Excerpt: Chapter 2--Challenges
The following excerpt pertains to my first meeting of my spirit guide, Vincent, a result of a near death experience after major surgery. I entered into the hospital for a test—a laparoscopy; the findings lead to a complete hysterectomy.
The laparoscopy was a procedure that could determine what was going on inside of my body. Dr. Watson explained that an instrument with a camera-like scope would be inserted through my navel and see what was happening internally. I had to sign a document giving the doctor the okay, if in the event he found it necessary, to perform a hysterectomy at the same time.
I was very frightened and confused about this. I was only 29 years old! The prospects of never having a child with Gene and major surgery were very overwhelming. I just wanted to have a normal life! Was it ever going to happen? My frustrations and fears were now just directed at God.
“What have I done to YOU? I don’t know why YOU hate me so much! Every one that I have ever loved YOU took away from me or caused them so much pain and suffering! Wasn’t I taught in Catechism and in Mass that YOU were a Merciful and Loving God? Why are YOU putting Gene, David and me through this?” I cried each night, thinking if there was a God, a miracle would happen, and there would be no need to go into the hospital for the procedure.
The day finally arrived. It was May 1978. My anxieties and fears were totally out of control. I was an emotional wreck. I couldn’t talk to anyone and I kept my terror, and confusion locked up inside of me. After all the preliminary blood work and other tests, I was admitted to my room. Gene stayed as long as he could and then he left to go home. I remember lying in that hospital bed and having a very serious and long conversation with God. I was really ticked off at Him and I made no bones about it. I told Him, I knew he didn’t exist!
We were allowed to smoke in the hospital then and I was chain-smoking like crazy. I would smoke in my room and then get up and go down to the “Dad’s waiting Room” lobby. I sat next to this young blonde girl who was sort of bragging to another patient about this being her third abortion and how simple the new vacuum surgery was. It made me sick to my stomach. Here I was facing the possibility of a total hysterectomy and this was her third abortion! I wanted to yell out, “practice some birth control!” I left the lobby and headed back to my room.
On my walk back, I was muttering under my breath, “Yeah, You exist all right! How come she doesn’t need a hysterectomy?” I was convinced. He didn’t exist. Period.
I didn’t sleep a wink all night. Gene was in my room bright and early the next morning. I will be right here, hon. I will be waiting for you when you come out of recovery,” he said smiling, hugging me and giving me a kiss.
Within a few minutes the nurses came into my room with a gurney. One of them gave me an injection, and then they rolled me onto the gurney and wheeled me to the operating room.
The next thing I remember were nurses clamoring all around me. One nurse was trying to get an oxygen mask over my face and another one was checking my vital signs, while yet another was putting some medication into the IV. After that, according to my husband, I was out for two days.
That first night I was awakened, so I thought, by the sound of a man’s voice, an unfamiliar voice and tone, calling my name. I opened my eyes and tried to adjust my sight to the dimly lit room. I looked at the clock on the wall. It read; 3:10. As I looked toward the foot of the bed and to the left of the room near the window, I saw a man there. He was between the chair and the window. I closed my eyes tight and then opened them up again. I looked in that direction again and he was still there. It appeared as though he was suspended or something. Funny thing though, I was not frightened at all. The top of his head was completely bald and he had graying hair on both sides, sort of long and combed back. His features were that of an older man in his seventies. His eyes were small and piercing, set very deep in his head. His nose was rather large and he had small thin lips. Even though there were no more words spoken, I sensed a kindness about him and a caring from him towards me. I closed my eyes again and when I opened them he was gone.
In the morning, which I thought was the next day after my surgery, Gene and his brother, Frank entered my room.
“Ahh, so you’re awake, huh?” Gene asked walking over to my bed and giving me a gentle hug. “It’s about time,” he said with a big smile on his face.
“What did they do to me, Gene?” I asked.
“Not again, Pat” Gene smirked winking at his brother. “I have told you three times already, but you were out cold so I guess you don’t remember.”
I looked at him totally perplexed. “I don’t remember you telling me anything,” I sighed. “Did you tell me yesterday when I got back to the room?”
“Yesterday?” Gene exclaimed. “Pat. You had your surgery three days ago!”
“Three days ago!” I exclaimed. “What day is this?”
“It’s Thursday,” he said and continued, “You gave the staff quite a scare again. Your lungs filled up with fluid, you ran quite a temp and we thought you were going to buy the farm again. You’ve got to stop doing this to me. You’re gonna make an old man out of me before my time!” He started laughing again and gave me another gentle hug. Usually his jokes and teasing were for my benefit, so I would laugh too. This time I just wanted to know what happened to me and I wanted to tell him about my visitor.
“What did Dr. Watson have to do to me? Be serious Gene.” I stated, pointing to the other chair across the room for Frank to sit in.
Gene sat down in the chair in front of my bed. Then he began, “Well you had quite a mess inside of you. The doctor said you had a very severe case of endometriosis and some kind of tumor growths. The lining of your uterus was infected. Some tubes of some kind. I don’t remember what he said. And both your ovaries were bad. Oh yeah, and some part of your colon was affected too. He said you were going to be okay. It is just going to be a while for you to recuperate, six to eight weeks or more. You had a total hysterectomy plus the colon thing,” he ended.
No wonder my stomach was so sore. It hurt like crazy when I coughed or moved. “I want to tell you about this man that came to visit me,” I said, not absorbing what he had just told me.
“What man?” Gene asked with a bewildered look on his face.
“I don’t know who he was. But he was right there,” I said pointing my finger to the left of where he was sitting. Gene shot a look at Frank as I continued. “He was sort of floating. Like suspended in the air.”
“You were on some heavy medication. Morphine I think. You were probably dreaming.” I was frustrated with his remark. I wasn’t dreaming! The man was real and I knew it. I didn’t have the energy or the strength to have a debate. So I just clammed up and didn’t say another word about it. I didn’t have to. I had no idea then, that we would cross Paths again.
***** More in Pebbles On the Path
Two decades after Atlanta killings began, convicted slayer of 29 young black children, Wayne B. Williams' role is still being debated. A July/August film on Showtime, “Who Killed Atlanta’s Children?” starring James Belushi and Gregory Hines addresses the nagging questions about how the investigation was handled. The 1999 release of voluminous police files and interminable court appeals have kept alive debate over William's guilt.
Excerpt: Chapter 8--Atlanta 1980-The Panicked City
On this night, through visions that I had perceived in meditation -- I would find myself involved with one of the highest profile cases in the world! One for which I was not prepared, emotionally, mentally or psychically.
There was just a small group of us that gathered that night for meditation. Beside myself there were Gene, Edie, Fred, Karen, and Sue present.
“I believe these visions pertain to one of those missing children in Atlanta,” I began. “I saw just the top of a head, from the forehead up, of what looked like a young black male child. And then I saw a cowboy hat, a shield or badge of some kind, and a grate in the ground. The next thing I saw was a large statue of Lincoln, and I kept getting an association of a Park or cemetery, or something. And then I saw something that is going to be very difficult to try and explain, because I don’t understand it myself. There was this tall curved structure made out of stone or cement. I would have thought it was a dam, but there was no water. I really don’t understand what it is--because there was a lot of red clay, dirt, not water. There was also a part of what looked like a black wrought iron fence, I think. And the word, ‘Georgia’, just kept coming to my mind.”
“Hmm, I’m sure you’ll find out what it’s all about,” Gene smiled, “you always do!”
“Yeah. You’re probably right,” I responded. “I’ll wait and see for a while. If we don’t hear anything, maybe I can call Bill Gavitt, or Sam, and they can make a call to one of the officials in Atlanta. If this is helpful, I certainly want to let someone there know about it.”
“You just have to be patient, hon,” Gene said calmly. “It usually takes within three to four weeks, and then you know.”
Friday, November 7th:
“Hi, hon!” my husband yelled from the backyard, as I walked along the sidewalk. “Did you have a good day?”
“Oh, the usual, some kids noisier than others. Gee, the garage looks great! You must have worked on it for quite some time, huh?”
“Yeah. But it’s getting a little too dark now. I guess I’ll finish it up tomorrow. Oh, by the way, Nancy called. She wants you to call her back.”
“Nancy?” I asked, puzzled, as I watched him putting the large broom away. “Nancy who?”
“You know, that lady we met in Georgia.”
“Nancy Ritter? We haven’t heard from her in almost a year! Maybe she has some news about her husband. I’ll go in and call her now.”
“Hello,” she answered.
“Hi, Nancy! How are you?”
“Pat! Is that you?” she asked excitedly.
“What’s new? Have you heard anything about Larry?”
“No, nothing yet. I don’t know why, hon, but I’ve had you on my mind all week. I just had to call and see how ya’all were doin’!”
“We’re just doing fine. I’ve been busy and Gene has been cleaning the garage and stuff. It’s been unusually warm around here for this time of year,” I laughed. “Gee I was hoping you had called with some news about Larry.”
“We haven’t been able to search that area, Pat,” she remarked, sadness very notable in her tone. “The location has really rough terrain. They can’t get any planes to land there.”
“I’m really sorry to hear that, Nancy,” I murmured, tears stinging my eyes.
“I know you are, babe. But, I’ve got faith and I know the Lord’s got His reasons. When it’s time for me to know, I’ll know.”
“I’m happy to hear you talk like that. I feel the same way. And speaking of faith, I don’t believe this call was a coincidence! Did Gene tell you about my meditation?”
“No, he didn’t. What meditation is that, Pat?”
“Well, hang on a minute. Let me check my notes. I think it was on the eighteenth of October. Just a minute,” I said, while I went and looked at my yellow pad. “Yes, that was the date. Here it is. I believe I received some information about one of the missing kids in Atlanta.”
“Oh, God! Really, Pat? Tell me about it.”
“I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if I should call down there myself, or maybe ask a police official from up here to call. I know that there was a psychic there already, so I figured they had enough help.”
“Pat, honey, they need all the help they can get! I’ll see to it that someone there in Atlanta, gets your information, don’t you worry.”
“Thank you Nancy. I’m sure you will. I’m not sure if there is such a place, but I do know that these visions were given to me for a reason. Please try and find out if there is a place called Lincoln, Lincoln Park, or cemetery, something like
that. Also, I saw this strange structure, like a dam. What I mean is, there is this very tall curved stone or cement structure, but I didn’t feel or see water. I really don’t know what it is. It just reminded me of a dam.”
“Hold on, Pat. Let me grab a pencil and paper. I want to write all of this information down!”
“Okay,” I replied, as I waited for her to return to the phone.
“Okay. Go ahead. I’ve written what you’ve said so far.”
“Well, I first saw the top of a black child’s head. I saw a cowboy hat, a shield, or badge, and a grate. I got the impression that a child, or something belonging to a child was in that area.”
“Why did you say, Lincoln? Lincoln Park or cemetery?”
“Well, I saw this huge statue of President Lincoln. I felt it was symbolic of a name. I also saw a lot of red clay, around that stone or cement structure, and also I kept getting the name, ‘Georgia’ in my mind.”
“I’ll certainly find out for you, Pat. I know the sheriff of Peachtree City, real well. I will personally visit with him later and I’ll get back to you.”
We exchanged good-byes and hung up.
Saturday, November 8th:
“I simply can’t concentrate on my housework today,” I muttered silently. “I wish Nancy would call and let me know how she made out.” I recalled the conversation I had had with her, and the notes of my meditation, to my mind.
I took out the furniture polish and the dust rag, and began to clean the stereo cabinet in the living room when the phone rang.
“Pat. It’s Nancy! I’ve got some news for ya,” her perky voice exclaimed. “I didn’t ride out to see, Don Skelton, our chief, but, I did speak with him over the phone. He isn’t real sure about that area, Pat, but he thought he had heard of it. So I called a real dear friend of mine who was born and brought up in Atlanta and guess what? There is a Lincoln Park Cemetery and it’s smack dab in the middle of the city where those children are disappearing from!”
“Oh thank God,” I sighed. “Do you think someone will go and check the area out?”
“Well, that’s not all I have to tell you! I also phoned the Task Force and they said there was no such place! Can you believe it? I had to call them twice. After I spoke with Sonny, my friend, I called them back and said there was most definitely a place like that!”
“I feel so much better, now, at least I do know that the area does exist. I know they will find something in and around there, if someone will just check it out,” I sighed.
“I’m working on it. I’ll bug them to death until they do! They’ll regret the day they ever heard of Nancy Ritter before I’m through!” she laughed.
Tuesday, November 11th:
Still no word from Nancy, it had only been three days since our last conversation, but it seemed like an eternity to me. I wanted to call her, but I knew I had to be patient. The thoughts of how worried the parents of those children must be made me heartsick. I couldn’t think of anything else. I whispered a prayer, “Please, help them. Guide someone to that area.”
Supper was finished. Gene and I were chatting over coffee, our conversation focused on the possibility of my going to Atlanta.
“R-r-ring!” the telephone sounded. “That’s Nancy! I know it is!” I yelled and jumped up to answer it.
“Hello!” I answered excitedly.
“Did you know it’d be me?” her cheery voice asked.
“Put it this way, we were talking about you and Atlanta when the phone rang!”
“I’ve got really great news, Pat, and some not so good news, too. There is a man from southern Georgia who needs help in locating his son, Melvin. Do you remember Doug -- the man ya’all met here at my house last year?”
“Yes, I remember him. What’s he got to do with this?”
“Just about everything. Doug called me last night. Cuba released some prisoners a while ago and Doug went to Ft. Lauderdale with the hope that Larry may have been among those prisoners. If, in fact somebody may have found him and
turned him over to the Cuban Government. While Doug was there in Ft. Lauderdale, he met a man and they got to talking and Doug told him all about you. The man wants you to fly down here, Pat and see if you can help him locate his son. He’s here at my house right now. Would you please speak
“Of course, Nancy.”
In speaking with the man, I was able to give him very pertinent and helpful information concerning his son’s whereabouts. He appeared very impressed by what I was able to disclose over the telephone, and the next thing I knew --
arrangements were being made for Gene and I to fly to Georgia that Friday! Due to the nature of that case, I gave my word that I would not disclose the real names or specific details of this information publicly.
“Pat, I’m going to take care of all your flight arrangements and everything here. I’ve already checked with the airlines and you’ll have nearly a three-hour layover in Atlanta before your flight leaves for Columbus, Georgia. You just leave everything to me. Sonny and I are going to check that Lincoln Park Cemetery out ourselves tomorrow. We will meet you at the airport and take you out there, and you can see it for yourself. I’m sure I’m going to find everything that you described to me over the phone.”
“Everything is happening so fast! I just can’t believe it!”
“I’ll make so much noise that somebody will listen! You just leave everything to me, Pat. And thank you for offering your help to this poor man. His health is suffering over the mystery and possible outcome of his son’s disappearance. I know in my heart that you’ll help him.”
“I’ll do what I can, Nancy.” I sighed.
Friday, November 14th:
“This airport is huge! Don’t you think so, Gene?” I asked my heart pounding as we were walking the long corridor of the Delta terminal. “I wonder who is going to meet us here?”
“If I know Nancy, she’ll probably have the mayor here!” he said giggling.
“We’ll soon find out. We’re approaching the lobby.”
There was Nancy. Her gorgeous smile and pretty face stood out from the crowd.
“Hey there Gagliardo’s! We sure have missed ya! Hey Gene! How ya’all doin’?” she asked, giving him a hug. “Hey there, little person!” she laughed, bending over to hug me too.
“Hey Nancy,” I smiled. “So were you able to get a hold of someone?”
“Oh crud! You just wouldn’t believe the mess this city’s in! Sonny and I went to that cemetery, Pat. The caretaker told us a body had been found in there! When the city councilman, Arthur Langford, heard about it, he had a fit! Mr. Langford said, there never was a body pulled out of that area, and then he started asking all kinds of questions about you and who you were. He became really enthused when I told him about your information, so he agreed to meet us here at the airport. Some other people are going to be in the Lincoln Cemetery area, too. And wait ‘til you see that dam, Pat! I would’ve called it a dam, too. There isn’t any water! It’s just a big white curved wall. It doesn’t serve any purpose at all!”
I could feel anxiety building inside of me. My heart was pounding fiercely now and the palms of my hands were clammy from perspiration. “Please help me, Lord,” I whispered silently.
We went to the luggage area and picked up our suitcases and waited for Mr. Langford.
“Let’s go and page him, Pat,” Nancy said, grabbing me gently by the arm. “Time is wasting.”
“I do hope he shows up,” I said as we walked toward the information counter.
“He’ll be here. He’s interested enough, I could tell when I spoke to him over the phone. He’s coming. I’m sure of it,” she smiled.
“May I help you?” asked the gentleman behind the counter.
“Please page Mr. Arthur Langford. Ask him to meet us at the Delta Information, please. Thank you so much,” Nancy said smiling at the young man.
The gentleman pushed the button to the page system. A peculiar look crossed his face.
“What’s wrong?” Nancy asked.
“It’s not working. That’s strange. It was fine a few minutes ago,” he commented, wrinkling his brow and frowning.
Gene shot me a look. It was that are-you-responsible look that he always gave me in these situations. I walked away from the counter.
“Paging Arthur Langford,” the gentleman’s voice echoed through the speakers. “Please meet your party at Delta information.”
In just a few minutes, a nice looking man approached us. He was approximately five feet ten inches tall, and he was wearing a light brown colored suit. He also spoke in a very pleasant tone. Introductions were exchanged and then we were on our way to the Lincoln Park Cemetery.
Nancy pulled her car up directly behind Mr. Langford’s car. There to our right was the wrought iron fencing and then I saw it! There it stood! The huge stone structure! It was probably fifty or more feet tall, curved and just standing there
with no visible purpose! We got out of our cars and headed toward the long dirt road, made of red clay.
There were a lot of people they’re waiting for us. Mr. Langford introduced us to two of the officials.
“These two gentlemen are G.B.I. men, Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Mr. Fred Wideman and Mr. John Bascom,” he said.
“Hello,” I said, shaking both of their hands.
Another gentleman started to approach us; following behind him were two German shepherd dogs, on leashes. As we were about to exchange introductions, a woman with blonde hair and a man with a television camera walked right up to me. In her hand was a microphone, which she held right up to my face.
“I’m Jean Blake. Channel 5 news.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize the media was going to be here,” I remarked a little on edge.
“The news stays with this story just about twenty-four hours a day,” she replied. “If you would rather I didn’t make anything public right now, I’ll hold off,” she smiled.
“Thank you. I really wish you wouldn’t. At least not now.”
“Fine. No Problem. But, I would like to verify your name and your involvement before you leave,” she smiled. I just nodded.
“My name is Don Laken. And these are my tracking dogs, Hiney and Faulk,” he said, reaching his hand out to shake mine.
“Pleased to meet you. I’m glad you have tracking dogs. I sure hope we will find something here today, and put an end to all this suffering,” I sighed.
All of us headed up the long dirt road. As we walked a long distance and rounded a bend, I began to feel familiar vibrations. In my mind, the word, ‘deacon’ constantly repeated itself.
I stopped walking and looked all around the area. The cemetery itself was at a distance to our right. This area was very remote and secluded. And the vibration still continued, and the letter, ‘J’ came to my mind.
“One of the five children that are missing, one with the initial ‘J’, may I have an article belonging to him, please?” I asked, looking at Mr. Langford.
Mr. Langford took the dark green plastic bag that Fred Wideman was holding and as he searched in it he said, “That would be Jeffrey. Jeffrey Mathis.” He took a small shirt from the bag and handed it to me. As I was about to take a deep breath and begin the psychometry, I saw a slender black man, wearing a suit, walking toward us. He was introduced to me as, Reverend Mitchell.
As soon as the shirt was in my right hand, a very sick feeling passed over me, and then the ‘vision’ and impressions that came made me fall down to my knees. My stomach was wrenching and I felt as though I was going to become
“Oh my God!” I shrieked in agony, with tears running down my face.
Nancy rushed to my side and put her arms around me. “Pat, are you going to be all right?” she asked, a very worried and concern look on her face.
“Oh God, Nancy,” I cried. “What’s happening to these poor defenseless children is so horrible! It’s simply horrible,” I repeated, unable to stop crying from feeling this child’s fear and his pain.
“Can you tell me? Tell us!” Jean Blake’s voice pleaded. “Do you think they are being sexually molested?”
“No, no. Th-ey aren’t being mo-lested—just--oh, God! Please! Please help them! Please!” I cried.
“Pat, can you tell us, what is it?” Mr. Langford asked, his voice sincere and warm.
“Mr. L-Langford,” I began, choking on my sobs, “I am going to tell you where I see two other children’s bodies. Will you verify the information? I know that what I’m about to tell you hasn’t been released to the public yet.”
“Yes. Yes I will. Go ahead.”
“A body of one child was found not far from here -- I felt maybe a mile or less. The body was on an embankment, near a highway, right?”
“Yes. It was a girl. Latonia was her name. She was found about three-quarters of a mile from here.”
“Another child was in either an abandoned garage or a school, is that correct?”
“Yes! How did you know that?” he asked, his face reflecting his astonishment.
“I can’t explain it all to you now. I can only tell you that I ‘see’ images in my mind. It’s like looking at a photograph, and sometimes like a slow moving video. Only I’d give anything not to have seen this! It’s a nightmare! I need to speak to the child’s mother. Will that be possible?”
“I’ll arrange it,” he said, and walked over to one of the men, and then came back.
As we turned and headed back down the road, Nancy, Gene and I gathered around Mr. Langford, and I spoke softly to him and Reverend Mitchell. I didn’t want to have anyone else hear what I had to say to him.
“There was a car here last night, Mr. Langford,” I began. “A very large older type of car, like a Cadillac. It was either a very light gray or white color. Two men were in this vehicle. A light skinned, short black man, with very short nappy hair. The other man was taller and very slender in build and had hair in some sort of long thin braids or something. It could have been a wig. This man I feel is responsible for at least three of these missing children. There is something about his wrist, I don’t know exactly what, maybe a tattoo or something and his teeth; his teeth are bad. And just the word ‘deacon’, kept repeating itself in my mind. Also, I feel they were in this area, and in the trunk of the car I sensed a shovel and some junk. I’m positive they have something to do with these missing and murdered children, and there will be more. I believe he is connected with a green building, a home or a place that he frequents quite often. I need to verify some impressions about Jeffrey with his mother. I wish I had more time here. I will come back if you need me to,” I smiled.
Fred Wideman and Reverend Mitchell both felt that they knew the man that I was describing and were going to take a drive to that green building later.
“I’ll be in touch with ya’all,” commented Arthur Langford, as we got into our cars.
We followed Fred Wideman to Jeffrey’s house. I had perceived some impressions about the time Jeffrey had disappeared, the clothing he was wearing, and that they were at a grocery store that same day, close to this area. I felt that the shorter man was in that parking lot of the store, the same day, and may have seen Jeffrey and followed them to where they lived.
As we approached her home, I felt that same nauseated feeling in the pit of my stomach. I dreaded speaking with her, yet I knew I had to. I would feel her pain and anguish and more. I knew what happened to her son. I felt his pain, the physical suffering he had endured from the torturous way his young life was taken from him.
Our visit with her was short, just about twenty minutes. She verified everything I had asked her. My heart went out to her -- a very pleasant soft-spoken woman with her facial expressions twisted by fear, worry and anxieties over the disappearance of her son. She asked me if I felt that Jeffery would be found, I smiled and nodded. As we exchanged good-byes an expression of hopefulness now replaced her earlier look of sorrow and complete despair.
Time was against us now and we had to drive straight to the airport. I asked Nancy if she had the telephone number to the man in Dawson, Ga. She nodded. I asked her to please call if anything turned up in the Lincoln area.
Our flight landed in Columbus, Georgia. Melvin, the father of the missing man, greeted us, and drove us to our hotel in Dawson. It was approximately eight-thirty that night by the time we checked in. We made arrangements to meet with
Melvin early the next morning.
About an hour passed, when Melvin telephoned our room and said that Nancy had phoned him and left a message for me to call her.
“Nancy, you called, did they find something?” I asked, when she answered the phone.
***** More in Pebbles On the Path…
Above excerpts taken from original manuscript before editing, proofing and publication…
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