Kingston Penitentiary: Canada’s Alcatraz – MY TOUR

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Tours through Kingston Penitentiary offer a unique opportunity to go behind the walls of Canada’s oldest and most notorious maximum security prison. Its doors closed in 2013. And now offers guided tours which provide an up-close look at this historical building which predates Canadian confederation.

The first time we went to Kingston in 2013, the Pen was still operating as a maximum security prison.

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After some 182 years, I finally got to take a semi-private tour of the formidable Kingston Penitentiary, once home to some of Canada’s worst criminals.

Canada’s Penitentiary Museum

I decided to tour Canada’s Penitentiary Museum located directly across from Kingston Pen.  I was happy that I did as the museum explains the history of Kingston Penitentiary and other correctional centres using displays that incorporate artifacts, photographs, equipment, and replicas. The museum also houses most of the institution’s historical records as well as those of other Canadian penitentiaries, and provides the only penitentiary research service in Canada.

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The museum is located in “Cedarhedge”, the former Warden’s residence of Kingston Penitentiary that was constructed between 1870 and 1873.

“The box” — the notorious upright coffin in which inmates were sealed for hours at a time as punishment.  Imagine being confined to this coffin like form of punishment for up to 9 hours?

Below are typical “shivs” or “shanks” which are frequently found in prisons.  These items are illegally manufactured by inmates using materials found in trade shops.  I am not going to lie, I was a bit impressed with their ingenuity.

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Shivs and Shanks collected from Millhaven Maximum Security over a 4 year period!

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I hate to say it, but this was a creatively brilliant escape.

Mugshot chair from Stoneybrook Institution in Winnipeg, MB.  Mug Shots were first introduced in 1906.  Inmates would place the back of their heads again the round ball.  This was necessary for a usable photo to be taken, given it took longer in those days as the camera exposure was quite long.

Kingston Penitentiary

Kingston Penitentiary (known as KP or Kingston Pen) is a former maximum security prison located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, between King Street West and Lake Ontario.
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For nearly 180 years, Canada’s most vicious called Kingston Penitentiary home.

There were killers, thieves, rapists and drug dealers, and headline-grabbing names, such as The Scarborough Rapist and murderer Paul Bernardo, former colonel Russell Williams, Clifford Olson, the child-killing “Beast of British Columbia”, Wayne Boden: The “Vampire Rapist”, Tim Buck: The general secretary of the Communist Party of Canada was convicted of Communist agitation in 1931. Edwin Boyd: The Toronto bank robber and folk hero was jailed in the 1950s. His story inspired the 2011 movie “Citizen Gangster.”  Thousands served here. The youngest? An 8-year-old 19th-century bread thief.

KP was constructed in 1833–34.  It opened its doors on June 1, 1835 — 32 years before Canadian Confederation, as the “Provincial Penitentiary of the Province of Upper Canada”, it was one of the oldest prisons in continuous use in the world at the time of its closure in 2013.  It didn’t become known as Kingston Penitentiary, or KP, until after Confederation in 1867.

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Photo: The penitentiary’s carved stone walls and neoclassical-inspired design.  It’s design was heavily influenced by the system in place in Auburn New York at a the time.

Six inmates were accepted when the penitentiary was initially opened. When the first convicts arrived from Toronto in 1835 to serve their time, the new prison was not yet open for business; the inmates had to be held at the county jail for five days.

The original rules for inmates stated that inmates “must not exchange a word with one another under any pretence whatever” and “must not exchange looks, wink, laugh, nod or gesticulate to each other,” with violators receiving the lash.  They were literally not allowed to talk all day.  It was thought that if they were silent and had time to think of their wrongdoings they would recover and would not reorient once they were released.  This just did the opposite, it drove the inmates mad!

Our young guide, shepherds us through the gutted prison. At nearly every turn, a retired guard tells us stories from the facility’s past.

We pass by Private Family Visitation Units: a small row of semi-detached cottages (conjugals) with yards where model prisoners could have barbecues with their kids and catch up with their lovers.

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Nearby, there’s a sewer grate where guards would dump confiscated homebrew.

In 1859 – 1861 the centre dome was added connecting all four cell ranges.  The facility consisted of a single, large limestone cellblock containing 154 cells in 5 tiers and some outbuildings.

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Photo: Guard house under main dome connecting the four cellblock buildings

Below, Vern Thibodeau, a former corrections officer (guard) at KP takes part in our tour telling us about centre block and the infamous “bell” that directed each of the inmates movements throughout the day.  They apparently HATED that bell and it was the first thing to be destroyed during the 1971 riot.

Vern tells us about the three prison riots. The worst, which occurred in 1971, saw six guards held hostage and two inmate deaths over four harrowing days. Several parts of the prison were so badly damaged in the riot that they never reopened as a cell block.

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Photo: Mail boxes 📦 in the centre block, so they could mail money home, request counselling, ask for school supplies, request a hair cut or file a grievance

We moved onto Range 2G1 (they call cell blocks ranges).  This was a general population wing.  There were two levels to each range and 1 guard area in each section.

The cells originally ONLY measured 29 inches wide by 8 ft deep!  Imagine that, not even the width of a standard sized stove!  The cells remained the same small size until the first major renovations between 1895 and 1906.  Most of the cells have been stripped, but several inmates left their belongings when there were transferred to Millhaven.

The HOLE – solitary confinement – the prison’s dissociation unit.  This is where the they housed inmates for their own protection against the general population or to keep them away from from other inmates because they are deemed dangerous.  The cells in the unit were larger and private. And unlike normal cells, they had windows and air conditioning, because they were confined to their cells 23 hours per day, only allowed yard use for 1 hour.  Their ‘yard’ is not with the general pop yard, they have a very small concrete only area located inside their range.  In case you’re curious, Paul Bernardo’s cell was #4 – I don’t think any Canadian is surprised that he’s in solitary confinement for his own protection.

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General population yard – south guard tower in the far left corner.  At the back right, there is a basketball area/nets.  They did have access to weights, but they were eventually removed due to safety concerns.

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This is also where Tyrone “Ty” escaped KP.  Conn was 32 years old, serving a 47-year prison sentence at maximum-security Kingston Penitentiary when he staged a spectacular escape on May 7, 1999.

His cunning, patience and ingenuity, coupled with a series of stunning security failures, made the breakout from the Bighouse possible. Conn was the first prisoner to make it over the wall of Kingston Pen in 41 years. He scampered over the east wall sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., strapping and grappling hook he fashioned from a piece of steel rebar.

He made a dummy to act as himself. The crude apparatus was constructed the night before the escape. A shoebox served as torso and paper towel rolls served as an arm and leg.

There was no head.

The limbs and torso were wrapped in towels and hockey pads were placed at the joints.

The dummy was dressed in a T-shirt and track pants. It was positioned in his bunk so that seen from outside the cell, part of the torso and a bent knee and elbow were visible.

The head of the ‘person’ on the bunk wasn’t visible because Conn began using a headboard on his bed several weeks earlier. A guard passing his cell could not see his head.

For weeks, Conn began lying on his bunk in the same position that the dummy would later assume.

The nearest guard tower (the one in this photo at the back of the Yard), a squat observation post at the southeast corner of the prison, had been empty since 11 p.m. the night before. Had a guard been on duty, he or she likely would have had a clear view of the escape in progress, and, armed with a rifle, would have been equipped to stop it. The tower had been unstaffed on the overnight shift for several years, a victim of management budget cuts, despite the protests of prison staff.

After the escape, prison managers reinstated 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week staffing of four perimeter watch towers at Kingston Pen.

Conn’s escape also was successful because two inmate accomplices on his cellblock spent the evening of May 6 moving a dummy in and out of his cell bunk before regular head counts. At the time, Conn was hidden in a canvas shop, assembling his escape gear. The dummy wasn’t discovered until after 7 a.m., when a search of the prison was ordered after a staff member arriving for work noticed the canvas strapping dangling from the outside of the east wall.

Ty Conn’s breakout was embarrassing for senior Corrections officials, who deserved much of the blame for fostering a culture at Kingston Pen that made the escape possible, front-line staff say. The internal inquiry into Conn’s escape and the resulting report documents dozens of security failures at the prison. Many prison workers insist that the final report was a whitewash, meant to protect prison managers and senior Corrections staff. It chronicles the genius of Conn’s escape plot. It does not address one lingering question – who helped him? Police who investigated the escape are nearly certain that an accomplice in a car was waiting outside the prison in a nearby neighbourhood to spirit Conn quickly out of Kingston. That person has never been identified.

“It appears that he ran toward Alwington Place, ripped open an envelope and spread cayenne pepper to throw off the dogs,” Labrash says.

The car may have been parked in the Alwington neighbourhood just east of the prison or perhaps as far east as the Tett complex, adjacent to the prison service’s regional headquarters.

Labrash says there was evidence that Conn ran east along the waterfront to his rendezvous.

The Regional Treatment Centre (RCT) was an independently run facility providing in-house mental health and services to the Ontario regional population.

Work Shop Building – there was a mattress area, a carpentry shop, a fabrication area, tailoring, shoemaking and a metal shop/blacksmithing and right up the stairs – a school. Inmates were paid $5.00 per day to go to school. Which was a relatively high wage. The max an inmate could earn was $6.90 a day. They were able to use his money for canteen items. The higher wage than other work ships was to promote education upon release.

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Photo: Inside the prison, other men worked in various trades.

 

What the Dickens?

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 2.17.12 AM.pngCharles Dickens visited Kingston and the penitentiary in 1842, and wrote in his American Notes for General Circulation, “There is an admirable jail here, well and wisely governed, and excellently regulated, in every respect.” He went on: “Here at Kingston is a penitentiary, intelligently and humanely run.” Apparently he wasn’t privy to the brutal conditions prisoners actually endured then. Eight-year-old Antoine Beauche, for instance, was lashed 47 times in nine months for breaking in-house rules that included staring, laughing, whistling, giggling and idling.

Heamingway Visits KP

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 2.21.06 AM.pngOn September 11, 1923, on his first day as a reporter with the Toronto Daily Star (now the Toronto Star), 24-year-old Ernest Hemingway was sent to KP to cover a dramatic jailbreak that occurred the day before. His 2,6000-word report detailed the daring escape of five inmates, including burglar Norman “Red” Ryan.  Ryan was caught almost a year later while picking up his mail in Minneapolis. He was sent back to Kingston to face 30 lashings and life in prison.

KP Closes Its Doors

Citing aging infrastructure and rising maintenance costs, the federal Government closed KP’s doors in 2013 after 178 years.  Inmates were transferred to Millhaven Maximum Security down the way in Bath, Ontario.  

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Namaste

T xo


 

Monster Hunt: My Search for the Manipogo Monster

A pseudoscience. The study of and search for animals and especially legendary animals usually in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence

I’ve always been intrigued with folkloric creatures like Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Chupacabra, Abominable Snowman, Kraken, Sea Serpents, The Mothman, Thunderbirds and Jersey Devil, just to name a few.

Today I am an acting cryptozoologist!  I’ve watched show, after documentary, after movie on these interestingly mythical creatures.  It’s safe to say that I have more than a passing interest in these folkloric, mystical, unusual and surreal beings.

We live in an ideal location, nestled between the Riding Mountains and the Duck Mountains.  We are also surrounded by plenty of lakes, most notably Lakes Manitoba, Winnipeg and Winnipegosis.

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Loch Ness isn’t the only lake with a reputation for a Monster. In North America many large, deep, cold water lakes have stories about sea monsters. These lakes were formed over ten thousand years ago, during the last ice age.

In Canadian folklore, Manipogo is the lake monster said to live in Lake Manitoba.

Today, in search of this elusive sea creature I decided to head out to Manipogo Provincial Park (aptly named after the sea creature).

Lake Manitoba is Canada’s thirteenth largest lake at 4,624 km2 and the world’s 33rd largest freshwater lake. There is also a Lake Winnipegosis sea monster called Winnepogo, though thought to be the same creature as the lakes are connected. Manipogo is said to travel through inner-channel rivers between lakes Winnipeg, Winnipegosis and Manitoba.

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One of the most well-known sightings of Manipogo dates back to August of 1962.  Two sport fishermen: Dick Vincent of KCND Television (now Global) and his television colleague, John Konefell, spotted a serpent-like creature about 300 metres from their boat. It was around 4:00 P.M. when the two men began heading back to their camp, suddenly they came along a thin animal, its body bobbing up and down as it advanced. Vincent grabbed his camera and took three pictures of it.  They watched for about 5 minutes before the creature dove back down below the surface. They were able to take a blurred photograph (photo above). In subsequent years, Vincent denied that he saw Manipogo, and claimed to have just seen “something in the lake”.

Since the late 1800s, people have claimed to see the creature, but no conclusive evidence of the monster’s existence has ever been found.  The local native population has legends of serpent-like creatures in Lake Manitoba dating back hundreds of years.

Today I explore the lake, maybe I can finally prove the legend of Manipogo, Lake Manitoba’s serpentine sea monster!  *I don’t actually expect to see a creature*


Departure

And I’m off, on my way to Manipogo Provincial Park in Toutes Aides, Manitoba – distance 101 kms, 1h 10 mins away.

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I’ve arrived!  Let the monster searching begin … I’m coming for you Mani!

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The Stats:

� Classification: Lake Monster
� Size: Reports indicate between 12 – 50 feet in length
� Weight: Unknown
� Diet: Unknown
� Location: Lake Manitoba, however similar reports have come from near by lakes
� Movement: Swimming
� Environment: Glacier Lake

General Description:

According to research we’re looking for a creature that fits this general description (I’ve culminated descriptions of the documented sightings):

  • Muddy coloured creature that has many humpsScreen Shot 2017-06-08 at 12.53.58 AM
  • Has a sheep-like head
  • Anywhere from 12 feet to 50 feet long
  • On its head has a single horn, its head is small and flat – looks very much like a dinosaur.
  • Giant serpent-like creature; large creature like a serpent or giant snake; reptile-like beast

Not To Be confused With:

  • A floating log
  • A large surgeon
  • A wave
  • Boat wake
  • A river otter
  • A beaver

The Search

Since the majority of Manipogo sightings happen around Toutes Aides, the Manitoba government decided to aptly name the area’s provincial park after the mythical beast.  The park sits on the far north-western shore of Lake Manitoba, close to where the lake almost meets Lake Winnipegosis.  I explored the lake, in the hopes that I may have been able to confirm the legend of Manipogo. 

It was an absolutely beauty of a day out, sunny, 27°, a little bit of a breeze.  My search didn’t include on water searches,  we searched from ashore and waded into up to about just over my knees.

The beach wasn’t overly packed for a Canada Day long weekend.  There were families playing in the public beach area at the East bay area.  Since we had my dog Ellie with us, we set up at the dog beach area, on the north bay area of the lake.

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Photos: Taken of the Northwest shore of Lake Manitoba

Conclusion

We stayed for about 3.5 hours.  Unfortunately we had no such luck on our search for Manipogo today, perhaps next time?  In all honesty, I had no expectation of running into Mani but it was a fun day nonetheless.  For now the only sighting I’m going to see is of this artist rendering …

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Sketch by Louis Bretecher, who saw the creature in the 50’s when he was about 18.

Although there are believers who have no doubt in their minds that something lives in the depths of Lake Manitoba. Skeptics like to remind us that these lakes are known for large sturgeon which can grow up to 2.5 metres, weigh over 140 kg and can live for over 150 years (average life span is 50 to 80 years).

I’d love to travel to Scotland to Loch Ness, since I had no luck with Mani, maybe I’d have some with Nessie OR maybe Ogopogo?!?!?


 
 
 
 
 

 

Recipe: ‘Shake’ Off That Summer Heat: EASY Homemade Vanilla Coffee Protein Shake

This iced coffee recipe is super easy to make and is loaded up with protein, so you’re getting your caffeine boost and protein all in one. My version uses vanilla-flavored protein powder and has a fairly strong coffee flavour.

Gather Your Ingredients

(makes 1 serving)

  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup chilled strong-brewed coffee (using the cold-brew method, or simply prepare a strong cup of coffee ahead of time and refrigerate)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used Almond Milk)

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Product Information 

Creamy French Vanilla Isagenix Isalean Shake: Low-glycemic shake with energy-fueling carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins and minerals, and 24 grams of high-quality protein.

  • Superior branched-chain amino acid profile
  • Active enzymes to help ease digestion
  • Essential trace minerals
  • Natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners
  • No trans fat

Isagenix Premium Blend Coffee:  Infused with Minerals, Green Tea Extract & Coconut Oil.  Slow roasted.  Fairly traded.  100% Arabica Coffee.  Green tea extract, coconut oil and minerals are added to improve both the quality and flavour. The green tea complements the coffee’s natural antioxidant powers, while trace minerals offset acidity and the coconut oil adds a pleasant, buttery finish.

Directions

Simply combine all ingredients in a blender (I used a  Nutri Bullet) for about 30-40 seconds or until all ingredients are blended.

If a thicker consistency is desired, simply add more ice.

Serve immediately.

ENJOY!

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Namaste

T xo


 

 

Messages from Beyond: How My Dad Connects With Me

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Do you believe in the after life?

Do you believe that your loved ones have a way of communicating with you after they’ve crossed?

Has One of These Ever Happened to You?

  • Have you ever come across a random dime in the oddest of places?
  • Has a song ever come on the radio at the exact moment that you were thinking of that loved one?
  • Have you smelt your loved one’s fragrance?
  • Have they ever visited you in a dream?

Those and more, are signs that Spirit is trying to communicate with you from the other side.

The afterlife is the concept of a world, or the world itself (whether physical or transcendental), in which an essential part of an individual’s identity or consciousness continues to exist after the death of the body.

I’ve never been really sure how I felt about the afterlife and of Spirit visiting after they’d passed but this all changed after I suddenly loss my dad in November of 2014. He was 60 years old, had just retired and had spent the morning at home doing some puttering around, ate lunch and died of cardiac arrhythmia on his kitchen floor all before approx 11:45 AM.  That is literally how your life can change on a dime!

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Bottom:  Dad, Uncle Ralph.  Middle:  Uncle Kenny.  Top:  Uncle Serge

Losing a loved one is never easy.  Until my dad passed I had been pretty fortunate that I had never lost anyone that close to me before (I’d lost a few friends, grand parents and my daughter’s Godfather) but no one whose loss would crush and devastate me.  Losing a loved one is hard.  Losing them without warning harder.  Actually, in all honesty, I don’t know if it’s better or worse to lose someone with notice (i.e. being ill and watching them deteriorate) or losing them in one fell swoop.  This I can tell you for sure, if they pass suddenly – you don’t have any final words.  No final I love You’s,  no final good byes, no final it’s going to be ok’s.  They’re just gone.

I tried so hard after dad died to understand what happened.  How a seemingly fit, active man for his age, passed all of a sudden.  I felt guilt over not taking his last call to me.  And, I had so many questions:  Why didn’t you go to the doctor more often?  Were you in pain?  Did you cross quickly?  Are you ok?  And most of all – Where are you?  Why can’t I feel you near me?  

Callous hands told the story
For this small town Southern Northern man
He gave it all to keep it all together
And keep his family on his land
Like his daddy, years wore out his body
Made it hard just to walk and stand
You can break the back
But you can’t break the spirit
Of a small town Southern Northern man

He was always proud of what he had
He said his greatest contribution
Is the ones you leave behind
Raised on the ways and gentle kindness
Of a small town Southern Northern man

Finally death came callin’
For this small town Southern Northern man
He said it’s alright ’cause I see angels
And they got me by the hand
Don’t you cry, and don’t you worry
I’m blessed, and I know I am
‘Cause God has a place in Heaven
For a small town Southern Northern man

~ Alan Jackson  – Small Town Southern Man

TLC’s The Long Island Medium was coming to my hometown in the Winter of ’15, just 3 months after my dad had passed.   I decided to go with a few ladies from high school.  I knew it was a long shot, there was no way that Theresa Caputo was going to sense my father’s presence in a crowd of 7,000+. Even if hearing from my dad wasn’t a real possibility, I thought I could still benefit from seeing her live and in person.  I was right.  Firstly, more than just watching her show on TV, I saw in real time, in real life how she was connecting people to Spirit.  The stories I heard were mind blowing and these people received such peace in hearing from their loved ones.  I now had even more faith in the afterlife and in connecting with those who have crossed over.  The other thing I learned from Theresa is that Spirit is always giving you signs that they are around you, you just need to pay attention.

So I did, I started being more mindful and I started feeling his presence from time to time, just saying “Hi, I’m here”.  Through dreams, feeling sensations or simply hearing a meaningful song on the radio, your deceased loved ones attempt to connect with you after their passing.  

For me, I started finding random dimes everywhere.  Not nickels, pennies or quarters.  Dimes – ONLY dimes!  It became a regular occurrence. When I would go to get in my SUV, I would frequently look down to find a dime on the ground at my feet (either inside or outside).  I would be cutting the grass and find a dime on the lawn! I found a random dime at a hardware store on a shelf.  I would be standing at a store checkout and look down to find a dime lying there. Of course you would expect to find change on the floor in a grocery store checkout line, but it was never a quarter, nickel, or penny. It was always a dime!  It got to the point where I just expected them to show up wherever I went. I was actually disappointed when I would go for a day or two without finding one.  I would pick them up and pocket them and go on.  Then, I started to think it was not just a coincidence.   I finally decided to look on the internet to see if there was any answer to the question, “Why do I keep finding dimes?” I found dozens of stories of people that have shared my experience. Dimes are left as a means of communication, telling you that you are being watched over. Someone from beyond is letting you know that you are not alone and everything is going to be alright.  It’s called “Dimes from Heaven”. So that’s one way that dad is communicating with me.  I have pictures of each dime I’ve found over the last year in random spots.  Below are a few.

The other way I noticed dad communicating with me was through music.  Musical signs can come in the form of a meaningful song being played in your head or a song being played on the radio at an opportune time that is very meaningful to you or their song Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 1.36.00 PMcoming on.  The very first instance I recognized that dad was trying to communicate with me was about 3 weeks after his funeral.  I was at home and I was cleaning up.  The flowers from his service had wilted and dried and yet I felt a bit guilty having to throw them out.  I took the dove and the embossed sign written with “DAD” and decided I was going to add it to the Christmas tree so he could be there with us in Spirit, if not in person.  The radio was on, and I cried as I took apart the arrangement and as I walked to add the white dove and the DAD sign to the tree George Straight’s song A Father’s Love” comes on the radio ….

 ” …. Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, amen.” ~ George Straight

I bawled harder than I already was and knew right then and there, that was no coincidence.  Dad was telling me it he was there and it was going to be ok.

I thought about seeing a Medium, but unless they were personally referred to me I was skeptical (not of mediumship but rather of their skillset) and didn’t want to waste my money.  All the while I continued to watch shows on psychic mediums and the paranormal.  I found it interesting even before my dad passed.  Back in the day I loved John Edward – he had a show called Crossing Over with John Edward and Sylvia Browne after seeing her on The Montel Williams Show years ago and the newest one Tyler Henry, his TV show Hollywood Medium is terrific!  One of my personal favourites is Carmel Baird, she’s a Canadian Psychic Medium who has a show on CMT called Mom’s a Medium.  I followed Carmel’s website and had enrolled for regular updates, but, didn’t pursue it any further (to be honest I couldn’t afford her rate and she has an insanely long waiting list).

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Now, I’ve always been an believer in fate and serendipity and that things happen for a reason, even if they aren’t immediately clear.  I woke up in March of 2016.  I decided to take a bath before getting my day started and while in the tub decided to go through my emails to clear a bunch out. There was an email from Carmel re: “Sunday with Spirit”.  That day was a Sunday and that day FELT like the right day (I can’t explain it, it just did).  So I clicked the enrol link to see if there were any spots available, there was!  I was in.  It started in an hour, so I rushed to set up my laptop to joint the webinar.

Prior to logging in I sat there with my youngest daughter and talked to dad – I told him that I needed to hear from him today, that it had been too long and I wanted to hear from him and get answers and know that he is ok.  My dad is also a kind of impatient man, lol, he doesn’t do lineups, crowds or traffic.  He’s also the kind of person who doesn’t like the limelight, he prefers to be in the background rather the forefront so I told him that I knew it would be a stretch for him to come through but that I really needed to hear from him today and to please do everything that he could to come through for us.  Then we logged in.

I love Carmel, I love her personality, her demeanour, the way she connects with people and her family is a bit quirky – much like mine.  When she first came on, she introduced herself, how she operated with connecting and talked about the different types of things she could assist you with – it wasn’t just to connect with people who have crossed over.  She could give you guidance on relationships, your health, your career.  I, of course, like most others wanted to connect with someone on the other side.

Everyone enrolled in the webinar’s name was put into a large wooden bowl where she or her assistant selected the name of the lucky ones!  The first reading was interesting, we all got to listen to it and watch Carmel speak with this lovely lady.  If you’ve never been on a webinar before, everyone can see the host but you can only hear the other person and active comments run down the side or bottom of the webinar so others can engage.  It was time for the second reading.  They stirred up the names in the bowl and Carmel had her assistant pull the next name … it was MINE!  I almost lost my mind!  He did it!  Dad came though!  I would get to speak with him, finally!

She connected through to me and unmated my mic and we got started.  She prefaces the call by asking me not to give her details, just to validate facts as they are presented to her.

My Sunday With Spirit Connection with Dad

She says that there is a male Spirit who comes through immediately who has crossed who wants to wants to make a connection.

He says that he was too young to pass and asks if I agree with that, I say yes.  She asks if dad passed quickly or suddenly.  I answer suddenly.  He tells her that even though he passed quickly or suddenly that it had something to do with his health.   I answer yes.  He says to tell me to stop being mad at him for not going to the doctor more often.  He says that there are people mad at him because he didn’t go and get proper health check ups and that he should have gone to the doctor more often.  This is 1000% accurate, I have often wondered this and talked to family members about this.

She asks if he worked with his hands, because he was showing her his hands and they were dirty, he says “I work with these” .  Factual, dad was a mechanic/millwright in a pulp and paper mill.

She asks if he wore a hat all of the time – absolutely, he was seldom without a ball cap on his noggin’ (see feature photo). He says you’ll know it’s me because I have my hat on in Heaven”.  He acknowledges that I have a jacket and a shirt of his that I wear.  I do have two of his jackets, a pair of shorts and a t-shirt of his.

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Photo:  Me wearing one of dad’s jackets

She asks if dad really liked hockey – the obvious answer is resounding yes, my dad loved hockey!  He was a loyal Leafs fan and loved his local Temisacaming Titans team.  He even billeted a few players.  He tells her that he’s watching hockey all day long in Heaven.  I ask if the Leafs win the Cup in his World – she laughs and says yes (well at least they win in some world lol).

She asks if someone has a tattoo for him – I say it’s me, on my arm. He says for her to tell me “I see the memorial tattoo and this makes me really happy”  He wants you to know that, she says.

I will not miss anything,  I will be at all of these events”.  

She asks whose birthday is in the month of May.  I answer “my brother’s”.  She says that dad is saying “happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday” and he asks her to draw balloons for him – she does and shows them on screen so everyone can see them.

He also says “I speak to you through the music, do you hear me through the music, do you know that I am there”?  I of course say yes, as this has happened to me many occasions.  He says that he also sends me eagles, owls and big birds.

She asks if he drove a pick up truck (my dad always drove pick ups).  She says that dad had a really big ego and that wasn’t able to say all of the things that he needed to say while he was alive but now that he is on the other side he is able to say I love you and he’s able to say the things he had a hard time saying with while he was alive.

He says “I wasn’t in any pain, I went to the light very easily and that you don’t need to worry about me, I’m ok”.  What a relief, I’m glad to hear that, dad.

He says to tell my little brother that “I love you and I’m with you and that I’m around you all of the time”

He wants “everyone in the family to know that I am there for them”.

She asks if we have a pit bull or a bulldog (we do, Nash a Levitt Olde English Bulldogge).  He says to tell me that Nash can see him and knows when he’s around.

He ends with “I love you and I’ll always be there for you”, and with that, my 10 minutes with dad via Carmel is over.  But, I take solace in the fact that he is always around me, that he sends me messages of love and support even if he isn’t here in the physical form.  I voice noted the entire call with Carmel, and every so often when I feel I need his presence, I play it.

Just last week, a very poignant sign came from dad, keeping his word that he will not miss any events.  My eldest graduated from University – we were going back to her place after breakfast so that she could get ready.  On the radio comes THE song that my kids most associate with their Pappa – Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton.  This is not a radio song, I have never just heard it on the radio, but, as we were scanning for a tune to listen to on the way home – it came on the radio, the day of her graduation from University, a milestone of a day.  Her Pappa was telling her, I’m here Cassandra, I see you and I’m proud of you!

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Photo: Yes, I actually took a picture of the radio n the car as the song was on.

When your loved ones cross-over into Spirit, they are just as eager to get your attention as you are to get theirs. Countless times, they are attempting to send you signs.  Pay attention 🙏🏻