A few weeks before school started, I got a rather cryptic text message from a dear friend.  It had a phone number in it and said, “This is my friend Jeff’s number.  I’ve known him since kindergarten.  He might have a wonderful gift for you.”  I was confused by the vagueness of this message, but knowing that my friend would never do anything to hurt me put me at ease.  So I called the number and left a message…”Uh, hi.  My name is Jacki and my friend *** told me I should call you.  This is kind of weird, since I’m not even sure what I’m calling about.”

A little while later, Jeff called me back and after a rather awkward exchange, he said, “I’m a medium.  I’m able to talk to people who have passed.  Is there someone you want to communicate with?”  Oh boy, what a question.  And I know, you’re saying, if he’s a psychic, shouldn’t he have known there was?  I thought that at first too.  But then we started talking and it turns out that a psychic and a medium are two very different things.

It took him a few minutes to “get in the zone” and this was even more difficult since we were talking on the phone.  On the other hand, because he couldn’t see me, he could get no clues from my body language.  The first thing he asked was that I not tell him anything like names or dates.  Before long, he said that someone, a boy, was coming to him and that the boy was bowing his head like he was sad. He asked me if that made sense to me – uh, yeah, perfect sense. When I said that it did, he again told me not to reveal any names.  Then he told me that there was a very strong female with the boy whose name was something like Kathleen or Caroline…my mother’s name is Carolyn.  How could he have known that?  My friend who put us in contact didn’t know that, so how could he?  Also there, was a large black dog.  Had we ever had a large black dog? Did this dog have a name about a book or something?  oh my gawd, yes!  We had a dog named Scout, named after the main character in To Kill a Mockingbird! 

By now, the boy with the bowed head had grown more confident and trusting in Jeff and came forward.  Jeff said, “He keeps repeating, ‘Tell her I’m sorry.  Tell my mom I’m sorry. ‘”  oh my sweet boy, don’t apologize – you didn’t know what  you were doing. Jeff asked me if this was my son and if he had done this to himself.    At this point, I began to cry.  I told him that, yes, my son had taken his life.  Jeff also said there was a mark on my son’s neck, and asked if that made sense.  completely – how could this stranger know that?

Once this connection was made, the floodgates opened.  He said my son was talking very fast, but he would try to relay as much as he could.  Jeff continued to tell me things that he couldn’t have possibly known, some that were private between only me and Peyton.  He knew the song I sang to Peyton at night.  He knew the book I read over and over to him as a toddler.  He knew that October was an important month (that’s when Peyton died) and that my son was born in June as a Gemini.  He knew about the scar Peyton had under his left eye from a scooter accident when he was 5.  He said that my boy was scared that I was mad at him and that that was why he had stayed away.  My boy also knew how sad and heart broken I was, so he thought that by staying away he was protecting me.  And in the middle of these rather disjointed and random tidbits of information, Jeff seemed to go off topic.  He asked, “Do you remember that tv show from the 70’s called Peyton Place?  I keep seeing the title of that show. Is your son’s name Peyton?”  yes!  yes! my son, my perfect little boy, is named Peyton! After several more minutes of talkingJeff finally told me that my son, my sweet Peyton, who is surrounded by  his grandparents and his dog, was happy and at peace.

The interesting thing is that, through the course of the hour long phone call, I felt a weight being lifted from my shoulders.  For months, I had tormented myself with thoughts of Peyton’s last moments.  I still do, but at least now I know that he’s happy and that he doesn’t hurt anymore.  He knows that I am not now nor was I ever mad at him and I know that he’s not mad at me.  The next morning, when I woke up, I felt less despair, less sorrow.  These feelings weren’t gone, but they weren’t as oppressively stifling as they had been.  And, although I’m not sure about the existence of God or Jesus or Christian Heaven, I felt as if I’d been able to have a quick glimpse into what lies ahead for me.  My future life will be with my parents and my son (and my dog).   I know this now, because Peyton told me so.

Prior to my conversation with Jeff, I had always had a fascination with his field.  I’d watched enough episodes of “Long Island  Medium” to be convinced that there are truly some people who have the ability to connect and communicate with those we’ve lost. And I think I always just wanted to believe it could be true.  After Peyton died, I toyed with the idea of contacting someone locally, but how do you even go about finding someone who is legitimate and not a con-artist?  So, when Jeff came into my life via someone I love and trust, I knew that he would be honest with me.  He had no way of knowing the things he knew, but he knew how important the experience would be to me and, because of that, he handled me with kid gloves and the utmost respect.  Some day, I would like to talk with Jeff again.  But until then, it helps me to know that my monkey, my angel-face, my Peyton is in a place that knows no fear, no sadness, no pain — only joy and peace –and I can’t wait to get there to see him again.