Things happen to us and through those things, we learn.  We become enlightened.  Or we don’t.  In any case, whether we want to or not, most of us “live and learn”.  I look back on my life and clearly see how certain events led me to believe some of the things that I believe.

For instance.  I lived in a haunted house, I learned about ghosts and then I learned about life after death and “the great hereafter”.  While learning all about that, I was introduced to the idea of reincarnation and past lives.  What a concept!  Actually, at one time many years ago, a majority of religions and most of the population believed in reincarnation.  But church politics and all that eventually led to many religions shunning the concept.  Some even banned the mention of it and to do so was considered heresy!  Now, thankfully, we are in an age where just about anything goes and you can no longer be condemned to life in eternal hell for thinking that something like reincarnation is possible.  So, lets go with it for the moment and say that it’s a fact.  Such a thing means that we all have lived before, in another life, as a different person.  We may have interacted with each other in a past life!  And if not, maybe we’ll interact in the next one!  Although, if you are reading my blog, then technically we are interacting.  But anyway.  I have believed in reincarnation since learning about it at the ripe old age of fourteen.  I have also wondered if animals get reincarnated?

I’ve been blogging about living in a haunted house and about my little dog Tippy who could sense when the spirits were around and alert us.  He was also tormented by them.  Maybe they were just playing around but poor little Tippy was not amused by their antics.  See my previous posts if you are wondering in what way the spirits interacted with my dog.  This post is about my thoughts on reincarnation and why I believe in it.

I was about fourteen when I started having very vivid dreams about events that would then occur the very next day…exactly as I dreamed it.  One night I dreamed that Tippy was hit by a blue car.  I also saw him run out from under the car and continue to the house so I knew that the car did not kill him.  I was quite relieved by that but also horrified at the thought of Tippy getting hurt.  I loved that dog with all my heart.  He was my little companion, my friend, my playmate and my protector.  I thought (and still do!) he was the best dog in the world.  I worried about him all the next day and I prayed and prayed that the dream did not come true.

When I got off the school bus, however, and saw my mom standing in the doorway to the house, I knew.  I just knew and my heart started pounding.  This post is going to be hard for me because even now, I still grieve over the loss of that brave, friendly, loving little dog.  Tippy had chased another dog across the road. My mom went out to call him back and of course, he came running to her just as another car decided to drive by.  Tippy was hit but he did come out from under the car and run to my mother.  She picked him up and carried him in the house but he was hurt pretty bad.  When I went in to see him, he was laying on the rug by the stove.  He picked his head up and looked at me, excited that I was home and happy to see me despite his pain.  I lay beside him and patted him gently and prayed and prayed.  I am going to say here…in the ONE area God has continuously failed me, it is in the protection of my animals.  I don’t understand why and I hope someday that I will.

When Tippy was just a few weeks old, his mother refused to feed him so we got him very young.  I became like a mother to him and our relationship cemented into a solid one.  One day when Tippy was only a couple months old, I started singing the song “How Much is That Doggy in the Window”.  Tippy joined in with enthusiastic howling.  I couldn’t believe it and ran to show my mother our wonderful dog’s new trick.  So after that, we sang that song often and Tippy immediately pitched in singing along with us … every single time.  He would tilt his little nose up to the air and howl away.  It amused people.  It amused us.  And as I lay with Tippy on that last day, I sang that song softly and he sang along with me. It broke my heart.  He lay there hurting and yet he still wanted to sing with me.

It soon became clear that Tippy was suffering from internal injuries and my parents decided to take him to a veterinary clinic.  A few hours later, the vet called to say that Tippy went into shock and died.  It was, and still is, one of the saddest days of my life.  There are some animals that impact our lives so much that the loss of them is great indeed.  A huge gaping hole was torn into my chest and I thought I would never feel happiness again.

On the night Tippy died, his mother (a toy poodle named Baby) gave birth to another litter of pups (also fathered by Tippy’s sire Bambie, a chihuahua).  One of the pups looked just like Tippy … black with a small white diamond on the front of his chest.   Baby belonged to my aunt and she saved the Tippy look-a-like for us. So, a few weeks later, Buttons joined our family.  I still grieved over the loss of Tippy but I took to Buttons right away.  And one day, not long after we got him, I held him in my arms and started to sing “How Much is That Doggy in the Window” and guess what?  Buttons tilted his little head up and began to howl right along with me.  Just like that.  No training involved.  Oh how I cried over that because I believed that Tippy had found his way back to me.  His spirit had left his broken little body and entered into a new one.  People may say that it is a coincidence.  And I say this, what exactly is a coincidence?  Honestly, I don’t buy things being a “chance” thing.  Everything that happens is by design (God’s design) and everything happens for a purpose.  God’s purpose.  I don’t know why God had to take Tippy away and then give him back through Buttons, but I accepted it and I was ever so grateful.

When Buttons came into my life, I was just starting to learn about reincarnation from a book I picked up at school (purely “by chance”) and the incident with Tippy/Buttons cemented the whole idea for me.  It was something I just accepted.  And then about ten years later, something else would occur in my life to cement it further.  If such a thing is possible…cementing something further?

A year after I graduated from high school, I still hadn’t found a job and I was hankering to travel.  So I decided one day to join the Air Force.  I asked an aunt (I have a lot of aunts!) to take me to see a recruiter and I signed up that very day.  The military took up quite a bit of my time and so all my paranormal and supernatural studies fell to the wayside.  I got married three short months after joining the military and 15 months later, I had a son.  When my son was six months old, the military sent me and my husband to Korea.  I had to leave my child for a whole agonizing year.  The day we parted ways at the airport and my mom took him from my arms (he stayed with my parents during that horrible year), was the day I found out what it meant to have your heart ripped from your body.  It was awful.  Worse than that.  But a year later, I came back to him and we reconnected, rebuilt that mother/son bond.  My son’s father and I split up, however, and my son, Wes, lived with me.  I remember those first few months back with Wes were fascinating for me because he was an amusing little kid.  Let me tell you.  He talked quite well for one so young and that was probably because my mother was constantly telling him stories.  His favorite was “The Three Bears”.

Then one day, my two year old son comes to me in the kitchen.  I am making dinner.  Wes tugs on my shirt.  “Mommy,” he says, “where is my wife?”  I stopped what I was doing and looked down at him.  I didn’t think he even knew what a wife was!  “Your wife?  What wife, Wes?” I ask him.  And he shakes his little blond head, his eyes looking all confused and says, “You know, when I was a man and I had a wife?  Where is she?  I miss her!”  That totally blew me away.  Before I could respond, Wes walked into the living room, crawled up on the couch and cried quietly.  I followed him and sat down beside him.  “Why are you crying?”  He gives me the saddest look.  “Where is my wife?  I miss her so much.”  I tried to be logical with him.  “But you are just a little boy, Wes, you can’t have a wife until you are big.”  And he immediately shakes his head.  “No, remember?  When I was a man?  And I had a wife?”  He would speak no more about it.

And then not long after that, we are driving down a country road and Wes suddenly perks up.  He is sitting in his car seat next to me (I know, I know, he should have been in the back seat but the day before he choked on something and I had to pull the car over, jump out and run around to his side and help him.  The whole incident scared me so on this day, I had him in the front seat beside me.  I figured if he was going to choke again, I was going to be close at hand to help him).  So as I was saying before I interrupted myself, Wes perks up and begins to look excited.  “Mommy!  This is where I was driving when I was a man!”  I go along with it.  “You were driving on this road when you were a man?”  He shakes his head enthusiastically.  He was just so excited.   “I was driving the truck and my wife was riding with me.”  Then his face fell.  “Another car hitted us and we crashed.” (I’m marveling that he understands the concept of car crashes at 2 years old and that he’s bringing up his wife again!)  His eyes filled with tears.  “Where is my wife? I miss her.”  I asked more questions and Wes answered some of them.  He remembered being a man and getting married.  He remembered having a wife and that he drove a truck.  He remembered another car hitting them and that he died and became a little boy!  I thought to myself, wow, Wes is truly remembering a past life.  I’ve read in books covering this subject that young children can access memories of their previous lives and here, I believe, was proof of that.

It was around this same time frame that I was tucking Wes into bed one night when he suddenly looked very sad.  His little hands cupped my face and his serious brown eyes stared right into mine.  “Mommy, I don’t want to die again.  I don’t like it when that happens.”  It tugged at my heart because he looked like a little angel lying there staring at me with love.  He was happy to be with me and didn’t want to lose that.  I told him that he wouldn’t die again for a very, very long time.  Not until he was very, very old.  “Good,” he says, “cause I don’t like being dead.”  And he went to sleep.  Now I ask you, how often do two year old kids talk like that?

Because Wes was always talking about being a man and the things he used to do as one, it freaked out my friends.  They told me I had a weird son.  As a result, I had to keep the little guy close to me so that I could steer him clear of topics that I knew might make people uncomfortable.  But one day while at a party my duty section put on for us troops and our families, I lost track of Wes.  He was four years old at the time.  I finally saw him talking in great animation to my boss who was listening with rapt attention.  I could only imagine what Wes was telling him and I rushed over to end the conversation.  What was my boss going to think of my freaky son who used to be a man?  As soon as I reached the table, my boss looked at me and said, “Deb, you didn’t tell me that your son was a pilot in the Korean war!  He’s telling me all about the time he got shot down.”  Then he wanted to know how it was that a four year old boy knew so much about aerial dog fights and the Korean war!  I couldn’t answer that because I did not watch war movies and I certainly didn’t let Wes watch them.  Besides, we were living in Germany at the time and didn’t even have access to American television (we didn’t understand German so we just didn’t watch TV).  Wes looked at me and said in his matter-of-fact voice, “You know, when I was a man and I flew the airplanes?”  Here we went again with the “when I was a man” stories!!  There was the awkward moment one day when Wes wanted to know why he had to be little again?  He didn’t much like it.  That did give me a bit of a laugh.

Eventually Wes stopped asking about his wife and stopped talking about “when he was a man”.  He doesn’t remember any of it now.  But I haven’t forgotten.

Before I close out this blog, I want to share a dream I had one night.  I was living in Italy at the time and going through another “spiritual awakening” phase.  I dreamed an entire lifetime in one night.  I was a baby, and then a toddler, and then a kid, a teenager, a young adult.  I got married, I had kids and then grandkids.  I got old and then I was laying in a bed with my family surrounding me.  They were all so sad and I knew it was time to die.  I felt content and at peace.  I had lived a good life.  I closed my eyes and died.  I was dead for a brief moment and the idea of it startled me awake.  As I lay there, gasping for breath and my heart pounding, it took me a moment to reacquaint myself to this life.  It was really hard to shake off all the feelings I had about the other one!  I tell you, it was one of the most bizarre dreams I’ve ever had and believe me, I’ve had some doozies!

I can’t tell you for a fact that there is such a thing as reincarnation but it is one of the beliefs I’ve come to accept.  In the end, it isn’t going to matter if we believe or not.  If it is a fact, then we’ll all be back again to ponder over it.

Any thoughts?  Have any of you experienced a memory of another life or know someone who did?  I’d love to hear your story!