First to come through was a woman who Brandie thought was a grandmother, whose hair was pulled back in a bun and was wearing very dated clothing. This woman had a strong personality, Brandie could feel strength and sterness and this woman was really into discipline. In fact she corrected Brandie and said aunt and Brandie thought she could even be a great aunt. She wanted to talk about her figure - or rather lack of one. She appeared as a very busty, full figured woman and she mentioned her feet and Brandie said they felt like orthopedic shoes and her hose looked like compression hose and maybe there was a diabetic connection. Brandie felt she was bringing up the diabetes or sugar connection. She said she loves sweets and everyone would have known that she loved sweets or maybe she made them. She made Brandie aware of two sons that she raised. She was married and could be a difficult woman, she was hard headed and she was going to do everything her way. She is showing Brandie the graying in her hair and Brandie felt a teacher connection, either she was one or wanted to be one. She was showing Brandie different aspects of a classroom. [This sounds so much like two of my aunts - except for the part of raising two sons because she had no children. My Aunt Iva, a teacher, was the oldest of seven children and as the oldest helped raise the younger children and she had two brothers which may be what Brandie saw. I'm not sure about the diabetes, however, one of her sisters Alma did have diabetes and in fact had so much trouble with her feet that eventually she had one leg amputated. She also had a strong personality and since there were teachers in her family and her father was on the school board I wouldn't be surprised if at one time she wanted to be a teacher.]
The next person who came through was a military man. Brandie felt he had gotten his "wings" or something like that. She had the feeling of WWII or Korean War and said it had the feeling of an old fashion black and white photo. She did not feel an immediate connection with him, more reaching out like an uncle. Then she was corrected, this was a friend of my father's or mothers. He told her that he was close enough that he would have been more uncle like. She asked if my father was military [he was not] then this is someone my father was close to, friends when they were young and this man went off to war. He did come home from the war and she said when he returned there were aspects of him that disappeared, or were harder to access. He was changed, he was not as lively after the war. She said he gives the sense he is a free spirited, spontaneous person and there was something about his eyes, he may have had a problem with them. Brandie said that my father and this man are still pals on the other side, the friendship is still there. She said it was almost like they were drinking buddies. I was dumbfounded. I knew who this was and I would have never expected him to come through. I'm not sure I even met him since he lived over 1,000 miles away from us, but I knew enough about him from my father
[This is Charlie Henderson, one of my father's life long friends from college who was a commander in the Navy during WWII. The wings she saw were probably the three commander stripes on his uniform. It's interesting that she would feel the black and white photo because when my father's group of friends were in college they got together and had a portrait made of them. A few years after college they all had another photo taken - Charlie was in his uniform and everyone was in the same order. They had one more portrait taken when they were reunited for their 50th college class reunion, and of course everyone was in the same order. These photos were published in a Baton Rouge, Louisiana newspaper when an article was written on their over 50 year friendship. I don't know about any problems with his eyes. About Charlie being changed after the war: in the article another of Charlie's friends mentioned that when Charlie came home from the Pacific his hair had turn white, but later turned back to brown. I don't know if this was meant literally or figuratively, but it does insinuate a change in Charlie. And about my father and Charlie being drinking buddies they sure were! In the same newspaper article they mention their fondness for corn whiskey.]
My great-grandfather [William McKendree - (Mack)] on my mother's side was next and he definitely is one of the last souls I would expect to hear from. Brandie sensed a grandfather or uncle who was a heavy alcoholic. She felt he was a generation up from my parents. Mack wanted to tell Brandie how he felt because he had a lot of burdens. (Brandie stated that she almost felt like a psychologist, that he just wanted to sit down and tell her how he feels.) He told her he felt like he couldn't give enough or provide enough to his family. She said he felt immense pressure to make things happen and he did not want to give Brandie any details. There was a period of time that he was drinking where he was really snappy and harsh with his words, not a lovey-dovey type of guy. Brandie felt there was a physical side to him and he let Brandie know that yes he was abusive. Mack told her he was not proud of it, he is owning it and Brandie felt that is why he was coming through. He could be abusive with the children and particularly with his spouse. Mack claimed alcoholism was handed down from his father and Brandie thought that either my grandfather or father broke the chain of alcoholism. Brandie saw that Mack had two brothers or was one of two and that one brother was particularly successful. It was like Mack was comparing himself to this brother who was successful and had it together and he felt he couldn't live up to his brother.
[According to family lore, Mack was a mean drunk. One cousin wrote that three of my aunts "historicize the old reprobate was a drinker. They report that when Granpa's kids heard his buggy race into the yard late at night with Granpa layin' on the leather and whipping the horses they knew the old fart was tanked up and mean drunk . . . his children all dived for cover and hid out till the alcohol wore off." He was also a Methodist minister which may be why I never thought of him as an alcoholic. Actually, I just never thought of him that much! My grandmother and two of her sisters I know of hated him because of how he treated their mother. Mack suffered from a rare condition called polyorchidism - basically he had three testicles. Too much testosterone and alcohol can make one nasty man.
Mack's first wife had nine children before she died. Then a very, very, very short time after her death he married my great-grandmother who was half his age (he was 40 and she was 19) and that poor woman had nine children also. About Mack not wanting to go into detail - no wonder because he was reprimanded at a Methodist Church Conference for 1. "... the indulgence of sinful tempers and the use of improper language at Minter's Chapel on or about the first of Sept. 1874; and 2. "trying to have carnal communication of his daughter in law" (ewwww!) He was later absolved of this (but I bet it was true), however, it must have caused him considerable stress and embarrassment. Also stressful and embarrassing was the fact that his two youngest single daughters became pregnant on the same weekend and were not married until they were about six months along. (My grandmother and her sister had a party in the barn one night.)
The successful brother he mentioned I knew nothing about until with the help of a cousin and the 1900 U.S. Census I discovered that one of his two brothers was a physician. It sounds like Mack was a little jealous of him and his higher income and status.]
Then to my surprise my niece Kimberly came through. Brandie saw a young female between 17 and 21 and she asked me if I knew a Julie [I said no] or someone with a strong Ju name who would have lost a daughter. [Yes - Kim's mother was Judy.] Brandie thought Kim was a little timid and she definitely felt like she was at the end of high school or beginning of college when she passed. [Kim was 17.] She thought the girl had a very sweet personality and felt a lot of innocence about her. Brandie had to work with Kim to make her more comfortable and gain her trust. She saw that Kim's death was unexpected, that she had not been ill, but she did feel out of control - either emotionally or she was driving a car that went out of control. [Kim did have a drug problem and shortly before her death she was drivng a car that went out of control.]
Then Brandie said Kim was taking responsibility for the way she passed. I acknowledged that Kim was a suicide and Brandie said that was probably why Kim hesitated to warm up to her. That maybe it was embarrassment she was feeling from her and not innocence. Brandie felt that Kim was bringing up a fight with a boyfriend or a boy, around the time of her death, a boy close to her age, a friend or a brother. [At the time of the reading I thought it was her brother but later learned from a niece that it was a boyfriend.] Brandie felt like Kim was the opposite of this boy, almost like he was a goodie goodie; "she made chaos and he didn't." [True] There were times when they were close but there was a fight within a few weeks right before she passed, and he carries this guilt with him. Brandie said "she's saying it was me, not you." Kim was showing her the boy feeling guilty and saying that he needs to set down this burden. [According to another niece, even after ten years Kim's boyfriend is still asking people who knew Kim to pray for her.]
Brandie felt that Kim could be sharp with her words, especially toward her mother. She would get angry a lot and would blame her mother for a lot of things. She feels the need to say that there was a lot of internal conflict, a lot of little things set her off. Also, she really worried about what other people thought about her even if she didn't give that impression. She told Brandie that "I blamed everybody else and I shouldn't have." There was something that triggered all of this attitude, a particular incident and she needs them to acknowledge this. Brandie wondered if it was abuse from in or outside the family because something traumatic triggered this and Kim needed this to be recognized. But Brandie also said that Kim might not have told anyone or if she did tell she was just told it would be o.k. Brandie asked me a couple of times if her parents were divorced [no].
I did not know until I talked with Kim's older sister about the reading what the "particular incident" was that Brandy referred to. Apparently quite a few months after the incident, Kim suddenly confided in her sister that a male babysitter had sexually abused her. My sister and her husband - who were very non confrontational, meek people, didn't file a police report or do anything about the abuse. Eventually Kim did get therapy for behavior problems and not surprisingly drug abuse.]
Brandie felt a lot of self hatred from Kim, like she felt she was not worthy, and felt the need to address why she was that way. Then Kim showed Brandie an image of a mother and daughter and said her favorite times were sitting in her mother's lap with her stroking her hair. She told Brandie that it all seemed so simple then and knows her mother was a good mother; she remembers the good times and she recognizes the pain that she caused. Brandie was shown an image of her with her daughter and didn't know if it meant that Kim had long blond hair. [She did have long blond hair.]
Brandie told me that hearing names was something new to her and so far usually gets just a few letters. I thought she was very close with Julie and hearing the strong Ju name. Mediums I see on television usually just give one letter. The only exceptions I have seen are Kim Russo and John Edwards.