I touched on a lot of things in my first article about some of my interests and I briefly touch on the paranormal. I said that I would be best described as a skeptic believer... someone who believes but has a BS detector that goes off when I think someone is trying to pull my leg.
I grew up hearing ghost stories from people and incidents of spirit communication during the moment of death but never really anything that I thought would be possible. I was one of those kids that would be scared of scary movies but took comfort in the fact that those things never existed, or couldn't happen in real life.
However, that said, my aboriginal half of my self lent to the beliefs that spirits communicating, respecting the dead, and gifts of insight were not only possible, but plausible. My parents were told while I was in the womb, that I was to be a great Medicine Man or Shaman if I so chose to be and that it was in my ancestry. A Shaman was not only a healer who should know the plants of the areas, but an elder* who was respected in the community for having a knowledge and voice in the spirit world.
I consider myself a rational, intelligent (at least of semi-average intelligence), and logical thinker who has not shut that door of the possibility of the paranormal. But I picture that old Hollywood icon of the medicine man as the mysterious one who spoke little but usually spoke volumes. That doesn't exactly fit me, but then again I am technologically savvy aboriginal Native... the next generation wise man?
Not only was I supposed to be "destined" (?) to be a great Medicine Man, but my grandmother believed that I was reincarnated as her brother who tragically died by falling through the ice and drowning. My mother told me stories of how I used to ask for things at a young age that didn't belong to me, but belonged to my great-uncle. This would disturb my grandmother and affirm her belief that I was her brother reincarnate. My mother and I could both recall my irrational fear of falling through the ice when my dad took me ice skating on the frozen river. And I can still still recall the last images of a childhood nightmare I had of looking up at someone through the ice as I was trapped underneath.
I've been near death a few times in my life. Once as a four year old I had an incredibly high fever and my mom ran me to the hospital on foot. The poured ice and water into a tub and held me in (they don't recommend doing that now, as people tend to have heart attacks). I can actually recall me fighting to get out of the tub. My mom said there was herself and two other nurses holding me in that night... and it could be an overprotective and over-exaggerating mother when she said, "It was very close."
I had a fifteen month case of appendicitis. Don't get me started on this story, but it went undiagnosed for that long. The surgeon said that he had done some 300 appendectomies previously and had never seen an appendix like mine. He said if someone had so much as punched me in the gut, I could have died.
And I touched on the last case in the article about choosing the profile pic. That one is a little more fresh in my mind and makes me a little uneasy. Just the idea of leaving my loving wife and kids terrified me... and still does.
All this said, I believe that I may have a sensitivity to paranormal activity.
Sorry... I went all into explaining all about myself and didn't touch on the actual experiences I've had to make me a believer. But I'll leave that for my next posting.
* An article in our local newspaper called me "the elder Aylward," referring to me in reference to my child. It's official... I'm old.