I was a Gypsy

This post was inspired by Karen Kubicko, who will soon publish a book on past lives called, Life is Just a Another Class: One Soul’s Journey through Past Life Regression. Visit her blog at: http://karenkubicko.wordpress.com/

When I was in the process of writing my memoir, I discovered a manilla folder stashed away in a pile of memorabilia my mother had kept from my childhood. It was like opening the heart of the five year old girl named Alethea (for Truth) Eamon (for the boy her father wanted her to be). Here, were crayoned drawings of the life I once tried to manifest. A brown shed-like building with black framed windows became a warm home with smoke curling out of the chimney, with over-sized tulips and irises in the yard. In another drawing, a platform of rainbow wood became the play-set my step-father had promised to build me, but never did. 

My will to manifest my perfect world at five failed me, I realized as I flipped through the drawings. Already, at five, I was a child wrapped tightly in the arms of fear and secrets. My reality was the reality my parents were creating. We had just moved three thousand miles away from the extended family I was being asked to forget, and the father I was told never wanted me. I started kindergarten that year, shyly befriending the girl with soft brown eyes and Shirley Temple curls, and coveting the perfect life I know she led inside her department store clothes. For the first several months, my new home in New Hampshire was a teepee, my bathroom a hole in the ground, and then an outhouse made of pine.

I won’t tell you about the plants that looked like tomatoes. I won’t tell you about the man I was learning to call “Dad.” Those stories are part of the larger story of The Girl Named Truth. Instead, I’ll tell you about the five year old child with the deep blue eyes that couldn’t hide her sadness. I’ll tell you about the life she held onto.

There is one picture in the folder saved from my mother that fills me with joy. A picture that became a piece of a puzzle that is helping me to remember one of my favorite, empowered past lives. When we are young children, before we completely absorb ourselves in our new life, we often retain memories of our past lives. In the picture I drew, there appears a happy child with pigtails, wearing a wide red smile over a dress bursting with color. Above my crayoned-self, I wrote the words, “Alethea I was a Gypsy.”

I used to have a bright red fabric hat inlaid with embroidered mirrors threaded in the colors of the rainbow. Some days, when I found myself alone, I would don that magical hat and dance inside another world. A world where I was happy and free.

Thankfully, this life has never left me. Growing up I would cling to memories that were like beautifully painted landscapes vivid in their colors and the peace they remembered. As I grew older, so did that gypsy girl. She became a woman with rippling waves of hair secured loosely with a silk scarf. The dresses she wore lengthened and filled the space around her legs as she danced in her world of beauty and light. Always she would appear, a brief flash of brilliance, filling me with joy, in a moment of need. Reminding me that she was still there, living inside of me.

Only recently I realized I was her. A few months ago I did a past life regression during a psychic class. Before I regressed, I pleaded with sprit to bring me a happy life. I didn’t want another life of repression mirrored back to me, even though I knew those were the ones needing to be healed. When I closed my eyes and breathed into meditation, I found myself inside a temple shaped like a pyramid. I was, I realized with gratitude, a woman (many of my painful past lives have been as a man). And, I was a gypsy. On top of my long hair appeared a white scarf, and my body was draped with a flowing dress.  I was dancing, as a part of a circle of women. Feelings of joy and love filled my heart. I didn’t want to leave.


When I was a young child, after my mother and stepfather moved us from Oregon to NH, we had an outhouse. In back of the outhouse there was a stream, and beside the stream, tucked in amid the ferns, were white sheetrock buckets holding leafy green plants. The plants were a secret. One of many. They looked like tomatoes, but they were not.

At ten past five this morning the phone rang and I was pulled out of a deep sleep to listen to an automated message informing me that my children’s school had been canceled for the day.  After I cursed the superintendent, my mind began the replay of my dreams. In the first scene, I saw myself standing in a room with my mother and stepfather. My stepfather loomed in front of me, my mother was in the shadows to my right. It was Christmas and my stepfather held before me the partial skeleton of a quilt. Triangular patches of scrap fabric had been sew together (presumably by my mother), but the shape of the quilt was just taking form. It was his gift to me. “Take it,” he told me, “I want you to finish it.” As he spoke my stepfather pointed to bins of calicos in the colors of Christmas behind him, gesturing for me to choose the fabrics of my choice to finish the project. He was insistent, this was something he thought I should do.

I refused. I didn’t want the beginnings of a quilt that he thought I should make on my own. (My mother once helped me make a quilt for my bed, he had much to say about it while the project was occurring.)

Instead, I stood before my stepfather and started to talk. The first words that came from my mouth were muffled and strained, as though I were trying to talk through a clot or a windstorm. There was no strength to my words. But, as I spoke, my voice became strong and clear. “I don’t want the quilt,” I told my stepfather, “Instead, I have something I want you to hear.”

I told my stepfather that for Christmas I had given my birthfather back his name (I did, in fact, give this “gift” to my birthfather this past Christmas). The name my stepfather had taken from him. “Dad.” As I spoke, my heart was racing my words and winning in its mad sprint. I tried to look past the mix of anger and hurt in my stepfather’s face, not willing to allow my voice to stop inside my throat. “I can call two people Dad,” I told him, “There are no rules that say you can’t do that.” I argued my defense to a mute audience, listing the reasons why I should not be denied the right to have and love two fathers. I didn’t stop until I had emptied my body of the words I had been holding inside.

The scene changed and I was standing in another building, a public building with many people, talking to a couple with a child in a stroller. My mother and stepfather were behind me and we asked about the child, a girl with long light brown hair hunched within her too small seat. There was an aura of gloom around the child, a sadness so deep the air around her was heavy, gray.

“How is she,” we wanted to know. The girl lifted her head slightly as her parents spoke of how she was recovering from the depression that had filled her after she had been to Oregon for a visit. They told us that now that she was back she was beginning to improve. As her parents spoke, my heart reached for the girl. This seven year old child with long brown hair, whose too large body sunk into her stroller, needed me. I knew the source of her sorrow. In my mind I saw her standing on the sand beside the rocky gray waters of the Pacific. I felt her open her mouth to a scream whose sound was immediately swallowed by the greedy mouth of the wind. I felt her body absorb the violence of the swirling air as though it were my own. I knew I could help her.  I would teach her how to recover her muted voice.