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 I can hear them all the time. They aren’t like voices I hear inside my head but more like variations of my voice speaking deep within me. Sometimes, they shock me with answers that stop me in my tracks. I love when that happens. Even when they yell at me. On average, their voices are subtle when they guide me and reveal their living experiences. Then, there are the moments when I can’t hear them. Even when I ignore their advice or when they convey their horrors, I’d much rather listen to them than they be utterly silent. 

I get distracted. I wonder, sometimes, how much time passes before I realize they’ve gone silent. I am having a human experience, after all. 

When I make that revelation, I call on them to check in.  They don’t always answer with a voice but through apparent signs in the wild. I am genuinely grateful to have this ability to see. I also believe my spirit guides pick up on my undiagnosed adult attention deficit disorder and know I need reassurance.

Because of my curious nature, I often try to visualize them. I can sense the realm or timeframe from which they existed. They have come from the future, and I frequently visit my inner child. If only I could identify them. But, even when I meditate or travel the astral plane, they always manifest looking just like the Michelle I see in the mirror. They are me and, at the same time, not me, existing in different times and realms. It makes sense during moments when the voice is speaking through me; though it’s my mouth, it isn’t a message I came up with. And when I leave my body, only just barely, during a beautiful concert. 

I also know that my spirit guides aren’t only ancestors of mine. I understand that some of my guidance came from the Goddesses Lilith, Hecate, and, more recently, Persephone. I was playfully taunted by my Uncle Luz’s spirit last Halloween. I’m still a bit annoyed about those chia seeds, Tio. 

Just of late, I had a surprise visit from my Grandma Pat. Well, that’s what I called her. Her full first name was Patsy. I didn’t have the energy or patience to explain it to my Dad at the time. Perhaps, if he reads this, he will see this shared experience as a gift and message from his mother. 

The first night my family and I arrived at my parent’s house for our SoCal visit, my Dad randomly told me that he reads Grandma Pat’s obituary around once a year. I immediately assumed he read it on her birthday, which has already passed this year, and her death date was quite a ways off. As usual, my dad wanted to leave the point of this conversation a riddle for me to solve. He went into his office and returned with grandma’s obituary, handed it to me, and told me to read the bottom line. 

It read her name, date of birth, and date of death. I knew that she died when a portal was opened. November 11, 2011. Did my dad just now recognize the significance of the triple eleven? No, keep reading. Ok, her date of birth had some repeating numbers. But, I didn’t understand what my dad was getting at. Her full name was listed. Patsy. No, that didn’t read Patsy. 

Oh, my goth. It read Pasty, not Patsy. 

And to make the issue more hilariously ridiculous, I’m the one who wrote her obituary. 

For nearly 11 years, no one noticed the typo I had made. Not the printing company ( not that it was their responsibility ), no one who took their copy of grandma’s obituary. My dad did say who actually keeps those aside from close family or friends. My dad didn’t realize it until what he said was a few years ago. I laughed at the mistake. So did everyone else. Classic Michelle. But, I couldn’t quite read my dad’s reaction or how it took for me to figure it out. Also, classic Michelle. He kind of laughed but he kind of didn’t. Maybe he was doing what my dad does. He pretends to be annoyed by the fuck up, or he really was a bit hurt by the honest mistake. We didn’t really talk about Bruno. 

I told everyone that I visited about grandma Pasty’s obituary. Everyone laughed. I felt even she laughed somewhere. That was her. She wouldn’t have been offended, nor would she have taken that seriously. But I could feel her presence. She proved she was there a few days later.

While my entire family was at Knott’s, a day I will forever hold dear in my memory, I was trying to endure a hangover that snuck up on me mid-day. Yeah, that’s my life now. While the kids all waited in line for a ride, we grown-ups chilled out nearby with boysenberry beer and sangria. Damn it; I wish I could have drank it. I was getting more dehydrated by the hour. My husband, mom, and oldest son left to do whatever leaving my dad and me alone. That’s when a thin-framed, older black woman drove by in her fancy wheelchair. She resembled my grandma Pasty; it took me by surprise. She even wore her headscarf in the same manner. And even more adorable, she admired my tattoos! That I knew took my dad a bit by surprise, but he brushed it off with his usual dad chuckle. A-ha-ha. I didn’t bring up the significance of that “coincidence” to my dad. I remembered my hangover, and I wondered if Knott’s still rented out wheelchairs. 

About an hour later, the wait for GhostRider was atrocious; the grandma Pasty look-alike came rolling back and said, “Y’all are still sitting here?” We just laughed, and she stopped to chat with me about how she got her first tattoo at fifty years old. She was now in her 60’s. She picked up that I only recently became the woman I have evolved into. She picked up on that I had held myself back for over 30 years, but, age ain’t shit when a woman embraces her divine. She may not have known grandma Pasty was speaking through her, even reassuring my dad that I’m a grown-up woman and I am following my path just right. 

I did tell my dad I was going to write about the encounter. 

I don’t believe in heaven or hell. I believe we return to totality, ending that human experience. Though the consciousness dissolves, the residual energy from that human life has the ability to send messages or signs to the living through dreams, more complicated numerological signs, minor electric shocks from a tree planted in their honor, or a package of chia seeds. They can even reveal typos and deliver assurance through a look-alike stranger. I am not proclaiming to know the specifics of deaths or how spirit guides have their abilities. I’m also comfortable with the unknown. However, I know it happens if we are willing to receive and protect ourselves in the process. So, why question it? It feels so much more comforting than denying it. 

 We are all capable of reaching our spirit guides. Who speaks to you?

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