My good friend, Gloria, came to Oklahoma City. We met for lunch and a quick visit. During the meal, she looked up and said, “Susanne, have you ever considered looking into Native American ceremonies? My response was, “No, but I did stop by the Mescalero Apache Reservation on my way home from Ruidoso to Portales one time, and they were having a pow-wow that I saw for only a few minutes. Why do you ask?” Gloria sat back as she said that she just had a hunch that it might be good for me. We changed the subject, and I dismissed the statement.
A few weeks later, I was awakened in the early morning by a telephone call from a friend from New Mexico. We worked together in New Mexico. She was our Public Relations Director, and we were close friends. Now she was working for Eastern New Mexico University in public relations. Surprised to learn that Carolyn was in Oklahoma City at a meeting and wanting us to have dinner, I felt fun and excitement soar through my body. We always laughed lots, and she could catch me up on friends I left behind years ago. We made arrangements to meet that very evening. I pictured the evening with just Carolyn and myself visiting over a great dinner. I pulled up to the Sheraton Hotel entrance in downtown Oklahoma City and ran in to find Carolyn. She planned to meet me in the lobby. I was right on time, and there she was. However, many people were also in the lobby.
After a hug, we began to discuss. I asked, “Carolyn, did all of you just get out of a meeting?” Carolyn: “No, I invited all of these people to go to dinner with us?” I looked at her, shocked, and said, “My car only holds five, six when scrunched. She encouraged me by saying, “Some others own cars.” I then asked, “Where are we going?” Carolyn began a long explanation that I am going to shorten. She said, They all wanted to eat at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. I got a reservation for fifty for us.”. (I knew it was in the stockyards and its location, but I was still concerned.)
With Carolyn assuring me that some might even take a taxi, seven women piled into my car with two sitting on laps of the three-person backseat in and two in the passenger’s seat. Then it happened. A good-looking young Native American man that looked to be in his late 30’s opened the back door of my car, saying, “I would like to have a ride with you in this car. Is that okay?” All of the women were delighted and assured him that they could make room. I was not delighted! I said, “no.” Others were calling him and begging him to ride with them. I emphasized my position, saying, “You do not need to go with me. In fact, you cannot go with me. I already have way too many.” The women vehemently disagreed, and he slid into the car, sitting on a person’s lap. I thought, “Ugh! This is not good.” He yelled to the others that he was “supposed to go in this car.”
Well, this definitely was not what I had planned and visioned with Carolyn. Thank goodness. We made it to the restaurant. Sitting with my seat pulled as far forward as possible, and with nine people in my Thunderbird for five, we arrived with no police officer following us and all safe. I pulled up in front, telling everyone, “Here we are. You go on in, and we will join you.” The Native American told the others to go on and said, “I am going with her to park the car.” as he got into the front seat with me. I assured him that I did not need him to do that, and he needed to go on with the others. I hoped to have a few minutes to take some deep breaths before dinner with fifty people! He refused to leave me even though I explained that all I have to do is go around the corner, park, and walk back.
There was silence for a few minutes. I broke the silence by saying to him, “Obviously, these women are enamored with you. You must have been the main speaker today. Do you speak for a living?” His answer was, “Yes, what do you do?” “Well, I sell nutritional products today, but I am also a speaker. I have been thinking about taking seminars that I used to do for years in New Mexico and sharing them with businesses needing help and helping individuals with life skills. I asked one more question, “Do you like doing what you are doing?” His answer was, “Yes.” We talked as we walked. When we got to the door, he was a gentleman and opened the door for me. As he did, I looked at him and asked, “Do you practice your own traditional ceremonies?” He looked at me, surprised, and said, “As a matter of fact, I do.” I thought to myself, “Where did that come from?”
The two of us went on in. When we were shown the long table where everyone else was already sitting, we looked at the two seats left open. He looked at me and said, “Well, it looks like you are stuck with me for the evening.” We sat down. Everyone wanted to visit with him. Carolyn had people visiting with her on both sides of her. As I sat there, I pondered about how odd this evening seemed to be when my Native American rider leaned over and said, “Do you know any Native American in Oklahoma that can adopt you?” My answer was, “No, I do not.” He turned back to another person asking him a question. Carolyn and I were able to get in two minutes of visiting when he leaned over and again said, “Have you thought of anyone that can adopt you?” I replied, “No, I have not been thinking about it, but I still do not know anyone.” He looked like I really needed someone to help me and said, “You mean to tell me that you live in Oklahoma, and you do not know any full-blood Indians?” I responded, “Why do I need someone to adopt me?” He quickly said, “You have healed much, but you need more healing, and you need to go to a ceremony. To get into the ceremony, you need to be adopted.” I said, “If you knew what God has been doing with me these last three years, you would know that I do not need to be adopted. If I am to be at a ceremony, God will put me there.”
He then returned to the conversation to his right. I was on his left side, and I pulled on his left arm to regain his attention. He excused himself from the others to ask, “What is it?” Me: “Can you tell me what ceremony I need to attend to complete my healing?” He said, “The Sun Dance,” and returned to his conversation. I wondered, “Okay, is that anything like the ones we have where a person dances all night for a certain amount of money to contribute? Ha! I knew it must not be.” So in a few minutes, I tugged on his arm again. He turned to me. I said, “What is a Sun Dance?” He replied, “If your God wants you to know, you will find out.” From that time on, he did not talk to me. I listened to conversations going on around me, ate, and we all left.
I kept waking up during the night, realizing the night was so unusual that it must have been a sign. I thought about Gloria’s statement and the few words between the Native American man and me. I dressed and knew that I had to return to The Sheraton Hotel, where the meeting was being held. I intended to find him. Who was he? How did he know I had been working on healing all within my Self, and I needed this ceremony? I got there and looked for several hours, only to learn that he was already gone. Then I tried to discover his name. This was so strange because no one knew it. They were all so enamored with him the night before, but no one knew his name? Then I went around asking for a program for their three-day meeting. I felt certain that his name would be on the program. No one had a program. Because I had a meeting of my own, I had to leave. I did find Carolyn and told her what I was doing, why I came back. She said that she would find out and call me. That did not ever happen. That evening had not been about visiting with Carolyn. It was about something entirely different, and I now knew it. Apparently, I was not supposed to know that speaker’s name.
Every day I kept thinking that I needed to go to the library and research “Sun Dance,” but I worked instead. Then one day, I went to a meeting in Oklahoma City. Afterward, I went shopping and ran into Susan, John’s Susan that was with another man. We greeted, and I asked, “Where is John?” She said, “Oh, we got a divorce six months ago. I guess he is in Pauls Valley. By the way, you never did come to see our house. It is now up for sale. If you want to see our home and see if we put some of your grandmother’s home into our home when we redid it, you need to come by fast.” I replied, “Well, I am coming to Pauls Valley next weekend for a family reunion. I will come by then.” She responded, “Good, see you then.” So I left. My cousin, Judy, asked me to ride with her to the reunion. I said that I would, but explained that we had to go by John and Susan’s home afterward. She agreed.
When we drove up to the home following the reunion, Judy looked at me and said, “Surely not.” I looked at her and said, “Surely not. I cannot believe this.” Their house looked just like my grandmother’s home that had been torn down twenty years before. It was a Victorian home with a wrap-around porch. When I knocked on the door, I thought Susan would be answering, but John answered. He was surprised, and I was surprised. He gave us a tour of the house. It was the same floor plan, but we only thought the back door might have come from my grandparents’ home.
When we were about to depart, John asked me to stay. I said, “No. You have been single six months and have not telephoned. If you want a date, call.” Then he handed me a 2×3 card. On one side, he wrote, “Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.” I loved it. Then I said to him, “When you ask me out, I will say yes because I have wanted to talk to you for a long time. I wanted to finish the conversation that we began when we danced, but I knew you were married. Since you are single now, we can talk.” Then I headed out the door and down the steps to the car. When we got to the car, I put my purse inside. John asked again, “Please stay. I want to share with you a very experience. I just returned home.” Now he appealed to my curiosity. I asked, “What did you just return from?” He replied, “Sun Dance.” I reached into the car and retrieved my purse. I said, “Will you take me home before the sun goes down?” John said, “Yes.” Judy was shocked that I was going to stay, but she headed off to see friends.
So he told me all about Sun Dance over a bowl of popcorn. Then we headed to Norman. When we got there, we decided to go to “Field of Dreams.” Perfect for us to see. Then we headed to a Denny’s Restaurant and visited until right about 1 a.m. We got embarrassed for sitting there so long and decided to go across Norman to the other Denny’s on Lindsay Street and remained there talking until about 4 a.m.! We had to leave because John had to get ready for work, and so did I. That was the beginning of our relationship. That was thirty-one years ago. Excellent answers for relationships, healing of the past, and spiritual gifts continue to come right along during this time spent together.
LESSON: Pay attention to what appears and is not what is normal, to synchronicities, to signs. I might add this: What you think about, you bring about. What you talk about, you bring about. And what you think about and talk about, you become.
GIFTS: John and I finally got to talk, and we had lots to discuss. Both of us had moved through difficult times. We had each been guided to Native American ceremonies, the Vision Quest and Sun Dance, plus many more. John’s path opened up about six months ahead of me. I had a choice. I could go forward to see what this path might mean to me, or I could choose not to do so. I decided to go forward. I trusted John and knew he was definitely worth my wait for a fair and kind man.
One thought on “Spirit Speaks”
Earl and I were teaching overseas when this story happened. Your blogs, especially this one helped
me to understand yours and John’s relationship much better. Also understand your book, “When Spirit Speaks.” Just loved this blog.