I was twelve years old when I became aware of my spiritual abilities. My world was suddenly turned upside down by my grandmother’s passing. My grandmother, Grandma Patrone, was quite a character- she definitely wasn’t your average grandmother! She was
unique and quirky- she had a small collection of dolls and some knickknack horses on a shelf in her living room. One of the horses was a black stallion. I didn’t pay much attention to the horse knickknacks because I so loved the doll collection.
Unexpectedly, when I was 12, Grandma Patrone passed away in West Virginia. She had been there visiting her sisters, Lillian and Pearl. She was staying at Lillian’s house when she was rushed to the hospital with chest pains and passed away of a heart attack.
My father and his siblings flew out to West Virginia to take care of her arrangements. My cousins and I flew out a few days later. When I arrived, I was uneasy sleeping in the room where my grandmother had slept in just days before while she was visiting with my great aunts. I did my best not to think about it, even though I was really afraid and slept with one eye open on my first night. The next morning, great aunt Pearl made us all a huge breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs. After breakfast we were sent to our rooms to prepare for the service, which was being held later that afternoon. As I was sitting on the bed I spotted my grandma’s purse on the dresser. Out of nowhere I heard her voice whispering in my ear, “Rhonda, go in my purse and get that picture out of my wallet and my keychain.” I nearly fell off the bed! But I did what Grandma Patrone’s voice told me to do. The picture happened to be my favorite picture of her and I. Once I had the picture and keychain, I heard her voice say, “Keep the picture in your hand. Don’t put it down. Keep looking at it.” So I did as she told me to. At the time I was too young to know that I was channeling my grandmother.
When we left for the service I didn’t tell anyone what had transpired after breakfast, but I held the picture of my grandmother and the key chain (of Popo Gigio, the mouse from the Ed Sullivan show) throughout the whole day as I was told. At the wake I heard her tell me to pick a rose off of the casket and hold on to that too. I followed Grandma Patrone’s directions. After the wake we got into the limousine behind the hearse and began our slow incline up into the mountains heading toward her final resting place. We passed through several small, quaint towns and came upon rolling grassy green hills with scattered yellow patches of flowers and miles of white fence. Me, my father, his siblings and my cousins were in the limousine. Suddenly, it felt like someone turned my head to the side and I was looking out the window – at the most beautiful black stallion horse I ever saw! The stallion’s mane and tail blowing in the wind so majestically that it took my breath away. I starting screaming, “Dad look! It’s Grandma! Look! She’s the horse! She has come to say goodbye to us! Look, look!” Everyone in the limousine balked but they too couldn’t quite believe their own eyes.
I sat there, not sure of what just happened. We made it to the cemetery and a minister met us and held a service in her honor. When we were dismissed, we all gathered together and got back into the limo and headed to the luncheon. I was very hungry and really irritable and fixated on my growling tummy. It was so loud, I felt like everyone could hear it roar! During the ride everyone was quiet… except my belly. My father and his sister were carrying on a conversation which I was trying to block out while I gazed out the window at the beautiful landscape. I noticed in the distance the white picket fence -it made me think of that beautiful black stallion! About five minutes of watching a stream of white fences zooming by, I noticed that horse again, standing next to the white fence just ahead of us! I yelled hysterically, “dad, tell the driver to slow down! It’s Grandma! She’s waiting for us! Tell him to slow down dad, please!” My Father told the driver to slow down. We slowly passed that unbelievable beautiful black stallion. It stood there and its head turned as if watching our every move. We all knew without a shadow of a doubt that was indeed my grandmother’s spirit in that horse.
This day was the start of hundreds of experiences I would encounter as a child, which still continue to this day. The difference now is that I know what’s going on! I have gotten accustomed to strange things happening over the years, that’s my normal. And this is story of how it began.