THE EARLY YEARS
I grew up in the small Queensland country town of Yelarbon near the NSW border. These were happy times in the early 60’s surrounded by family and friends. In those days, television had not come to our town and I spent hours outdoors doing all the things that kids do. We shared our three week annual holiday at Southport on the Gold Coast in a caravan park with our Gran, aunt, uncle and cousins and another family we were close to. We also had an occasional holiday in southern NSW to visit my Dad’s family. So many wonderful memories were created in my early years.
When I was thirteen my parents arranged a special weekend in Brisbane before returning to Warwick where I was to attend the Convent of Mercy (now Assumption College) as a boarder. My two favorite cousins were coming too and I was so excited about the weekend and this great new adventure that was about to unfold for me.
However, life happens while we are making other plans, and on our way to Brisbane we were involved in a car accident that changed my life forever. My Dad and my nine year old cousin Trisha were killed and Mum spent the next six months in hospital. A week after the accident and still not knowing if my Mum would recover from her extensive injuries, I went off to boarding school. The nuns consoled me by saying that God only takes the best and I was truly blessed to have two new angels in heaven to look after me. At thirteen, what else could I do but move forward?
The two years flew by and I returned home to be with Mum and worked in the office of the local pub. Soon after, I met a handsome young man who soon become a major part of my life. Willie and I moved to Dalby for his work and we were married just two years after I left school. I was not yet eighteen but it was the beginning of another stage of my life.
Our beautiful baby daughter Karen was born in Dalby in 1972 and when she was nine months old, we made the enormous decision to move to Gladstone where Will had secured employment at Queensland Alumina. This was to be a one year stint, but we spent twelve wonderful years in this small industrial town which was expanding at an incredible rate.
During this time we bought our first house, and two years later, we bought a caravan to live our dream and travel Australia. However, before we left the caravan park Will bought the first of many racehorses. Our second daughter, Julie was born in 1976 and we moved into our new home when she was just a week old. By now Will was working for Telecom and fulfilling his dream of training racehorses. When Julie was two years old I began work at the new Big W and loved this new found freedom. In the early 80’s Will was involved in a serious car accident and we were told he would not survive. However, after many months in Brisbane while he received treatment we returned to Gladstone and began to rebuild our lives. Having suffered extensive head injuries this was a long and trying process for all of us.
In 1983 we chose another major life change when we decided to leave Gladstone and move to Will’s uncles farm near Moonie, the small town famous for it’s oil reserves. I loved the three years we were here and even though the farm was fairly isolated I loved the country lifestyle and the great spirit of this little community. The girls attended the local school before Karen went to boarding school in Toowoomba. Due to family circumstances we moved to Munda, a property east of Goondiwindi. This took us “home” and only about twenty kilometres from my then aging mother.
We spent eight years on Munda and during his time the girls finished school and began their adult lives and careers. Karen married the boy across the road and Julie eventually moved to Toowoomba. The first few years were good times for us all but then the health of my Mum and my step father began to deteriorate. The drought really compounded our financial situation and I returned to work full time.
With work, family and ill and aging parents who were constantly in and out of hospital, my life over the next four years became a constant merry go round and because of the circumstances our marriage deteriorated. Although we were together we led busy, but very separate lives. My step father passed away followed by Mum just four months later. Will and I talked about separating but decided that now the parental influence was no longer there we should try to rebuild our relationship. So we began this process and started planning for our bright new future together.
Three months later I had a chance to go to Toowoomba to meet the girls for a day at the huge Mother’s Day Home Show. I arrived to find Julie waiting at the entrance for me and she had obviously been crying. She said we had to find Karen so she could explain but before we found Karen I made her stop and tell me why she was so upset. “Dad had a heart attack and died but he’s been revived and they are taking him to Brisbane”. I took that as good news. He was at the hospital so he would be ok. We found Karen and when I asked how Will was, I knew by her face what her answer was going to be. “He’s gone”. “Gone, gone to Brisbane without us”? Julie asked. “No Julie, he’s gone, he’s dead”. Our world just exploded with that statement. How could this be? He was fit, healthy and happy and he was only 48 years old.
THE NEXT PHASE
So, with Will’s passing I began yet another new phase of my life. As mentioned before, life happens while you’re making other plans. I returned to Munda and threw myself into my work as my way of coping with these unexpected changes. Julie moved to Townsville with her boyfriend and I spent a lot of time with Karen and her husband. I left the farm and moved into Goondiwindi and rented a room with friends. Eighteen months later my boss informed me, “You can have a job in Rockhampton or you don’t have one at all”. Great – another ending – but it was around this time I realised that with every ending comes a brand new beginning!
I arrived in Rockhampton knowing no one but I was excited and determined to make this a wonderful new start, especially because this was the first time in my life I had ever been totally alone. I found myself a little flat and set about making it home. Seven weeks after giving my boss a two year guarantee of my employment with the company, he gave me three weeks notice because he decided to close the office in Rockhampton. This was completely unexpected and left me unemployed for a few months.
The challenges that crop up in our lives often turn out to be blessings in disguise and despite many hiccups during the four years I spent there, those years were some of the best years of my life. I had a wide circle of friends and I loved my new job with a passion. I also began dancing again. Life was great.
I chose to move again and during the fourteen months at the Sunshine Coast I became very ill. Being my age, the doctors simply dismissed it as menopause. That’s life – get used to it! By now I had a partner, and as part of my recovery plan we bought a caravan and headed off around Australia. We had two years on the road and had the best time. We travelled and did seasonal work and settled at Renmark in The Riverland of South Australia while living on our houseboat on the Murray River. How blessed was I? We met the loveliest people and had a million great experiences. However, my illness did not help the relationship and after four years together we decided to go our separate ways.
MY SPIRITUAL REAWAKENING
I returned to Goondiwindi where Karen and her husband still lived. Julie had married a few years beforehand and they moved back to Goondiwindi also. It was good to be “home” and be close to the family again. By then Karen had two little boys and Julie had a daughter and was pregnant with a baby boy on the way. Julie’s psychic abilities were well and truly reawakened which in turn caused a reawakening in Karen and I.
As I travel people often ask me what the turning point was on my spiritual journey. I had foggy recollections of unusual occurrences as a child, but I had quickly realised that one did not speak about these things. I also had a beautiful Grandmother who just “knew” things. She would share these with me, but say I was not to tell anyone or “they” would take her away and – in the mid 1960’s – she was probably right. So, I learned at an early age that with this “knowledge” came fear, but I had no doubt that there was a whole other world out there somewhere. My husband was a total non-believer so this was never discussed in our home, even when Julie, at four years of age, could “read” the news, word for word, two seconds before the newsreader. He was happy for her to pick the Lotto numbers every week though – just seconds before each ball dropped – but he stressed that he needed the numbers by luchtime!! Even at that age, she would tell him, “It don’t work like that Daddy”. But where could I go, and who did could I speak to about this in 1980? There was no easy explanation so, we just ignored it and Julie also learned not to discuss it or display her abilities.
In 2005, I fulfilled a childhood dream when I travelled to Egypt, where I encountered a lot of past life experiences and amazing connections. Karen, Julie and I had became involved in the fields of massage, reiki, bowen therapy, crystal and spiritual healing. Karen and Julie were also doing psychic readings.
But, my real turning point came in 2006 when we went to a “Girls Big Night Out” where Karen and Julie were doing readings. They wanted me to join them, but I just knew I could not do “real” readings – and especially not for “real” money!! So, that night I made the bookings and collected the money and at 2am when it was time to go home, they each had a nice little stash of cash, and all I had was a headache!!! Not good – especially considering my financial situation at that time.
A few months later we had a Mind, Body, Spirit Expo and by then I decided that I really could do readings – maybe??!! I asked Spirit for just three or four appointments with total strangers. Sure enough, ask and you shall receive. Then when the most unusual circumstances started coming through, I just trusted and went with it. Wow!! That was the day I finally accepted that I really could do this. Two years later I had enough faith in myself to give up my “real” job in Aged Care, and rely on my ability to support myself as I set off on my journey around this sunburnt country .
During that time Karen and I worked with Julie at the “Happy Thoughts Healing House” that she established in Goondiwindi in 2006. In Septemmber of the following year, and just three weeks before the launch of Julie’s first book, “Dancing with Spirit” the Healing House was destroyed by fire. And yes, we had all the usual, “wonder if they knew that was going to happen” comments!
Karen’s business sold shortly afterward and the fire really enabled each of us to follow our own particular paths. Julie has since published her first childrens book, “Gemma and the Fairies”. Karen conducts workshops on crystals and crystal healing and has set up her gemstone and jewellery internet business, “Anjewels and Gems”. Recently she opened a retail outlet – also called “Anjewels and Gems” – in Goondiwindi, where her and Julie sell crystals and do readings and healings.
Life has certainly taken me on a very interesting journey, both spiritually and now literally, doing Psychic Readings, Spiritual Awakening Workshops, Healings and retailing crystals as I travel. My motto was always to look for the sparkles in life but now I am also able to spread sparkles all over Australia as I travel.
So, finally, I have set off once again, on my around Australia trip. Maybe this time I’ll manage to fulfill the dream and actually complete the full loop. Third time lucky!!!