There are days you wish you could just stay in bed and hide under the covers all day. Never leave. This was one of those days. I’m a positive person and try to be cheerful but I’m human and some days, I’m really not fun to be around. This day I would have been happy staying in my cozy B&B all da. That evening I was supposed to drive to Goree-Overflakkee to give my final talk of the trip. Only the energy was such I didn’t want to. I felt “off.” Strange.

I’m sure it had something to do with the crazy dreams and sleep the night before and the fact I woke up to see a dead guy floating next to me after 1:00 a.m. after I heard the name JOHN. Yep folks – he was there, very peacefully floating and waiting. I’m fairly certain he was once one of my soldiers. I just watched him and after a little while he disappeared. And then I got up and wrote in my journal describing this man I had just seen. Usually I don’t see them.

So…….who was John?

20151030_115227I did eventually get out of bed and try to ground my energy. I went for a short drive to Fort St. Andri20151030_114559es in Rossum, Netherlands to see what was there. It was a bit difficult to find even with my GPS but it was a lovely drive. I didn’t spend too much time there, but it was enough to feel less “off.” My afternoon was quiet and then I drove toward Goree-Overflakkee.

Now, my energy was still a bit “off” and crabby when I left. I set the GPS for fastest route and it thought taking a ferry was the fastest route. What?! I knew I had to get onto the island or Goree-Overflakkee but Dennis, who scheduled me to speak never mentioned a ferry! After a frantic text to Dennis, I realized that the ferry was near Heusden. That route was an option I had when I visited Heusden but since there was a bridge right there, I took the bridge. Changing the GPS to scenic route allowed it to think the ferry was not an option and on I went.

The drive should have been less than an hour and a half. It never….ever….seemed to want to end. Note to self for the future: When you set the GPS to scenic route to avoid the ferry 10 minutes from your start point, remember to change it back to fastest route. Why? Because scenic takes you on and off highways to drive the beautiful back roads, which add a million minutes to your drive. Once I realized what I had (not) done, I switched the GPS and was on my way.

Until……..

I was almost on the island and got into the off ramp at the bridge to take me onto said island and it was stopped. No one was moving. 10 minutes, then 15. I was hungry. It was getting dark and I had to speak in a couple hours. Another frantic text off to Dennis and I discovered there was an accident. A couple miles up the road should be clear –if I could only get there.

Trusting the GPS had to know another way onto the island, I left the off-ramp and continued on this bridge about 5 km only to find that no, that was the only way on the island. I turned around and stopped at a gas station for a few minutes to gather my thoughts and breathe. I also texted my friend Mary and expressed my frustration. She said someone would attend the talk who needed me to show up. It seems when our energetic vibrations are raised, we are able to help others, often when we don’t even realize it. She said someone would thank me for being there that night. When I got back on the highway, the traffic was moving in both directions.

Needless to say by the time I hit Middleharnis I was frazzled. I asked the universe for a safe parking spot near somewhere I could have dinner. I had about an hour and a half before I needed to be at the school to set up. I got the parking spot right behind a French restaurant.

I’m very grateful to the angel waitress who could tell I was frazzled and spoke enough English to help me decide tea was better than a beer (which I really wanted at that point) and recommended something delicious for dinner. After I ordered I let Dennis know where I was. He knew I was frustrated and laughed because I had no idea where I was in relation to the school. Turns out I was 100 meters away. He said he’d come to the restaurant and say hello and tell me where to walk when I was finished.

Dinner was yummy, the tea was hot, and I was relaxed at the end of the meal. I walked to the school and met many people who had gathered for drinks prior to the program. A reporter had shown up to listen and I had a short interview prior to the talk. The energy was cheerful which helped reinforce the relaxed energy I was feeling. I was grateful.

Dennis Noteboom and me at talk edited

Dennis and Jennifer after the program.

I gave the program and talked about how to research WWII American soldier service. After I was finished, Dennis spoke about the air war on the island and some of his research. He had many photos of airmen and told us the story of a man who went down in a plane, only to have been later seen by someone who knew him from home, while he was wandering England. The man’s name was Jack.

And then the energy shifted and got all giddy and I almost laughed out loud because JACK is often a nickname for JOHN. The dead guy in my bed the night before, I was certain was this JACK. I asked Dennis if Jack was a nickname and he said he didn’t know. The reports only showed Jack. But the energy said otherwise.

When the program was over, several people stopped to talk to me and one in particular told me a story and then thanked me for being there. He reinforced that sometimes we are supposed to show up because someone needs us. I’m glad he and I both showed up that evening.

After hot tea with some of the attendees and conversation it was time to drive back to Ammerzoden. Dennis walked me back to my car and I told him about John and seeing him when I woke up the night before. He understood.

Was John the Jack, in the story Dennis told? We will never know for sure, but I think it was. And I’m grateful I got to meet him. Sometimes all the soldiers need is for someone to acknowledge them, to see them before they can move on peacefully.

Isn’t that all any of us really want – someone to really SEE us?

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

Today was the day I was going to find the silver ring the universe kept saying I needed to find. And where was it going to be? Nijmegen!

After a leisurely morning of sleeping in to recover from the prior two days and prepare to speak again tonight, I thought I would head toward Groesbeek and stop in Nijmegen to look for this ring. So I drove along beautiful roads and got to Nijmegen and felt like that was not the place to find the ring.

Groesbeek Netherlands (31)Hungry and a bit frustrated about this voice in my head, I decided to ignore it and continue to Groesbeek and find lunch. It was a bit cloudy and grey but people were out and about and there was a happy atmosphere in Groesbeek. I found a little café to have lunch where I ate a delicious sandwich and relaxed over coffee afterward. Discovering there was only one jewelry store in town, and the owner was on holiday, I took a walk.

I discovered a lot of Liberation Route signs all over the town which depicted scenes from the Operation Market Garden time period of September 1944, and pointed out points near the signs so you could get a then and now perspective. Walking along I thought it would be a good idea for the next trip to actually figure out where all these signs were in each town so I could go on an adventure and find them all!

Then and Now

Groesbeek Netherlands (35)Groesbeek Netherlands (38)

On my walk I did find a chapel and was able to light some candles and sit for a while and contemplate life. Then when I was finished there I did a bit of shopping and headed toward my hotel for the evening. I was staying at the

Hampshire Landgoedhotel

, where Rense Havinga, the curator at the

National Liberation Museum

where I was to speak, recommended having dinner. Apparently their restaurant is top-notch.

Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery (52)On the way to the hotel I stumbled upon the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Of course I had to stop even though it was a drizzly day at this point. The soldiers called out. There were moments when the sun tried to peek through the clouds and shine light down on us.

The cemetery is beautiful and peaceful and situated on a hill overlooking fields and forests. Only a couple of people were there when I arrived and one soldier was near the Cross of Sacrifice. I spent a lot of time looking at the stones and photographing them. The CWGC stones all have a quote or prayer or something on the bottom. They are unlike our ABMC stones. As I walked I even passed a bench with soldiers just hanging out and talking. They were enjoying the quiet. It was the perfect way to spend some time that afternoon.

I checked into the hotel which was situated near a forest and some fields with sheep. Even though the day was gray and misty, it was peaceful and beautiful. My room was gigantic and the back doors opened onto a small patio which was against the field. Just a short walk across the field of sheep and I could be in a forest. I spent the afternoon relaxing and writing before I had to get changed for my program and dinner beforehand.

Groesbeek area hotel (5)Groesbeek area hotel (6)

 

 

 

 

Rense was not wrong when he said the restaurant was highly recommended. I had the most delicious, savory roast duck, vegetables, and salad for dinner. Because of timing I had to rush a little, but oh my, it was delicious.

I arrived at the museum and met two Facebook friends, Herman and Bob. These kind gentlemen carried my box of books and made sure I made it in the dark from the parking lot to the museum. We met with Rense and got me set up in their theater. Then it was off to the café for tea and meeting people before the program.

Several people I knew were at the museum that evening, including Helen, Hans and his two sons, Bob and Herman. The theater was half-filled and people were very receptive to the stories and information. When the program was over, many of us gathered in the café again for coffee and conversation.

My third program in the Netherlands had ended and the experience was great. I met many wonderful people who shared their stories with me and gave me information so I can share it with others.

Moon over the woods near Groesbeek (8)editedLater when I returned to my hotel, the moon was rising high in the sky. I opened the back doors in my room that led to the patio and watched the moon rise as the clouds floated by. I heard noises in the forest as if the soldiers were wandering around or settling down for the night. You could feel their presence so intensely. After wishing them light and love and bidding them goodnight I closed the doors and drapes and soon headed off to dreamland. As I counted my blessings and thought briefly about the following day, I was determined to find that ring. And so the next day………

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

There are days you know will change your life and nothing will ever be the same. You can feel the energy building, passion for what you do rising, and excitement for what the day may bring (and possibly a bit of panic,) reaching a crescendo. I knew this day I was going to meet someone important from a long ago past life. Then, he was Henry and I was Elizabeth. Now I knew we had a connection with war. I already had a good idea of what our souls had agreed to do in this life and felt we had done most of the work. Elizabeth told me bits of their life together in stories I wrote over the summer.

I woke up that morning early with the intention of driving the hour to Amsterdam and having breakfast at the hotel where I was going to stay that evening. As I prepared to leave I was both excited and anxious for the day. I told myself to calm down, it was just another speaking engagement and I have given this talk a bazillion times and it was all going to be fine.

The universe laughed and said,

‘Yes but you know this is not just an ordinary speaking engagement. This is no ordinary day and the people you meet will change your life.’

CRASH 40-45 Museum (44)

Outside the museum after my talk that afternoon.
I was a bit tired.

I was grateful for the hour drive, alone in the dark, to Amsterdam. It gave me time to clear the anxious energy and settle down. I enjoyed a nice breakfast and made my way to the CRASH ’40-’45 Museum where I was to speak later. There I met two people from the past. Henry and a soldier I took care of in another life during a war.

The soldiers I have cared for as a WWI nurse or in other lives, show up all the time. I recognize their energy by their behavior which is always very sweet and kind. Quietly wishing them light and love and releasing them allows both our souls to be at peace. And one thing I learned on this trip is I have carried through thousands of lifetimes, the heavy guilt of not being able to save so many of the soldiers. Sometimes their bodies and sometimes also their souls. Little did I know the healing and release that was about to come for all of us in a most unexpected place.

The energy at the museum that morning was crazy and I’m sure my energy just added to it. While there weren’t a lot of people from the museum there when I arrived, there seemed to be a lot of voices. The bell over the door kept ringing when someone opened it. It felt like too much all at once in a small space. But I kept clearing the energy and breathing deeply and after a few hours and before I spoke, it died down a bit.

I had a wonderful tour of the museum given to me by Ed the museum coordinator. He showed me the main highlights of the collection and told me a lot about the history of the WWII air war in the area. We had a light lunch and then prepared for the program.

Speaking at CRASH 40-45 museum (5)Once the program began, the energy died down. The room was ¾ filled with people who wanted to learn more about researching American soldiers. My talk was similar to my program, “The Day That Lived in Infamy” which I give at home. In all my programs I tell stories rather than run down a dry list of facts and figures. Stories capture people’s imaginations. Stories make people THINK and FEEL something. The main difference between my talk in Europe and the one at home is the ending.

Michael KokoskaAt the end of my program in Europe I read the final pages of Michael Kokoska’s story from my book, Stories of the Lost. The end of the story could apply to anyone’s soldier, any war, any time period, because Michael’s father talks about his son coming home after the war. Not walking off the train, but in a flag draped casket. The story allows us to see how connected we are regardless of time and place. It brings to life the very real pain and love this father felt for his son and his sacrifice. And it provides an example of how you can take all the research and put it into something people will remember.

When I was finished reading Michael’s story, many people were crying. Breaths were held and I had to tell the audience to breathe. The impact was made.

The last of my afternoon at the museum was spent meeting people, selling and signing books, and seeing the larger pieces (an airplane!) in the other part of the museum. Then it was off to the hotel to have a bit of quiet time and freshen up so I could spend the evening in Amsterdam!

CRASH 40-45 Museum (61)

Jan, Jennifer, and Ed seeing the airplane and larger plane pieces in the second building.

Speaking at CRASH 40-45 museum (1)

Jennifer talking to a young WWII
researcher of the 1st Infantry Division.

My evening in Amsterdam was a night I will never forget. As I stood at the bar in an old pub in Amsterdam drinking a Trappist beer, marveling at how incredible my life is, I almost had to pinch myself repeatedly to make sure I was really there. The rest of the night, well let’s just say it was amazing, and I found a lot of crocodiles and peace on my journey through ancient streets and canals.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls