|Posted by Ashlea Burns on January 30, 2012 at 8:35 PM||comments (1)|
They say that when you die your life flashes before you, but we really don't know if that is true unless we have experienced it. And then we can't tell anyone whether it did or not. This book is about life's reflections and about whether a dream is really a dream or a gateway to the beyond. I know what you are problably thinking, I am crazy and that this book will be full of craziness. But I promise everything in this book is based on real-life experiences. This will have some religious stuff in it as well as things that seem out of the ordinary. It is a reflection on life and is about things that we don't understand until something happens that causes them to finally make sense. I will describe things that have happened to me and things I have experienced. It will also contain different things I have been told or conversations that I have had with people about these experiences. It won't all be crazy, it will contain things I did as a child and even as I got older. It is something I feel may help someone who may be going through what I have or something similar anyway. It will show that even though we may be different, it doesn't always mean we are crazy.
Chapter 1: Memories
I always thought it was strange that when I was a child I use to have weird dreams about things that never made sense. I use to have trouble sleeping and basically it was like I could never get my mind to shut off. It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I realized what it meant. Actually, it took the passing of my beloved Grandma to make me realize that I wasn't going crazy all these years. As a child, I used to have dreams about a big golden gate that was surrounded by clouds, when the gates would open I would see a long golden road that was floating on the clouds, it seemed to winde and go on forever. I never would get to the end of this road. I would walk and walk and then finally wake up. I had that same dream several times once when I was about seven, then again when I was about eighteen. I never understood it until I was twenty-four and my grandma passed away.
There were several events that led up to this discovery and I will be explaining them through out this book in order for it all to make sense. I remember conversations and events that occurred when I was a child, most of which were between my mom and I or my grandma and I, or even between my mom and grandma. Most things seemed to just be talk and nonsense, because when you are young it doesn't really make much sense. But as you get older, you realize what some of the conversations were about or what they really meant. I never really talked much as a child about what I was thinking, I would mention it from time to time to my mom or my granny, which is what I called my grandma. But I never told anyone all of what was going through my mind. I used to sit and think about strange things or have things just randomly pop in and out of my head. I always thought it was just being a kid. But as I got older I started to notice that it was a little more than that. I would sometimes think I was going crazy or that there was something wrong with me. I could never seem to control what would come in and out of my mind. It is like when you sit around thinking about something and that something would trigger some other memory then before you know it you are thinking about something completely different, and you start wondering how you got on that thought in the first place. That was most of my childhood and even now as a young adult. It's not only when I am awake and I randomly think about something I do it in my sleep as well; a lot of times I'm not sure whether it is real or if I am dreaming. That is how real it seems.
I will always remember the story my mom and granny would tell me about before I was born, my granny would tell me how she knew I was going to be special. She said there was something about me while I was in my mom's belly that made her know that I was different and unique. I thought she was just saying it to be nice ya know how grandma's are. Considering my mom didn't even know she was pregnant with me until she was over five months, and the fact that I was born a month early. Or so the doctors thought. I was born on Thanksgiving day even though I wasn't due until sometime in December. But I was fully developed even though I wasn't suppose to be at that time. My mom would tell me stories about when I was young. She said there were several times that I did things they couldn't believe. One of which was when my granny was really bad down with her back, so bad that she couldn't move. She laid on the couch in severe pain. A preacher was praying for her one day trying to ask God to heal her. I don't remember how old I was but my mom said I pushed the preacher away and laid my hands on my granny, I jabbered something then I walked away. A few minutes later I climbed on the table and yelled "Catch me granny!" my mom said that my granny jumped up off of the couch and caught me. Then she never had the pain again. How was that possible? For someone who was in such pain to be healed so quickly, and by a mere child? Another incident I recall my mom telling me about was when my cat was hit by a car, it was dragging both of it's back legs and could barely stand, my mom said I grabbed the cat and started crying. I held it and prayed for it then it jumped out of my hands and ran off like nothing ever happened to it. Could this mean that a child can be a gateway to God's healing? Is it possible that God will use an innocent child to perform the miracles through? I vaguely remember some of these things that happened, I guess I was too young to know they happened but a part of me knew it before I was told. I subconsciously knew that I had experienced these events but they didn't seem real until I was told by someone else who was there.
There was a few things that happened throughout my childhood that would seem odd, one event I will always remember was when I was about five, my brother and I were outside playing, I was playing with my baby dolls and he was playing tee ball. He was about nine or so at the time and I was watching him hit the ball with a old wooden bat we had. But being young and curious I got to close to him, he thought I went inside but I was behind him. When he swung the bat around he hit me in the head with it. I grabbed my head and fell to the ground, he started freaking out as my head started bleeding. Unlike most kids I didn't cry, I'm not really sure why, it did hurt but I just didn't cry. But he was crying enough for the both of us by this point so I got up off the ground and we went inside. He ran up to mom and was blubbering so much she couldn't understand him. About that time I came around the corner with my hand on my head and blood running down my arm. My mom pulled my hand away and freaked out. I never seen what it looked like but she always told me that I had a hole the size of a quarter on my left eyebrow and it was so deep you could see my skull. Her first instinct was to put pressure on it, so she grabbed a wash cloth and pressed it to my head, unfortunately it was too small and started sinking into the hole. By this time she was in utter hysterics and was dragging me through the house trying to hold pressure on my head and get her shoes and stuff on so she could take me to the hospital. Luckily my dad walked in about that time, my mom started explaining what happened then he scooped me up and headed to the car. I remember the ride to the hospital. I sat on my moms lap the whole way, I closed my eyes and was praying, or trying to anyway. My mom kept shaking me. I didn't know why until later when she said she thought I was going to sleep but I wasn't. She kept saying, "Wake up, wake up." I finally looked up at her and said, "Mom, I'm praying." She just looked at me strange then it was quiet. The next thing I remember was seeing bright lights, I had my eyes closed but I could still see these lights. When I opened my eyes I was in a big, bright room and there was a man standing over me. He was the one that was sewing up my head. I laid there and watched as he pulled the stitches through. After it was over I went home. To this day I still have the scar on my left eyebrow. It always reminds me that half and inch to the left and I wouldn't be here. It's crazy how some events seem like they happened yesterday when in fact it was years and years ago. I remember that day so clearly, and I will never forget it. When you're little, you don't seem bothered too much by things that happen, but as you get older and think back, you start realizing how much those things change your life.
I remember the day my grandpa passed away. It was a few months before I turned six and I didn't really know what was going on. My parents and Granny went to the hospital but I didn't know why, I didn't really put the things that happened together at that age. It didn't seem to really matter too much, it was like another normal day. But the day of his funeral was different, I remember standing there watching all these people gather around a big box-looking thing and they were crying. I didn't know why. My oldest brother picked me up so I could look inside. I seen my grandpa laying there, he looked as if he was asleep. I still didn't understand what was going on but for some reason I felt protective. Protective of my granny, I went over to where she was sitting and hid under the table. Every time someone came close, I would pop out and say. "What's the password?" They would all look at me like I was crazy, or just being a kid. My granny would smile at me, she finally asked "What is the password?" I smiled at her and replied, "It is love." After that day was over I always wanted to be around my granny, I would go stay the night with her off and on, even as I got older.
It is funny how you repress some memories, then later can recall them like they just happened.
One other memory that is very strong in my head is one time I was at the store my mom worked at and I was standing outside the store with my dad, he was talking to some lady who I didn't really know. I was just fidgeting around because I was bored. Then I looked over and seen these two guys, they were arguing about something, I don't know what but I remember what happened next. As I stood there watching these guys one of them pulled out a gun. I tugged on my dads hand and tried to tell him but he was talking so he didn't pay much mind to me. Not that he didn't hear me but he said "In a minute honey." He just thought I was wanting to leave. He didn't know I was going to tell him that there was a man with a gun. As I stood there the man with the gun shot the other man. In that instant my dad pushed me and the lady he was talking to inside the store and ran across the parking lot. I ran to my mom as I watched my dad get in the truck and call the police. At that time we had those bag phones, the old cell phones that stayed in the car. Not like today where you can carry them in your pocket. I stood there clenching to my mom as I watched the guy laying on the pavement bleeding. Neither one of the guys died or anything but it was something I will never forget. I stood there and watched a shooting. I was pretty young at the time, I was only about nine or so. It was like I blocked the memory for awhile, there were people who thought I needed to go see a shrink or something because of what I saw. I didn't like talking to people about stuff so I never went. I remember one day this lady asked me about it, she said, "What did you think of it?" I looked at her strangely, then I replied, "I have seen their flames." She just looked at me with an odd look. She didn't understand what I meant. I never told anyone about it before, not even my mom. But I had a dream or a vision, whatever you want to call it, it had those two men in it. I call it a nightmare, but I didn't understand it at all when it occurred, but I remember it. It was like I was up high and looking down on an old town, it was real dark but the sky was like a crimson red color. I watched as thousands of people walked along the street, on each side of them were old buildings that were in flames. I seen the two men that were involved in the shooting, they were standing in front of someone, I never seen who it was but he was talking to the men. And then I seen them burst into flames. I woke up or snapped back to reality at that moment. It was weird because neither man died during the shooting, so I didn't know what was going on. I just assumed it was just my mind playing tricks on me. You know how a kids mind will make things more elaborate than they really are. So I never thought much of it. But it was the only time I had that vision. And I am glad because it scared me.
As I got older, I knew I was different than the other kids my age. I didn't have many friends, but it was due to the fact that I never liked being around people. I preferred to talk to myself or write or do things on my own. I never liked being around a lot of people. Even now I am still the same way, I have gotten a little bit better about it, but I still prefer to keep to myself most of the time. I always enjoyed writing stories about things that would pop into my head. But I have always found it hard to talk about myself. Even while writing this book, it is weird talking about things I have gone through. It's not so much weird to write about it, because it helps me to get things out, but to have people read it and know what is going on with me is what I find weird. But I hope that by getting out what I have been through and how my mind works, that maybe it will help some body else who may be going through the same thing as I am. It is hard for me to let things out most of the time though, I feel I should keep them in or only tell them to myself. Which doesn't make much sense to most people, but to me if I tell myself something, it is like I told someone even though it was just me, who already knew about it. It actually helps me to remember what happened or what I went through. In times that I have struggled people around me would always say I could talk to them, I tried to a little bit but I never felt comfortable talking to anyone except my mom and granny and even then it was hard.
My mind is like a puzzle that even I can't figure out. Which sometimes makes me feel as though I am going crazy or that something is wrong with me. My mind seems to have a mind of it's own, no pun intended. But it's as if my mind will think about what it wants instead of what I want it to. Some people would say that I am crazy and others would say I am just weird. But I am just me, whether it is crazy, weird or normal. I am who I am and that is all I can be. I feel as though I am alone in the world sometimes now that my granny is gone. Luckily I have my mom, without her I would be lost. She makes me feel sane, and like I'm not going crazy. My kids help a lot too even though they drive me crazy at times, at least it is the good kind of crazy I guess. My daughter cracks me up because sometimes I talk to myself and she says, "Mommy, you talking to me?" I would always respond, "No, honey. I am talking to myself." So now when I do it she will look at me with a smile and say, "You talking to youself again mommy?" It makes me smile and even laugh. As I watch her play and even watch my son, it reminds me of when I was little, I can see myself outside playing like they do; in the sand or in the pool. It makes all my childhood memories come back as if they happened yesterday. It also makes me miss being a kid, we really don't realize how much we change until we are looking back through our own children and see who we used to be.
I recall a time when I was in the first grade, we were all told to draw a picture to display at the art fair that our school was having for each grade. Most kids drew a picture of their favorite pet or their best friend. Some even drew a picture of stuff they liked to do, such as ballet or football. I on the other hand drew a different type of picture, granted I was only seven or so at the time and it wasn't like I had drew a masterpeice or anything, it was something that most people would have found odd for a child to draw. My picture was of a big gate that was surrounded by clouds, as the teacher went around looking at the pictures we were drawing, she stopped right by my desk. I looked up at her as she looked at my picture with a strange look. She looked at me and asked, "What is your picture of?" I smiled at her as I didn't even hesitate to answer. "It's home." I replied as I watched her face get a confused look. It didn't seem like an odd answer to me, but she seemed confused by my response.
Most of the teachers I had didn't understand me. They thought I was weird, I only had three teachers that understood me, and I'm not really sure how much they even understood. But at least they would try or not criticize me like the other ones did, just because I was different.
When I went into the sixth grade I started getting homeschooled through a Christian school out of Florida. It was the best thing to me, not only because I hated getting up early but because I didn't like being around people, I felt more comfortable at home learning by myself. I didn't feel out of place or like people were judging me like I did when I was in school. It felt like I was where I belonged, I worked better by myself, it was so much easier to learn that way.
The time I spent at home was great, I was always around my parents which would be why I am so close to them. As I got older I did start doing things I enjoyed, most of which involved being in my room and either on the computer, writing, painting or sewing. I would go outside a lot as well and just walk around or sit. I wasn't like most girls my age, I didn't like shopping or hanging with friends, I preferred doing things alone. Some people would find that strange behavior for a teenage girl, but to me it was normal. Even when I was in school, I would hang out with the guys and play football and stuff, I never hung around girls much. I didn't seem to get along or have anything in common with girls my age. They all seemed snobby and self-centered to me. Even now most of the girls I do talk to are either a few years older or younger than me, there are very few that are my age that I get along with. Most the time I feel more comfortable talking to people who are older than me. Which seems odd to some people and others just say it's because I am more mature than girls my age and prefer to have the more mature conversations.