When we lose a loved one I believe that they are always near us in our hearts and minds. Each time I lost a loved one – first my grandfather, father, mother, grandmother, and finally my aunt, I experienced a visit by them.
There are many who do not believe in such things so I haven’t shared these experiences with anyone but my husband. He is a non-believer but listened because he knew I had a deep faith in God and angels.
When I was going through a troubling time I would go to sleep and hear my mother’s voice telling me everything would be all right. Other times I heard my father’s voice and his laugh or a song he used to sing.
I was very close to my grandmother. She was a force that you wouldn’t want to go up against. Even my mild-manner, sweet grandfather feared her. As in life, Grandpa always stood behind her to lend support in his understated way. She was a strong, resilient and no holds barred woman. She had a sense of humor and loved to laugh. Her laughter always reminded me of the canned laughter of a woman at one of the food stands at the beach. Each time you passed this stand the laughter would peal out and remind me of her.
Avoa (grandmother), as we always called her in Portuguese, was always there to help me. She took care of my son from seven weeks old until he was two, then my mother took over his care until he was four.
One day when I was seven months pregnant with my second child I was on my way to visit my mother when I fell down several stairs. My poor four-year-old son was at the bottom of the stairs waiting for me. I fortunately twisted my body in mid-air so I landed mostly on my right side injuring my right ankle. I don’t know how I managed, but I got my son into the car and drove to my mother’s house. Luckily for me my brother was visiting at the time and took me directly to the hospital. My mother took care of my son until I could come back to get him.
My Avoa once again came to the rescue and took me to all doctor appointments afterwards to check the baby until I delivered. Luckily, my daughter was unharmed. Avoa came to my house with my mother to care for me and my four-year-old son every day until I could walk on my own again. I don’t know what I would have done without her and my mother.
Due to the strong bond Avoa and I had I often felt her in my dreams. On one particular night I was upset over something but couldn’t figure out how to handle the problem. I tossed and turned in my sleep and then suddenly sat up and looked next to my bed. There stood a dark figure. It was so real I swear I was not dreaming when I heard my grandmother’s voice telling me what to do. Normally I would have screamed seeing a dark figure standing over me but somehow I was not frightened because I believed it was a benevolent spirit.
It never happened again even though I have many dreams that continue to this day of all of them together smiling at me and sending their love. I believed I had a visit from beyond when I was most in need.
I have faith that our loved ones always watch over us even in death. It is comforting to know that they can reach us in ways we never imagined. Each time I have a close call on the highway or in other circumstances I feel they are watching over me. I pray I will be able to do the same for the loved ones I leave behind one day.
Thank you, Sue, for welcoming me on your fantastic blog. I am honored to be here to share my story.
Blessings & hugs to you and your readers!
Janice Spina / aka J.E. Spina
About the Author
Janice Spina aka J.E. Spina is an award-winning author with twenty published books ranging from infants to adults and in multi-genres. She has been writing since the age of nine. Janice always dreamed of being an author but did not realize this dream until after she retired from an administrative secretarial position in a public school system in Massachusetts.
In 2013 she published two children’s books, followed by three more children’s books and one novel in 2014, two children’s books, and two middle-grade/preteen detective books 1 & 2 in 2015 and one novel, a children’s book, and Book 3 and 4 of her MG/PT series in 2016 and a short story collection, children’s book and a MG/PT detective series book 5 in 2017, and two children’s books and the sequel to her first novel were published in 2018. She is working on a MG/PT/YA mystery series for girls that will be published in the summer of 2018. Her husband, John, illustrator and cover creator, is working on illustrations for Janice’s first fairy tale which she hopes to publish later in 2018. A YA fantasy needs to be edited and will be published as a series in 2019 and beyond.
Janice submitted an article to an anthology collection by author Kristina Stanley and published a short story in The Writers Newsletter. Janice’s books have won a total of ten book awards – six Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, one Mom’s Choice Awards, two Reader’s Favorite Book Awards an Honorable Mention and a Silver Medal, and a Silver Medal from Authorsdb Cover Contest.
Her goal is to write for all ages and encourage children to read which will cultivate a love of reading and carry them throughout their lives.
Janice’s motto is Reading Can Give You Wings to Fly. Soar with Jemsbooks.com. Her logo is Jemsbooks – Books for all ages. Her husband, John, illustrates all her children’s books and creates the covers for all her books.
Janice plans to write more children’s books, middle-grade, young adult fantasy and novels over the next few years. As the author says, “There is always another story running around in my head just waiting to be written down.”
Janice’s hobbies are crocheting, exercising (walking, hula hooping to keep in shape), and reading, reviewing books, blogging, traveling, going out to the movies and dinner with my husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren who are her inspiration to write.
Find and Follow Janice
Lucy, the Talented Toy Terrier
This book is based on my dog, Lucy, who I had for 16 years. She was quite a character and did all the things that are in this book. She loved my spaghetti with homemade sauce, watched TV shows featuring animals, hated baths, “sang” when music was played, and had two cherished possessions, a knotted rag and a ball. I hope you will enjoy reading about Lucy. She is no longer with us and can never be replaced.
Lucy was a special kind of dog. I guess everyone’s dog is a special kind of dog. Lucy gave me such joy, cheered me up when I was sad, and snuggled close when I needed a friend. I miss her still today.
My husband, John, created this book. Each time he illustrates one of my books he changes things up a bit and creates something different. When you look at this book you will see what I mean.
Other Books by Janice Spina
Click here to go to her Amazon Author Page
PS-Grade 3 (ages 0-8):
Louey the Lazy Elephant
Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon
Jerry the Crabby Crayfish
Lamby the Lonely Lamb
Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear
Broose the Moose on the Loose
Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey
Colby the Courageous Cat
Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe
Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab
Lucy the Talented Toy Terrier
Middle-Grade: Grades 4–7 (ages 9-12):
Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 1 (The Case of the Missing Cell Phone)
Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 2 (The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat)
Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 3 (The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant)
Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 4 (The Case of the Brown Scraggly Dog)
Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Book 5 (The Case of the Sad Mischievous Ghost)
Book 6 in Davey & Derek Series coming in 2018
A new mystery series for girls coming in 2018
Young Adult: Grades 8-12 (ages 13+):
YA fantasy Series coming in 2019 & 2020
Novels: Ages 18+:
Hunting Mariah (thriller/mystery/crime)
Mariah’s Revenge (Sequel to Hunting Mariah)
How Far Is Heaven (paranormal/mystery/romance)
An Angel Among Us (A short Story Collection)
If you have had a strange experience or encounter that you would like to share, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or my usual email if you already have it) and we can discuss a guest post.
I am not looking for sensationalism or fictional tales… but in light of the response to some recent posts, I think it would be both useful and reassuring to others to realise that none of us are alone in these strange encounters and experiences and perhaps we can open discussion on what they may be or may mean.
If you would like to share your story but prefer to remain anonymous, we can discuss that too. If you would like to share your beliefs and opinions on the nature of these experiences, I would be happy to talk about a guest post. Through sharing with respect we may learn to understand our world and each other a little better.
You can find previously published encounters with elusive realities here.