I was never, ever going to get married, let alone have children. I was horrified at the idea of bringing a child into a world that was so unsettled, violent, and certainly headed for armageddon at some point in time.
The first time I was pregnant, I thought I was carrying Jena. All the southern women in the family insisted it was a boy. After delivery it took me about fifteen seconds to fully comprehend that Jena had balls, and we had to come up with a boy's name, fast. My father is John Stevens, and John Steven fit like a glove.
Six years later, right after we had given up getting pregnant again and given away the baby crib and other assorted baby furniture, wa la! I was pregnant. THIS was Jena. I just knew it. Tests confirmed it and I knew I had reached the path I had always known was ahead of me. The blonde, blue eyed little girl I was carrying was no surprise to me at all, and I spent the remainder of my pregnancy with an abnormal warm fuzzy feeling. It's the best I can do to describe the sensation that differed so much from carrying John. It was like I was walking around with my 'soul sister' inside me.
At her birth, (extremely quick compared to the 24 hours of hard labor with John, Jena was born after four hours total labor) the doctor literally caught her between his knees as she emerged like a bar of soap. He laid her on my stomach, cord still attached. I said something appropriate like, "Oh my God," and she distinctly turned her head towards me and looked at me. No words can ever describe the connection that occurred in that moment.
Jena was one day old when my mother and Jena's Godmother came by to see her. Cheryl is no stranger to gettings and simply smiled knowingly as she held Jena. My non-believing mother held my daughter next, only to receive what she later termed a shock. She handed Jena back to me in amazement and said this little girl has something special to do.
We moved to a gigantic house in a smaller town when Jena was eight months old. The first week we were there, Jena went down a flight of thirteen cement steps to the basement in her walker, a sound, an event, a memory I will remember forever. I heard the wheels of her walker go over the first step and time froze. No matter how fast you are, no matter how close you are, you will not be able to stop this. The worst nightmare for any mother. When I reached the top step to look down the narrow, walled stairway, she was just landing on the bottom floor. I saw the cloud around her but did not consider it or think about it until much later. She had gone ass over tea kettle three times as there were three imprints of the rubber step pads on her forehead. Jena should have, by all rights, broken her neck.
Jena had gone with her dad on an errand. When they returned, he came in the house holding a screaming child. He had accidentally closed the car door on her finger. I held Jena in my lap the entire evening. She would try and suck her thumb for comfort but it would simply renew the pain in her fingers. I talked to her about how she should gather all the band aids in her body and send them to her finger, making up visions to help, cooing and softly talking to her until she fell asleep. That is when we saw the other side of her finger. It had been opened to the bone, but there was no blood and it was the cleanest cut I had ever seen. We wrapped it up, contemplated taking her to an emergency room in this new town but decided to wait till morning, and fell asleep with her next to me. In the morning, Jena woke me with a hand in my face. She was grinning and showing me her hand. Look, Mom! It's all better. Sure enough, not only were the fingers moving freely, there was no indication anything had ever happened, no scar, nothing.
Jena and John were playing and bouncing on my bed, Jena took a beautiful, perfect dive, nose first, toes pointed, off the bed and into the ground. She got up and said she was fine, later complaining that her shoulder hurt a bit. Her father knew enough to check her for a broken shoulder, and all seemed fine. Days later, she was still gently complaining so we took her in to have the doctor assure us nothing could be broken or she would be in much more pain than she was. We insisted on an x-ray anyway. The next day or so, I called for the result to be put on hold on quite a long time. Later, I was told that they were double checking to make sure two children had not been in that day to have their shoulder's x-rayed, making sure there had not been a mix up. Not only was Jena's collar bone broken, it had already completely healed.
Jena also grabbed the top of the front door of the fireplace insert after a fire had been roaring for several weeks without repercussions. Adults could barely touch the door handle without a mitt. Some local women who came to our home to try and send our ghost on his way told us he also had a daughter Amy who played with Jena in her crib at night. This explained the comments she had made at that young age of two about the little girl in her room, which I had not taken too seriously. When I gave her my hand made doll that Christmas, Jena promptly named her Amy.
Every so often, Jena would be with me, and she would look odd for a moment, and say, "This happened before" or "Mommy, I dreamt this would happen." Because of my own odd childhood, I knew ignoring her abilities was the worse possible thing I could do. Instead, I would nod and talk about it lightly with her if she felt so inclined, not discouraging any of it, but not feeding her imagination, either.
Jena did not show much interest in any odd areas for many years until she became a teenager. She wanted to know what sight was, she had experienced a few things that had come true, and now we discuss these events openly and easily. She will receive "Don't put that glass there or it will be broken' flashes regularly, our lives consist of a regular routine of warnings we give each other easily.
At sixteen, Jena developed a serious interest in Taro cards. I had, after months of painful deliberation, taken mine, one by one, and ceremoniously burned them, believing them to not be of God. Jena was only a few years old at the time. I have had more pangs of regret about that than I care to count. Reluctantly, and after extensive discussions, we went to buy her a deck. Our understanding was that she would learn them, develop an understanding of them, but she was to refrain from asking direct questions about the future, using the cards to guide and advise about what she already knew to be true, and to keep in mind the power upstairs had the only real answers. At Barnes and Nobles there was a selection of about ten decks, different styles and artwork. Without hesitation she picked out my deck. Why was I surprised?
Jena remains open to listening, but gets distracted simply being a teenager dating a wonderful guy and just being alive. She listens to me if I don't like someone new in her life for unexplainable reasons, and totally respects my requests if I have received anything about her, not to go here or there, etc, which is actually rare. Too close, perhaps?
I wonder what her path will be.
2008 note: Jena now lives in Germany, so far away. I miss her more than words can say, we both acknowledge we are each our best friend. We talk constantly, and I mourn her phone bill. When she is in a major dilemma, she will call me and ask me to bring out the cards. The cards stayed at home, I just did not want her using them without guidance. I would tell her exactly where I was sitting, what I was doing, verbalizing the entire set up. She would cut the cards on the phone. The cards, which never seemed to read for her but responded to my touch like they were my old cards reincarnated, read perfectly, each time, despite the distance. Just last month, she called. Instead of asking for the cards, she asked that I open her old pink Bible to a random page. I could not have been happier. I promptly shipped it to Germany.