THE NIGHT A MEDIUM CHANGED MY LIFE
I was 12 when my whole world changed in an instant. On a humid summer day in July 1987, my hilarious, handsome, smart, compassionate, loving 41-year-old father passed away of a heart attack.
The time right after his death was a blur. I was in survival mode. I felt alone and scared. The man that served as my foundation was…gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. Or thank you. Or “I love you.” And I incessantly thought, “Could this happen again?” Would I lose more people I loved without warning?
Somehow, as those who have lost loved ones know, you carry on. You are forever changed, but you take each hour, and then each day, as it comes. You realize that no day is promised, so you live each day to its fullest. You tell people how you feel right there and then because you may not have tomorrow. You say thank you. You say “I love you.”
And so, while there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my dad, the hurt and fear that I once felt has long since subsided.
And if you’re me, you don’t think you may actually talk to your father again.
It was a cold, windy Chicago day in February 2010. I sat with my 2-year-old daughter, Bella, napping on my shoulder. I picked up the latest issue of People magazine and began to flip through. I stopped when I came across a story featuring a woman who looked about my age and said she was a medium. A medium?! How in all the years since my dad’s death had I not thought about talking to a medium? We even had several mediums come through the doors of The Oprah Winfrey Show and yet it hadn’t really occurred to me.
I have to believe it just wasn’t the right time.
I read that article and filed it in the back of my head. Several weeks later, in mid-March, I started receiving calls and emails about a woman, a medium, coming through Chicago, who would love to meet with me at Harpo Productions, Inc. At the time, I evaluated and worked with contributors who might be a fit for Oprah.com and, potentially, in other areas of the Harpo world. The calls and emails came from several different publicists and agents. Who knows why, but it didn’t fully register that this was the same woman featured in the People magazine article I had read until I walked into our conference room.
There. She. Was. Rebecca Rosen. The woman I had read about was right in front of me.
Along with several of my Harpo colleagues, we chatted about her new book, her work as a medium and how she could potentially contribute to Oprah.com. Of course, in the back of my mind, I thought, “And by the way, can you help me talk to my father?” Toward the end of our sit-down, she said, “I’m doing a large group meeting tonight. Would you like to come?”
Well, you know the answer.
After a few phone calls to make sure my husband would be home in time for Bella that evening, my colleagues and I were off for what would be an unforgettable experience.
We arrived at the Wilmette Theater excited and nervous. What would we witness? Would we get a reading? The theater held about 200 people. The tickets were general admission, so you could sit anywhere. We chose somewhere in the middle of the theater.
As I’ve come to learn, though, it doesn’t matter where you sit. If spirits want to talk to you, they don’t care if you’re in the front, middle or back—they will find you.
Rebecca introduced herself and explained some of what might go down during the two hours that would follow. (I have to be honest: Internally, I was starting to freak out a bit.) She then took us through a short meditation that helped not only to calm nerves but also to welcome spirits into the theater. As we did this meditation, I could literally feel the presence of…something. It was palpable.
Photo Credit: Kwame Johnson Photography
Rebecca started her readings. It was absolutely incredible to witness. Here was this adorable woman looking out into an audience of skeptics, believers and people somewhere in between—with all eyes on her.
“I have a Robert. No, a Bob. He’s holding his hand over his heart. I think he must have had a heart attack…something with his heart. He’s talking about the three women. Three women. He’s showing that he watches over the three women.”
One of my friends from work nudged me. “She’s talking to you.”
I knew she was right, so I raised my hand. “I think you are talking about me, my mom and sister,” I said.
“Yes!” Rebecca exclaimed. “He’s saying you’re a self-made woman. You built yourself up. He’s so proud.”
Tears were streaming down my face in front of 200 strangers.
“He’s talking about Harry or something hairy?”
I was trying to figure out what she was referring to when the same friend said, “Robyn, she’s talking about Jeff!”
Jeff is my lovable husband, who happens to have the middle name Harry, and who is referred to as “the Wookiee,” if you know what I mean.
I said, “My husband’s middle name is Harry, and he’s hairy?”
Rebecca confirmed, laughing, “Yes! Your dad is funny; he has a sense of humor. He’s getting a kick out of himself.”
She said he loved Jeff. She then said, “You have one child, right? He’s talking about his connection to your daughter. She is a ray of light. Does she play the piano? He’s showing me that she will if she doesn’t now…and he’s bringing up Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man.’ Does that ring a bell?”
It happens to be Jeff’s favorite song.
Then, she said, “He is telling me that he’s going to do something with your phones in the coming days, and you’ll know it’s him, so be on the lookout.”
She said he loved me, and then she moved on to spirits who were coming to her with messages for others in the audience. And. That. Was. It.
I was in shock. I was sobbing. I was elated. I was sad. I was awakened.
Bob (left) and Robyn on her Uncle Bruce’s shoulders (right)
I had no idea that I needed to hear those words. After the shock of losing my dad at age 12, my uncle stepped in as the father figure in my life. He has become my other dad, and frankly, in this human life, he’s been my dad longer than my actual dad was.
Yet, I was comforted. (My dad knew what I had done!) I was intrigued. What does it mean that we can talk to deceased loved ones? Was there more he wanted to share with me? Do we ever really die? How does Rebecca do this?
After calling my sister, Lauren, and my mom to tell them the astonishing news, I knew that I had so much more to learn. My spiritual awakening—which I had thought had reached its height when I worked on A New Earth webcast with Oprah, Eckhart Tolle and Elizabeth Lesser—was now rebirthed. I was wide awake and paying attention.
A few days later, I was about to head home from my office when I noticed that I had two missed calls. I started listening to the first message on my voicemail, but what I heard was my outgoing message (um, that’s bizarre!) and then static, and then, faintly, in Bella’s almost 2-year-old voice, “Bobby. Grandpa Bobby.” And then more static. And it was all over my outgoing message. Cree-ee-py!
The second message was from my babysitter, who informed me that Bella just started saying “Bobby,” my dad’s name. The catch? I had never talked about my dad with Bella. Bella thinks of my uncle as her grandfather, and she just calls him Poppa. So, the fact that Bella was saying Bobby—I was shaking.
Later that night, while I was still trying to recover from the voicemail, Bella and I flipped through a book of old pictures my mom had recently given me. Without me saying anything, Bella pointed to an old picture of my dad and said, “Grandpa Bobby.”
I mean, I couldn’t explain it. I just couldn’t.
A week later, my sister was in town from New York City. Jeff, Lauren and I had gone out on a Saturday night, and we were back at our house. It was late, most likely around midnight or 1 a.m. Bella was sleeping. We were all sitting on my couch when a couple of cell phones started ringing. All of our phones were on the kitchen counter. I got up to see who could be calling several of us. This will sound bizarre, but the phones were calling each other. My phone said Lauren was calling, and my sister’s phone said Robyn was calling. But we had been sitting on the couch. What THE?! Let’s just say we were weirded out.
As Rebecca mentioned, my dad was going to do things with our phones. And he sure did. What I’ve been told is that a spirit can connect through electricity—and Bob figured it out.
In June 2010, my sister and I booked a private appointment with Rebecca at her office in Denver. And oh, my. That was an hour I’ll never forget.
According to Rebecca (and other mediums whom I’ve talked to over the past eight years), my dad has one foot in this world and one foot in the other world. The spirit world. He took his first exit out of this world. Yes, you heard me. I have come to learn (and believe) that before we come into this world, we design our own exit points. If we’ve accomplished what we set out to do, we leave. My dad had always said to my mom that he thought he would die young. He actually said that! She told me this after my father had passed away. Well, it seems somewhere inside him he knew about his soul’s plan.
I have also learned that our deceased loved ones like to prove in a more literal sense that it is indeed them speaking to us. In our case, my dad wanted us to ask my mom about his shorts that she had in her dresser. His shorts? My mom had moved two different times since my dad had passed away, so we had no idea what he was talking about. When we asked my mom, it took her a second to recall. She seemed confused and doubtful. Then, she went to look in her dresser—and sure enough she found a pair of his college gym shorts in her dresser.
Lauren and I received an extraordinary amount of information during that hour with Rebecca. Way too much to share here, but what I will say is that, in addition to relevant messages pertaining to our lives, we were introduced to new spiritual terms and concepts. What are spirit guides, soul contracts, past lives, pre-birth plans? (I assure you that there is more to come in upcoming posts an videos.)
Looking back, my whole world changed yet again on that night at the Wilmette Theatre in March 2010. It led me to many other spiritual encounters and awakenings.
I no longer fear death.
I no longer feel alone.
I know I have a team that is helping me stay on track to achieve the goals that I set for my soul before I came into this life.
And my dad. Well, he’s a part of that team. He may be my biggest cheerleader. He shows me signs all the time, whether I see the numbers 11 and 17 (his birthday), his initials (R.A.M.) or cardinals (Rebecca and other mediums have told me that he sends cardinals to show me he is around).
And I know he’s proud of me.