As many of you may know, I went to Chicago with my mom on Friday to attend a John Edward Seminar. It was very fascinating, even more so than I had anticipated. But no, I did not get a reading. My unforeseen disappointment regarding that I will talk about later. But he was in top form and we were both quite blown away. It was an interesting weekend that went by far too quickly.
Taking the Train to Chicago…
Friday morning we headed to the train station in Sturtevant. I had never taken a train before – well, unless you count the one at the Milwaukee Zoo. I had been to the old Hiawatha Station to pick up relatives in the past and I can sure say that HOLY CRAP is this station a million times nicer. I was literally afraid to use the bathroom in the old building. As nice as the new Sturtevant station is, when I got a glimpse of Union Station in Chicago, I about pooped my pants! Yes, I know. The class just flows from my fingertips. Anyway, man. This place was the size of a city!! Restaurants, bars, gift shops, winding roads and even public toilets with those automatic plastic toilet seat covers adorn this surprisingly monstrous outfit.
I have been to Chicago three times in the past. All three of those times I was…well, not completely sober. Two of those three times I was only in the Solider Field vicinity for Grateful Dead shows. So, none of those times was I really able to appreciate the vastness of this giant city. These huge buildings surrounded every available inch of space like hovering guards. From our 19th floor hotel room all of the people walking about looked like scurrying rats in some kind of concrete maze. I have never seen so many people walking around outside – ever. Where were they all going? How do they speed walk and text message at the same time? And why all the traffic if everyone seems to foot it?
Getting to the Seminar…
Our hotel was pretty modest. The cheapest I could find in the immediate area. When we arrived at the Hyatt Regency, where the seminar was being held, we got lost IN the hotel! I told my mom at the time that it reminded me of a modern day Emerald City. This was like no hotel I had ever seen. Spas, barber shops, restaurants, bars, gift shops, clothing stores, dry cleaners, banks, offices, meeting rooms, flower shops…it was truly unreal.
We finally found the correct ballroom and were able to quickly recognize it by the mile long line standing at the door!! The seminar sat about 200 people – which are actually a small group for JE’s seminars. Typically they can be well over 1000. We made it there in time to be pretty much in the middle of the line once the doors finally opened. We stood for about 30 minutes. We chatted a bit with a mother and daughter from Michigan who were standing behind us. But aside from that we pretty much kept to ourselves. I was quite nervous, though I am still unsure why.
We walked around the room trying to strategize as to where the best place was to be sitting as it was general admission. It was actually funny, because most everyone was doing the same thing…picking a seat, then changing their minds and moving. Discussing why which side is best or whether it was better to sit in the front or back. I wanted to be somewhat in the middle section, but wanted to sit in the aisle in case I had to use the bathroom – I am telling you, I was really anxious!! So we picked out special seats. My mom was flipping out in worry that someone with a humungous head would sit in front of her or someone loud and obnoxious would sit behind her. Behind us was fine. But sorry to say, a humongous head did in fact sit in front of us. Sorry mom.
Before the readings even began I got a little emotional. As the announcer said, “And here, John Edwards” he jogged up to the stage. Seeing him in person just shocked me for a moment. Like I didn’t realize I was really going to be there. I have watched him on TV and read his books for so long. It was always such a dream of mine…to actually be in his presence and see him just feet away – it struck me for a moment and the tears flowed. I was able to quickly regain my composure and kept it for most of the night. Though a few tears were shed off and on throughout the event.
I want to say that there was no one single miss in the 2 hours of readings that night. I was so relieved to find that John Edward is really as legitimate as I always thought he was. Obviously I cannot relive each moment and even if I were to verbalize it, the affect would be nothing compared to being there in person. But I will give a couple of examples…
John pointed to a group – maybe about 10 people in a selected area. He said something to the fact, “I am getting a very strange name. Aloisius? Anyone have an Aloisius in this area?” A woman raised her hand and kind of chuckled. She said – in more of a question tone, “That was the name of my cat.” He asked her if he had passed and she said yes. After that he was able to bring through the woman’s mother – was able to provide her name, hobbies, and particular events that took place when she was alive. All thanks to Aloisius the cat.
As he was speaking to one family – again getting VERY specific hits every time – he said that he thought he was jumping families. He asked the woman where she was from. She said, “Naperville.” He pointed to an area clear on the other side of the room and asked if anyone in that row had ties to Naperville. One family said yes. But he said that wasn’t enough for him. He then asked the woman her first name. She said, “Yolanda.” Then that same family on the other side of the room said that one woman with them was Yolanda. He then was able to read that family and gave very specific details about the death of the man’s son. He asked if the boy had brain cancer or a tumor in his head. The father shared that he had tumors in his sinus in his skull. Of course, he went on to give much more information.
Then we pointed to a few woman a few rows back. He asked who had a child pass. A woman and her mother raised their hands. John asked, “He drowned?” They both gasped and said yes. He read for them for a while. He then asked what I thought was going to be the first miss of the night. “Who is Jack or Jake?” They could not answer. A few minutes later, he asked the grandmother, “Why is your grandson throwing potatoes at me?” The grandmother answered as she laughed, “My dog, just yesterday, dug up all the potatoes I just planted! I was so angry!!” John said, “Your grandson thinks that is very funny.” The mother and her daughter looked at each other and both said, “Yea, he would.” Then the grandmother gasped and shockingly said, “Oh my God, my dog’s name is Jake.”
These are just a teeny glimpse of so much we witnessed that night. I couldn’t begin to describe it all to you. There really are no words. I can certainly see why some people actually become addicted to attending these events. They are every powerful, reassuring and spiritual.
For the skeptics…
I have heard many theories on how John ‘scams’ his audiences. And I was there with a bit of skepticism in me as well. I keep an open mind and even more, an open eye. I looked around constantly. I watched everything. I want to make sure just as anyone who doesn’t believe that this is REAL.
I can tell you that there is NO way that room was mic’d. It wasn’t an auditorium with structured seating. These were regular, non adhered chairs lined up in rows. The ceiling was about 50 feet high. There would have been no realistic way.
In the line waiting for the doors to open, there was definitely no way to microphone any part of that gargantuan lobby. It was all vastly open and spread out. Absolutely huge with no place to even put a listening device.
I also watched the line very closely – constantly looking around. There was no one that came out and talked to anyone. Not once.
The details John gave that night were in no way lucky guesses. That was not a matter of reading body language. How can your body tell him that your dead sister’s name was Geneva and that she died of lung cancer and she was from Georgia? He gave absolute specifics. Not sounds like this or sounds like that. Specifics.
My mother, though interested in him and the subject matter, was still pretty skeptical going in. Throughout the readings she kept looking at me with a ‘holy shit’ look on her face. She was amazed. When we left she said how worth it it all was, because she is defiantly a believer now.
My surprising disappointment…
We bought these tickets nearly a year ago. I had been looking forward to this day for a LONG time. I was almost in denial that it would ever even arrive. That entire time I was certain that I did not expect a reading and would certainly not be disappointed if I didn’t get one. I was sure of it. I simply wanted to go to witness the whole thing, feel the energy in the room and debunk any suspicions I had about the whole process. Also, I thought it would help with my fear of death.
As I watched the readings I felt good. I was relaxed and the more accurate he was, the more energy I could feel. But then there were a couple moments when I was certain he was coming to me. Things he said that hit the nail on the head…but they ended up being for someone else. Each of the 3 or 4 times that happened, my gut ached a little more and that evil disappointment began to set in. I then started to try to send him my thoughts telepathically – lol. I kept thinking really hard “come to me – come to me.” But it didn’t work. Then the show was over. It went by so quickly. And I was left with all of these mixed feelings. My mom was upset because apparently I appeared pretty discouraged and unhappy. That really wasn’t the case. I was more in a fog and like I said – full of mixed up emotions. I was thrilled that I had been there; that I had witnessed such amazing things and saw so much joy in people that had been really hurting. I realized that those people needed the readings far more than I did. But I was also a bit sad that I didn’t get my reading. And even more depressed because it was all over. No more John Edward to look forward to. That two hours seemed more like two minutes and I just wanted MORE. What a brat, I know.
So, the experience was truly meaningful and enlightening. It has changed my life in small ways and I think it will continue to do so as I let some of the lessons he shared sink in. He said something at one point (this was one of the moments I thought for sure he would be coming to me) about letting fear control your life. He explained that the more you fear something, the more of what you fear happens. That the fear is a magnet for the exact thing you want to avoid. Obviously, that was a huge thing for me and a lesson I need to learn completely – and fast!!
I want to thank my mom for the wonderful birthday gift. The best gift I could really ever receive. I had a fabulous time and I will never forget it as long as I live – and even beyond J Thanks Ma.