My sister Joanne died 21 years ago – she would have been 52 today.
Life was not easy for Jo; she was born with a congenital heart condition and was labelled “mentally handicapped”. Eventually that label was softened and it was deemed that she had “learning disabilities”. She had amazing abilities actually - they were just different to what the powers that be decided she should be good at...She had the most incredible memory, photographic really and could remember every tiny detail from years ago and when I say every detail, I mean everything...Dates, times, names, what we were wearing, what we all ate and drank. She was also a living encyclopaedia when it came to music, TV shows and films – it never ceased to blow our minds and provided hours of entertainment for my brother and I when we were kids. She was always right too, which bugged us.
Jo also talked to dead people and had a very sharp sixth sense, it freaked me out on several occasions when we were sharing a bedroom to wake in the night and find her in conversations with dead relatives – I couldn’t see them, but she would describe everything about them and I never doubted her for one moment.
Unfortunately, Jo spent the majority of her life being used by the NHS as a drug tester (this is or at least was probably a common thing for children and adults with learning disabilities to be used in drug trials). I pleaded with my mum a few times to put a stop to it, but it continued and she died in 2000. At the time of her death she was on a cocktail of drugs including a new epilepsy drug, a contraceptive pill and all sorts of heart medication. She wasn’t in a relationship and didn’t have epilepsy, but after collapsing and being rushed into hospital, we were told that she’d had a seizure. The medical staff didn’t do anything, no examination, nothing and for several days Jo lay unconscious while I argued that she didn’t have epilepsy and tried to convince them that they need to do something, because it seemed as far as they were concerned - she wasn’t worth saving. It took me a week of making a nuisance of myself before they agreed to scan her. Low and behold, she had had a brain haemorrhage and because she had been left so long – the damage was irreversible. It is with no doubt in my mind that Jo died from the constant cocktail of drugs pumped into her. She had 2 years free from the drug merry-go-round when she went off to residential college and she was so well, happy and learning to live independently - her biggest mistake was to return home. Living with my mum was not a healthy environment for her to be in and the drug experiments soon kicked in again. For many years I beat myself up for not intervening more, but I had my own family to think about too. Jo adored Sime and although she also loved being “Aunty Jo-Jo” to the kidlets - in her eyes they were in direct competition for our grandparents’ affection and of course, I was just the bossy big sis!
In later life Jo joined an advocacy group, giving talks about life with learning disabilities. We didn’t know anything about this until Sime and I went along to a training event put on by the family respite team and there was Jo standing in front of us all confidently talking about what it was like to live with disabilities. She was truly amazing!
Shortly after her death, we met a woman out of the blue who told us that she worked with dead people. I introduced her to my mum so they could talk about and to Jo, which they did. Needless to say, it turned out that Jo was busy in the afterlife helping people with their transition and she said that she would be coming to visit me when I’m ready...I’ve never seen her, but I have felt her presence, I see the white feathers I was told about; fall from nowhere in front of me (even indoors) and she has appeared in my dreams now and again - always at the right time.
This morning, I felt a strong urge to ask her what to write and here it is...
During this last year many people have been able to sit back and take stock, to re-imagine their lives and begin to make changes. It has been a huge learning curve for many who are not used to adapting, but for those who have managed to embrace it and turn their lives around – it probably has been a good year for personnel growth. These people have discovered how capable they are and that outside influences don’t really have any impact.
We are indeed thought-evolved beings and everything going on around us is just an illusion...created by our collective minds. There are many of us who operate in a different vibration; we have elevated ourselves through meditation and intentionally working on ourselves to bring about inner peace. We deeply care that others are suffering, but realise that everyone is on their own journey and all we can do is be here for those struggling and shine a light to the path which will lead them to their own transformation.
Did this come from Jo or my higher self? I don’t really know...perhaps I’m ready for her to visit.
Anyway, this is one of Jo’s favourite songs from when we were young – we often sang this together, even though she was only around 6 years old she would get quite emotional singing it. She was definitely an wise old soul.
Love Kay xx