first ever gingerbread house entered into a charity auction! Besides that, Annie thinks the gingerbread man represents the “perfect man” since he is warm, sweet and full of heart!

     Pandora’s new “essence” collection inspires me to think of what characteristics I would want to inspire my daughters and granddaughters, and even myself to believe in and continue to strengthen over the years. It just so happens that you can get these charms as “rings”, rings that fit on a golden bracelet–another ring in itself.  So, I think I’ll design one bracelet with five golden rings that I would give as gifts to my daughters Ali, and Annie, and to my granddaughters Katy and Evelyn Noel, and one for me, which could become Annie’s daughter’s, or even for a great-grandchild–five golden rings! Immediately, I know I can’t do this…choose only five?!  I’ll try, but there are so many more “essences” –afterall, we are complex women!

   The first golden ring charm I will choose for us is Faith. Faith in God has always been important to me, although I have grown to be a liberal Christian. Even though I grew up Methodist, my Mom had grown up Catholic. And although she had left that church, it influenced her greatly and she passed along much to us. I am a strong believer in prayer, in angels, and in the fact that God created this world far beyond our understanding! I pray  that my children and grandchildren will feel the strength and power of Faith in life everlasting that I feel. It is a wonderful support system in times of joy and stress, and will stand them well if they lean on God. For this essence, Pandora has chosen amethyst, a lavender stone that represents metaphysical qualities like belief and trust. My hope is that we will see this stone and be reminded to offer a prayer for the world, and our friends, family,  and enemies as well. Pray unceasingly. Pandora faith charm








     The second golden ring of inspiration I’m choosing for my family, is Love of course. God gave us Love! God said it was the greatest gift, the reason He gives us eternal life, because He loves us! As much as I’d like to see each person in my family find a soul mate to be their companion in this life, LOVE is so much more! If we loved more than we lusted…for power, for money, for property….we’d never have wars but Peace! When we love our friends and family that love fills us with Joy, Passion for life, and Compassion. So we’ve picked up other essences to think of with Love! When you look at this charm my daughters and grands, I hope you will remember how much I love you, how much I feel loved by you, and how much joy that has brought to my life!  (One note, I don’t think we  have to love everyone– some choose poorly, like an abusive parent…we need to hold them responsible, even cut ties with them. They decided against love themselves, you must protect yourself.) I’m choosing a vibrant red ruby, Annie’s birthstone, to surround this ring, red for the passionate  Love of life, God, family, friends, …Pandora love charm

     The third golden ring on this inspirational bracelet I’m dreaming of,, has  a lovely clear blue aquamarine stone as well, Ali’s and my birthstone. Blue for fresh air, water, HEALTH! I would like to inspire you to choose healthy pursuits and habits. I have been unhealthy more than healthy in my lifetime. In fact, when I look back over my life, I was really only healthy during my young adult years, my 20’s and early 30’s! As a child, I was born with an undeveloped digestive system, spent a long time in the hospital myself as an infant, and lived five whole years eating only soy milk and bananas…all I could tolerate! The doctor who worked to help my mother discover this, Dr. Carolyn McCue of Richmond, Virginia, saved my life, and therefore saved yours! “Thank you God”, and “why Lord?”, both  come to mind.  An automobile accident dampened my adolescent health. But swimming, which we had always done, brought it back bit by bit. Unfortunately, this brief interlude brought aging, poor choices, burning the candle at three ends, and lead to an abrupt halt to full and independent  living at age 50, exactly as had happened with my Mom, with my first heart attack and the discovery of disabling cardiovascular disease. Thanks to a loving husband and family, we adjusted and I got to go on, Thanks to God also and first of course, but why me Lord? I don’t understand, and I don’t believe I was blessed when someone else wasn’t…perhaps fate? You know how I struggle with these issues dear God! 

Pandora Health charm 


   The fourth stone I’ll choose for this Christmas golden ring, will be golden yellow… yellow like the sun, full of Energy but representing COURAGE, because I know you will need it to live this life to your best! God made you strong, gave you many gifts, you have the courage to use these gifts…the responsibility! My grandson would say that the yellow light would stream out as if from  a light saber….protecting, defending, using the Force of God  to protect yourself and your loved ones if necessary. I wish us all the courage to be the best we can be, to live life with verve and elan. Draw up this golden light when you need it to heal you, to energize  you, to provide a light for your path. God provides the light, prayer is your key.Pandora courage charm

    The fifth golden ring on this golden bracelet I’m designing, in my imagination,  for myself, my daughters and granddaughers…five of us right now, might surprise those who’ve known me for years. On this ring, I’ll choose a beautiful clear emerald, my sister’s birthstone, and will have it represent PROSPERITY. Most who know me know I have never believed in having money. I came of age in the 1960’s after all, so I identified with the flower children and embraced the sharing way of life and ideals. I was a teacher, but a community activist, and an elder in my church!  As I have aged, I realized that it is true what they say…having money is not evil, but how you use your money, what you allow it to do to you, that’s where you have to be so careful! Knowing us as a family, I now trust that we will not run amuck! I believe as you become prosperous, you WILL use your money for good. More of us who will be good to others need to have more money,   helpful, community oriented, pull others up kinds of people help our world…please Lord, fund us and guide us to be able to be helpful financially to our families and to others! Pandora prosperity charm

Five golden rings, surrounding a golden charm bracelet, for five women! May it remind, inspire, and encourage each of us to pray, love, practice health, act with courage, and to be prosperous and use our money to help others. The ideals are enough, but the golden rings of Christmas’s fifth day are lovely. Merry Christmas my family and friends.




On the first day of Christmas, 2013…

I came down with PNEUMONIA!   NOW God? I just rejoined your church– doesn’t that count for anything? We have a new baby Granddaughter–born 6  weeks prematurely on Dec. 16,–her Mom and Papa need my help with the 2 and 6 year olds!  It’s Christmas…You saved her life, and you saved her mother’s life, and I am thankful, and humbled! To be quite honest, I thought maybe I was the one leaving this earthly life just Christmas night!  But it seems you have decided to keep us all around for a bit, thank you! Don’t think I don’ t recognize how blessed we are…how you sacrificed your Son so we could have life abundantly and eternally! Thank You! But what is this then? I can live but not help? No….I’m sure that’s not it…The three of us get to live, but not my neighbor, who died this week? WHAT!?!

You know Lord, when I first got sick with my heart disease back in 1999, yes, almost 15 years ago now, You and I had quite a few talks about it….why….how….what now. Patience you said, learn patience…..and I tried, I really did. I prayed, talked with my minister, others prayed for me, I studied the Bible, lead a support group, wrote, researched, and life moved on. Differently than I had thought it might…but with the blessings of daughters entering adulthood and now the birth of three grandchildren. Now, I admit, I have shook my fists at heaven more than once and said “Patience, smachience! Enough already! I failed! You knew I was flawed when you made me, and yet yu gave me free choice? ”   The doctors said I couldn’t/wouldn’t live this long–apparently You had other plans.  The doctors said Ali and Greg couldn’t have a child without fertility help, but here’s Evie! I’m not bashing doctors–Lord you know what a blessing they’ve been to our family!  But okay there’s only one Lord!  And a blessing this life is! With all its trials and tribulations Lord!  Thank You for pneumonia, it made me stop and listen again, but…now… give me a hand will ya please Lord, so I can get back into things, please Lord? Patience?? really??? I’m not Job you know. Love you and thankful for life!


The Second Day of Christmas is all about Turtle Doves…

        I could hardly breathe with pneumonia, and my throat was so sore it felt like pins were sticking in it, so even though my sweet hubby of 42 years was right beside me , being so kind and caring, I was more in the mood for turtle soup than doving! I was fun to be with also–coughing, sneezing, freezing, burning up…and whining all the way to the doctor’s office where yes, that precious man, my husband Max. took me! It was Christmas! 

        This was December 26, 2013, the second day of Christmas! I wanted to be cheerful! But my oldest daughter had just had her third child, a premature little girl named Evie! It was so devastating to have a grandchild in the intensive care unit of a big old hospital and not be able to be there with her to help rock and comfort! Ali was home now, the baby Evie was 2 weeks old today, but not very available to us! The other thing we could do was to keep 2 year old Katy, and Liam, aged 6. Had they really been here just a few hours ago? “Oh Dear Lord, please, please don’t let either of them or Ali or Greg get this pneumonia! You brought that little baby girl into this world, now let her family be there for her! Hope I’ll be sacrificial enough for you…go ahead, keep me away just not the parents or kids!”  (This is the way I pray most of the time, in running commentary throughout the day!  Sometimes I do pray more fervently, more focused and in a more reverent way I guess. ) I’d thought I just had a cold, one the kids had given me…so we were all sharing germs like all good families! 🙂  I was shocked when 3 hours after they left our house Christmas night, I began wheezing audibly and being very sick! 



   When my children were young, we celebrated the 12 days of Christmas in a very special way. We would choose a friend or neighbor, one who wasn’t well, or alone perhaps and each day during the 12 days of Christmas, starting December 26 and ending at Epiphany, Jan. 6, we would give a little gift  in secret to this friend. The kids enjoyed sneaking gingerbread men cookies drumming onto the porch, ringing the bell, and running away so our friend wouldn’t know it was us! It was especially fun to see our friends smiling from the joy, almost as much as we were! Sometimes we gave  things like  golden earrings for “five golden rings”! Of course, they were not expensive. Day one traditionally brought a basket of pears with a lovely bird perched on top, made by one of the children of course. Maybe I’ll get to do this with my grandchildren next year. Please know, that although I am not happy to be sick and isolated, I am already, here on day 5 of my illness, feeling better enough to be sitting up writing! Not true just yesterday! The kids and I will be laughing together again soon! I also know, that no matter what is going on with you…you can almost always look around and find someone having more difficulties at this celebratory time of year! In my own small group, I know three who’ve lost parents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! So sad! My own Mom died on Epiphany, 1980, I still miss her!  I hope the ones who have lost loved ones will move to a place in their grief by next Christmas perhaps where they can  truly remember the joy of the relationship  and  not let the death dampen the holiday, but instead, let it sweeten it with very special memories and perhaps even new traditions of honoring the loved one. 

        I love the second day of Christmas actually, because I am very blessed to have my turtle-dove beside me, and beside me for 42 years! Love you honey, and thank you God!

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The Day the Angels Came to Adele’s Yard Sale

The Day the Angels Came to Adele’s Yard Sale!

       My friend Adele, a young 40 year old, had                            been out of work for a long time. She had been praying for guidance constantly, and felt led to have a yard sale to let go of many of her “treasures”. Having been married before, but recently returned home after a divorce, Adele was now living with her mother, and had an apartment full of things in their small home.  So she had quite a lot of things to “let go of”—many beautiful treasures from her marriage.

     As it turned out, every weekend that she tried to have her sale, it rained! Lots of rain! She had already postponed her sale twice, and felt unable to do so again. So Friday night, she had friends come over and put up tables, then carried a a treasure of items out of the house and under the carport! Everything looked ready, and great!
     Of course, during the night it began raining! It poured! Adele ran outside and hung tarps the best she could, and covered the tables with plastic! What a mess! “Dear Lord, was that really you telling me to do this?” I imagine she must have felt!
     The next morning, several friends, including my husband and I, showed up to help with the sale, which was supposed to start at 7am, but at 7am, it was raining too hard to even put a sign in the yard—much less anywhere else in town!  By 8:00 am, it looked like there was going to be a flood!      
So the three of us present,

 my husband had left to try
 to post signs around town,
 joined hands and began 
praying right there in the
 carport. “Dear Lord,
 if this was truly your plan, then we need your help! We need the rain to stop, so we can put up signs so people know the sale is back here where they can’t even see it from the street!  And we need you to send your angels please to motivate people to get out on this rainy Saturday morning and come to Adele’s sale. Please send your angels to whisper in their ears, awaken them, and make them want to come to this yard sale! Thank you Dear Lord, for all your many blessings, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen”  While in some ways, this seemed like a very selfish prayer to me, I was actually praying it for Adele, so it was my wanting blessings for her. The following verse from the Bible kept running through my head as we prayed:                         Matthew 18:20             

New International Version (©1984)
For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
New Living Translation (©2007)
For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
English Standard Version (©2001)
For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I kid you not, by 8:10 am, it stopped raining—completely! The rain cut off like a turning off a faucet in the kitchen sink!  I couldn’t believe it, I’m such a believer and a doubter! We scurried to get signs out! By 8:45am—we had a carport full of shoppers who kept coming steadily all morning!  I was collecting the money in a hurry! “Thank you God. You must have wanted this for Adele, and I stand in awe, forgive me my doubting! “
   But that is not all…surrounding the carport were many pretty flowers tended by Adele’s mother! There was one huge, absolutely stunning tropical plant in full bloom that caught everyone’s attention. We could have sold it ten times over! But of course it was the pride and joy of Adele’s Mom. When Mom came out to help at one point, someone asked her what the plant was…”It’s an angel trumpet plant,” she said!  I got chills…which continued as we asked her to name the others surrounding the sale area. There were several angel wing begonias, in fact there was a huge one at every corner, and several others in between! There was a beautiful vine growing up a trellis as well, of course, it was an angel trumpet vine! She stated emphatically that she had not planned to surround the carport with angel plants…hadn’t even realized she had..but we all knew it wasn’t an accident, we knew the angels were surrounding us for sure, and helping Adele and her Mom!
    For the crowning touch, just as we were finishing up, about 12:30 pm, a lady came in with a sweatshirt on that said something like “Living God Ministry”. We welcomed her like the others, and she commenced to preach us a mini sermon! Right there in the carport!  She told us she’d felt led to come to see us, and to tell us God sent her! She said all this while holding a small angel figurine in her hands and waving it around in the air! We were astounded, and received her testimony with great thanks! We gave her the angel, in hopes she would remember the day she joined the angels and us as we followed God’s lead.
     The sale was very successful, and very helpful to Adele. But most of all, the experience left a lasting impression on those of us who helped—the feeling of being surrounded, protected, and led by angels! 


The Day the Angels Saved my Daughter’s and My Life

The Day the ANGELS Saved my Daughter’s and My Life!
It was a sweltering, humid, hot day in August, 1996. Annie was 14 years old and starting high school in a new town—her first move to a new town, the first day of high school. To add to the stress, we had just moved to Havelock , North Carolina—well, we were in the middle of moving. To be quite honest, our usually close family was splintered for the first time ever. Our older daughter Ali was in  college in another town. My husband Max, Annie’s Dad, was still working in Raleigh where we were moving from. We had our house in Raleigh for sale, and had put an offer in on one in Havelock. Max needed a job down here. I had been working in nearby New Bern for almost a year already, commuting home on weekends! But we had decided when I got the job, to let Annie finish middle school in Raleigh.  Therefore, Max, Annie, and Max’s Dad who lived with us, had been in our house in Raleigh, while I had lived in a one bedroom apartment in New Bern for the last year. I was a psychologist, working at the local mental health clinic, but traveling locally, as we served five counties!  Now Max was in Raleigh alone, and Annie and I shared my apartment, while Max’s Dad stayed in a nursing home nearby.
   On this first day of Annie’s high school, I don’t know who was more nervous, her or me! I so wanted her to like her new school, her new town. I wanted her to make new friends and be happy there. Unfortunately, I discovered that I couldn’t pick Annie up after school as planned, and I was very disappointed! There were clients that I needed to see who just couldn’t wait!  It just so happened that another therapist at the mental health center lived in Havelock also, and her son was a senior at the high school and drove. Early that morning I had called and asked if he would please give Annie a ride to my office after school as I wouldn’t be able to get to Havelock, and she could not get a bus or anything to New Bern. He and his mother had kindly agreed!
  But then, the last two clients of the day cancelled, and suddenly my schedule opened up!  Since I could get away early, I wanted to meet Annie at school, I wanted to hear all about her first day of high school, and her first day in a new place. The kids were still in class, so I just decided to drive on down the twenty or thirty minutes and wait for school to be out. I knew I’d have to find Jim’s car and park near it so that I could catch them before they left. When I got there, I remembered that student parking was around the back of the school, near where some of the buses circled around also. There was nowhere to park near Jim’s car, but I was lucky to pull into a slot tight in the front line of the lot. From there I could keep a close watch on the building, and see them when they came out, then Annie and I would be able to just pull out into the driveway in front of us to leave! 
   I pulled into the empty parking space, but because it was so hot, decided to leave the truck running and the air conditioning blaring! It was only ten minutes or so until all these kids started pouring out of the building! Suddenly there was a sea of kids all around me, getting into their cars, talking in groups, gathering on the sidewalks and everywhere. I craned my neck hoping to see Annie and Jim, what if I missed them? Good grief!
   To add to the stress of this of this exciting but hot, hot, hot afternoon, I was driving my husband’s gear shift truck! My beloved minivan was in the shop, so I would have this vehicle all week! The gear shift itself was not the issue, although I was used to an automatic, I had learned to drive a gearshift  when I was like 19 years old and had always loved it!

                Suddenly, what to my wondering eyes                   should appear…my child and our friend Jim, along with many, many other kids! I actually think she and Jim were a little disappointed to see me waiting for them! I should have known better! At that age, peers are everything! But I was dying to hear about her day! She got in the truck, and Jim stood at the window as we all chatted for a while. They were in jazz band together, both played the saxophone, so there was always that in common.  I was thinking about the need to ease out into the driveway as there was one lane open for us to use, with the other being full of cars and kids! Like I said, we were idling and chatting, the air running full speed, Jim leaning on the window…when suddenly the truck leaped forward! It was as if I’d suddenly let out the clutch, but I had had the truck in neutral, so the clutch wasn’t even compressed! Not only did the truck LEAP forward, it was gaining momentum so fast, it felt like we were flying! I heard Annie scream as I tried to think rationally. Was my foot on the gas instead of the brake? No! Was I really stepping on the brake, or was that the clutch? Could I pull up the emergency brake? All these thoughts were going through my head while Annie was screaming “put on the brakes, put on the brakes Mom!”  I didn’t feel my own life flash before my eyes, but the kids’ lives flashed right in front of me—Annie’s and the teens on the sidewalk. A newspaper headline actually flashed in front of my face instantly that said, “Local Psychologist plows into crowd of teens, killing 10 (or 20) of them! “ 

    Then, we made the first turn to the left,                                I don’t know how we made it without turning over, but the kids on that sidewalk were safe!  However, another sharp turn to the left was coming up, and another group of kids. I could feel the truck accelerating and I began to pray aloud! “Dear Lord, please save Annie, and the kids here! Please Lord, help us, help us! “ I just knew our lives were over! I was worried as to how many others also! I knew I could not make that next turn which was almost upon us! We were flying into tragedy!
     Suddenly, things changed! The truck slowed immediately, I was not doing it…something outside of me felt like it had control of the truck…I could have put my hands in the air, I was not guiding that truck in any way, but something was!  The truck not only slowed, I kid you not, it easily turned to the left around the sharp turn, then pulled into a parking space that had just opened up on my left and stopped as if nothing had happened! I was too stunned to speak…and was full of thankfulness! I knew as sure as I was sitting there, that we had just experienced a miracle! I KNEW , somehow I just knew, that an angel had taken over that truck and delivered us to safety…and not just us…but all the students in our path! In the course of 300 feet, we had accelerated to something like 40 or 45 miles per hour! How had it happened!? Jim ran all the way to where we were stopped! “What was that? What happened?!”  I hesitated, looked over at Annie, then looked at Jim and said, “I really don’t know.  The truck just leaped into motion and took off, accelerating all the way!”
Then I looked them both   
 in the face, and I said,
 “I think, no, I KNOW, 
an angel saved us!
 An angel took control
of this truck and 
brought it to this parking place and stopped it! I had no control! It wasn’t me, I wasn’t in charge…it was something outside of me…it had to be an angel! ”  After sitting to decompress for a while, I was going to drive us on home. Jim said, “are you crazy! No way are you going to drive that truck! “(He was 18, I was what, 47!)  Being from the area, he knew a tow truck owner, and called them himself! I was clearly shaken, so perhaps he thought I’d lost it! LOL  Actually, he was a Christian, who later studied theology in college, decided not to be a minister, but became very involved in his church. I’ve often wondered if he remembers that day’s events as we lost touch.  The truck stayed in the shop for a couple days, but they could not find any problem with it. To this day, we do not know what happened to it! But as surely as I am alive, I know God sent us an  angel to save us, and to save those children that day in August, 1996 in Havelock, North Carolina! Thank you God! Amen!

    If you have angel stories you’d like to share with me and others who read this blog, feel free to leave them in a comment for all to see. 

       Wishing you all a blessed day and life, Helen


Learning to talk with my angels!

      Learning to Talk with Angels 
   About 1997 I had a good friend at work named Kate, who shared that she believed she could talk to the angels! Since she was a well educated, professional woman, a psychotherapist like myself, I was somewhat surprised that she  shared this (we have to work hard not to look crazy!) However, her father had just died, and I suspected that was part of the grief she was experiencing. Obviously, even though I believed in angels, I had never thought about “talking” with them, but the idea intrigued me for sure!

    To help me understand, my friend Kate gave me a copy of the book   Angelspeake: How to Talk With Your Angels by Barbara Mark and Trudy Griswald.  This book is written by sisters who live in California and Connecticut when they both began to have experiences of talking with angels! As I read the book, I realized I “felt” like it was true—I moved from very skeptical to embracing the idea! In fact, I began to try to communicate with the angels myself. I was pretty sure I’d had a few angel experiences, but again, I was skeptical, and had kept them to myself. Now, with Kate’s encouragement, I began to pray, write, and meditate on the angels. Very quickly I experienced a sense of “knowing” .  I did not hear angel voices, but if I asked, I often,not always, had a clear picture or sense that I was being told something by an outside force…it was a knowing. I had heard of this psychic skill called claircognizance. It seemed that this was what I was experiencing, from everything I read…and was a bit unsettling. As the years progressed however, I felt more and more comfortable with the feeling, and more confident about it. However, I don’t practice regularly, sometimes months or even years will pass when I don’t try to nurture my skills of talking with the angels. Then when I try, I don’t always feel I am successful. Everything I read says we should be able to talk to our angels very simply—that we just talk! So, I began to ask my angels questions, and amazingly, I often get answers—not always! I must not be a very good listener!

    One thing I love to do is ask the angels for the names of my and my friends and family’s guardian angels. I have read that they do and do not have names. But, I thought I would ask…and lo and behold…sometimes I get answers! Repeatedly , over the years, I’ve been told my guardian angel is Michael. It’s always been Michael! I expected a female angel, I don’t know why, I just did. There is an archangel named Michael, but I don’t think this is him, more a front line angel, a special guardian angel! Perhaps the idea of an archangel being my guardian angel is just too intimidating! I certainly wouldn’t feel worth that honor, and it would discombobulate me terribly! 

    When I ask for the names of other people’s guardian angels, sometimes an answer comes to me immediately, and sometimes it doesn’t come at all!  But I will tell you, some that I have felt I have been told are my               

husband’s guardian angels, that they are named Raphael and Jacob. Research says

most of us have two 

guardian angels.

 For my daughter Annie, her guardian angels are Morgan and Stephen! My other daughter Ali has a guardian angel named Molly and her son, my grandson,  Liam has a protector named Gilliam. I have not yet discerned, although I have asked, the name of the guardian angels of my granddaughter Katy, my son-in-law Greg, or my grandson Cris. Why I wonder, why can’t I get the name of some of the angels I ask for while most come so easily? I wish I knew!

    One time, I was riding in the car with my close friend Dee, who was also a strong believer in communicating with your angels. I told her I thought I’d been given a name for her guardian angel, but I wasn’t sure. While I was trying to realize what it was…I kept having thoughts of my best friend Carol intruding!  I found myself talking about Carol to my other friend…”Carol” this, “Carol” that, “Carol…Carol…Carol!”  Dong! Suddenly it hit me in the face! CAROL! THAT WAS HER ANGEL’S NAME!  The minute I said it, the minute I thought it…I KNEW it was true!  Besides the claircognizance, I got chills all over, which I often do! Don’t ask me how I KNEW I was right, that this was a communication from beyond, I just knew.  I also immediately had a feeling or a thought that the angel said “like a Christmas Carol”.  Just recently, several years after this incident with my friend Dee, my long time friend Carol and I were talking on the phone, talking about family history and genealogy and family names. Out of the blue it seemed, she said her mother had loved Christmas so much and loved to sing, that she had named her only daughter, my friend Carol, after a Christmas Carol! I was so surprised, and immediately the memories of that summer day in the car with my friend Dee came flooding over me…of the realization that her guardian angel’s name was Carol, after a Christmas Carol!  Wow-spooky-but more so, loving!

      By the way, several years ago, I had learned by asking, that my friend Carol’s guardian angel was named Olivia! I didn’t know any Olivias at that time…but a year later an Olivia moved in across the street from me! She has since moved away, but it felt more than a coincidence at the time!

      Just a couple days ago, my friend Adair was visiting. She and my daughter Annie and I were talking and preparing for a program we were presenting about angels. I offered to see if I could sense the name of her guardian angel, and she was very happy about it…even said she’d wanted to ask, but hadn’t. So we bowed as if in prayer, although I was just trying to get still, center myself, and be quiet and receptive. I think prayer is reserved for God/Jesus, we can just talk to our angels. The second I asked for the name of Adair’s guardian angel, the sound “Wyom…or wynom”…came to me!

I just couldn’t figure it out…which wasn’t the first time, and I asked the angel “tell me again please…is it Wyoming?” (which felt good to Adair…but the answer was “no”! Did you say “Wynona?”, I asked. “Nooooooo, that’s not right either” I sensed.  Hmm…”Wyoma?” Is that what I’m hearing?” “Yes!” I immediately KNEW that was it! Although I knew, I was a bit hesitant to say so that firmly! I hate looking “crazy”! LOL  I finally told Adair that I was sure it was Wyoma. We looked it up online, since none of us have ever heard of that name, and discovered a wonderful woman named Wyoma, who is internationally known for her “spirit dancing” and African Healing dances! Wow! Adair told us that she had always identified with African dancing and music for some reason…wow, had her angels loved that music also, and influenced her all her life?  Its very interesting!

    It’s always so amazing to have this experience, my rational mind always has a little trouble believing in the claircognizance I am apparently experiencing! But it seems undeniable.

   I am going to do some meditating now, and ask again for the names of Katy and Greg’s guardian angels…hopefully they will come to me.  If so , I will let you know!

     I would love to figure out the names of the guardian angels of all of my family, friends, and Red Hat Divas, but I don’t want this to seem like a parlor trick. Even though it should be easy to talk to your angels, and you just say what you want to say, ask what you want to know, it still seems so unbelievable to me– then I feel guilty being so skeptical! Oh my, uncertainty is hard! But Faith is uncertain, there is no “proof”, and I am a strong believer, along with many other Christians, so, I will continue to communicate with my angels.
     I did ask for a definitive sign one time…a sign that my angels were there, that indeed they were hearing me and I them, and I want to tell you all about it in another post!
   Thanks for listening, and please, I’d love to hear your angel stories as well!  If you want to write something more than in the space of a comment, let me know in a comment, and I will email you to get your story to share! Thanks, this is so much fun! Have a blessed day, and talk to your angels!