Saturday, 16 March 2019 20:38

The Work

The irony of this journey does not escape me. I, like everybody else on the planet, am not perfect.  Fundamentalists would have me say I am born in sin.  This statement rubs me raw as the infamous “they” say the same of Quinton.  On the other hand, in taking a higher perspective, a perspective above the dogma and divisive commentary, I understand what “they” are trying to say.  They are trying to say, none of us are perfect and all of us come here because we have something to learn, experience and do.  In saying it that way, is it any more palatable? Well, it is for me.

In this place of being less than perfect, although I have made mistakes, hurt others and am constantly moving in repeating cycles. Through it all, at times I have been of service.  That being of service expanded after Quinton transitioned and showed me There is so very much More, through his visits and signs.  How is that for irony? It took Quinton’s transition to open my eyes. I really had no choice, other than to leap down the rabbit hole, past the dogma, to understand how it was all possible.  What I discovered was a much broader vision of our reality, a broad vision that encompasses every single human being on the planet and every spirit not currently incarnated.  It is a beautiful vision.

For much of my adult life, I remember saying, “Either you are part of the solution or part of the problem.” That is right, I actually would say this at times, while Quinton was still with us and now that Quinton is in spirit (and still with us).  The truth of this statement is even more relevant. This thought is very much related to the Cherokee story about two wolves battling for dominance; one embodies anger, greed, insecurities, hate, and fear while the other embodies love, forgiveness, peace, and gentleness.  The question is which one wins and the answer is, the one you feed.  So, am I part of the solution or part of the problem?  And being human, the answer is I am both at times, but I would like to say I am over the fifty-four years in this version of myself, I have improved.

In this place, there are choices. Do I continue even trying or do I slip into the background?  Lord knows, slipping into the background is all too easy, the proverbial, head to the hills and forget about it all.  Within that thought and the peace within it, I am called to serve.  Hmmm – even more irony.  The phone rings and I find myself on three Boards of Directors.  Two of them are relevant to my theme here, Helping Parents Heal and The Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center.

The Mission Statement for HPH is as follows: Helping Parents Heal is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting bereaved parents, giving them the support and resources to aid in the healing process. We go a step beyond groups by allowing the open discussion of spiritual experiences and evidence for the afterlife in a non-dogmatic way.

The Mission Statement for the Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center is: Unity of Phoenix Spiritual Center is a loving spiritual community that welcomes all people and honors all paths to God. We are dedicated to transforming lives by inspiring and awakening individuals to discover God’s Spirit within them.

I am sure the see similarities and given you are on Quinton’s website, I expect you see both mission statements are lock step and consistent with what we learned after Quinton transitioned. This is the easy part as I still attempt to serve, help others see a broader view of our time here in this version of ourselves and the institutions that do the same.  In being part of both these Boards, I am working with eagles and in doing so I have the opportunity for even more personal growth as I work with organizations who also committed to help others see something of a larger picture, those who are ready to see.

My wish for you is to keep moving forward, keep learning and keep growing. It isn’t easy; it is challenging.  It is too easy to stagnate, fall prey to the bad news broadcast throughout the news and social media, and give up.  However, the silent majority not reported on is growing, learning, and are helping others in every way imaginable.  They are being part of the solution both for their own spiritual growth and for those of others.  At the end of the day, it is a choice. 

Which wolf are you feeding, day in and day out, minute by minute?

Namaste

 

Published in Quinton's Messages
Tuesday, 02 October 2018 20:21

Connections and Goosebumps

Not long ago I was on my way to work. The commute is relatively short, but still takes thirty minutes due to so many people being on the road at the same time.  I am five months into a new job where I am tasked with being detail oriented and somewhat isolated from people.  This isn’t what I was made for, but it is a good paying job and actually provides me with the opportunity to master some spiritual lessons that I needed to work while not wiping me out, thereby leaving me some time and energy for other pursuits.  Still though, on this particular morning, I wasn’t feeling it.

As I drove east on Deer Valley Road, I was lost in my thoughts. Pulling up to a light, for some reason I looked to my left and saw a Mom driving and a girl was sitting in a car seat in the 2nd row of seats.  I couldn’t help myself, I smiled and waved.  She might have been six or maybe eight years old, and she lit up like a very bright light. Her smile was huge and her waving was so unbelievably enthusiastic that my smile grew and I waved a moment longer.  It was a magic moment that kept me smiling all the way in to the office.  This young lady brightened my day, the entire day.  And so it is when we connect; it is so simple, isn’t it?  As I reflected on that moment, I wondered if Quinton had dropped in to brighten my day.

A couple of weeks after that, I was at the Arizona School of Real Estate taking two days’ worth of continuing education classes for my Arizona Real Estate license. It felt good to be out of the office and to interact with others. The first day was a grind.  The first class of the day began at 8:00 a.m. and the third, and the final class for the day ended at 5:15 p.m.  The second and last day would be more of the same, but being the last day and knowing I would have completed my education requirements by the end of the day, I felt lighter, if you know what I mean.  As the first class neared the start time, I was walking to my seat and blurted out while standing at the front of the class, “what a beautiful day.”  A gentleman in the back agreed with me and added, “When you get my age, you are grateful for every morning.”  I replied, letting him know that I understood what he meant and proceeded to introduce him and everybody else in the class to Quinton while sharing a glimpse of what Quinton he showed me. All of this took a matter of seconds, and then I sat down.

During one of the breaks a gentleman came to me, wanting to discuss. If I remember correctly, he may have been a Veteran and was a firefighter.  I thanked him for his service and shared in more detail, Quinton’s visits and what it means when our loved ones visit from the other side.  He was grateful to hear and complimented me on my faith.  (Maybe this will be a subject of another blog someday.  I always marvel when people equate faith with what Quinton showed me – another time).  On the next break, another gentleman came to me, and he needed to talk as he said, “Please tell me more.”  His daughter had transitioned twenty-eight years prior, and he was still struggling with it.

Sharing, in the circumstance I described above is different in some way. I swear, in these moments I am just a conduit for a message that isn’t mine.  It is like I am tapped on the shoulder and told to share a divine message.  And so I did, I connected with him and shared with all awe, amazement and gratitude – Quinton’s visits; being tapped on the shoulder and guided to help, share, comfort and support another happens to all of us. The divine message of Q’s signs and that they showed me that he is alive and well on the other side coursed through my being. And then I said, this applies to your daughter too.  I felt that feeling I love and equate to being connected to the universe; I had goosebumps like I had never had before.  I looked down at my right arm.  Those goose bumps where larger than they had ever been and the hair on my arm stood straight up, totally perpendicular. I held my arm up and said, “See?”

His demeanor had changed, in that moment. The wheels were turning and maybe he was thinking differently about his daughter’s transition all those years prior.  An instructor walked by and caught part of our exchange and just said, “Goosebumps are good,” as he smiled and kept on walking.  Yes, goosebumps are good as they signal a connection to source and a connection to others.

These are the moments I live for and I encourage you to seek them as well. We are not made to walk the path alone; we are made to connect and share our respective journeys, the good and the bad.  But if you bump into me and give me any clue at all that you want to know more, be prepared to hear a divine message and maybe even get some goosebumps of your own.

Namaste.

Published in Quinton's Messages
Monday, 09 July 2018 22:08

The Good Stuff

Suzanne Giesemann invited me to be on her radio show, Messages of Hope, which airs on Unity Radio. I hold Suzanne in the highest regard.  Her twenty year career as a Navy officer and then becoming a renowned medium, author, key note speaker with unsurpassed integrity all contribute to my respect for her.  Beyond that, she and her husband Ty are simply put, good people.  To even be asked on her show was humbling and as Kristine says to me, “You live for this!”  Yes, other than my family, nothing lights my fire more than sharing the Good Stuff either one on one, with a group or on a radio show.

The date of the show was May 10th and I was a month in to the new job.  I ended up going into an open office while at work, but conditions weren’t ideal. I was tired, at the office and didn’t give myself adequate time to quiet my mind.  Over the years I have actually tried to soften my tone and mute my excitement for this divine knowledge, but there, on the edge of distraction and exhaustion, all I could do was be true and burn bright.  I actually felt kind of bad afterwards.  It seemed like I talked too much and didn’t allow for a dialogue, but I let it go and received a beautiful message from Rhonda Andrews:

Hi Ernie,

I just wanted to thank you and Quinton for the amazing message shared on Suzanne’s radio show. I have gotten in the habit of walking my dog each night and plugging in some interview or YouTube video to help me in this journey (March 27, 2017 marks the day my wonderful 17 year old son took his life).  Your interview with Suzanne really had an impact on me....and Quinton’s message is so simple and straight forward!   Anyway, most days are pretty good lately, but this interview has become a “go to” for the tougher days when I need those constant reminders and affirmations.  I also look forward to reading your books.  I’ve read a lot this past year, but still feel there is so much more out there to absorb.  Thanks again to Quinton for getting the message to you Ernie, and thanks to you for getting it to the rest of us.  It’s been truly life changing for me!

Sincerely,

Rhonda Andrews

Shining Light Parent of Reece Andrews

Rhonda’s message meant a lot to me. During our subsequent correspondence, Rhonda introduced us to her son, Reece.  All I can say is – Wow!  What a power house he IS.  I have no doubt he is an old soul as his own messages have impacted those close to him.  See below:

Hi Ernie,

I just finished reading yours and Quinton’s book and it has left me feeling so uplifted and full of hope. Thank you for sharing Quinton and telling his story.  Parts of your story sounded like my family.....the cat pee incident ?!   Anyway, I’m 15 months into this journey, and I know my son is happy and around, but I still need that constant reassurance, and this book has really helped. Thank you for writing it and thanks to Quinton for making sure his message gets out there!   I too have found so many people who have shared somewhat similar experiences when a loved one crosses over.  It’s just wasn’t a topic of conversation before my son passed.

Thank you for asking about Reece. My son took his life March 27, 2017 at the age of 17.   He had gone to a nearby park, and it wasn’t until about a month later that the police notified us of a notebook he left behind.  He had his school backpack and a small sling backpack that we weren’t aware of at the time.  This backpack contained a spiral journal with 68 handwritten letters to each of his family members and friends.  The letters were beautiful....very personal and each extremely detailed.  He would mention a particular conversation he had with that friend, or something they had done together.  Each letter ended with encouragement for that friend regarding their future.  Several letters ended with the phrase “it was such a pleasure having you as a friend”.  That’s how I knew he is an old soul.  I spent nearly all of last summer contacting his friends and inviting them over and giving them each their letter.  We had a scholarship fund and I ended up giving it to several friends he had written to.  It was easy to judge by the content of the letters who really stood out as amazing young people.

Thank you again Ernie for such an uplifting, comforting story with a happy ending.   I will continue to spread Quinton’s words

This is shared with Rhonda’s permission and is shared to emphasize that we are all in this together, helping and sharing with one another. As we connect as human beings, whether it be in celebration, just in passing, or working through our challenges – We find and celebrate the Good Stuff (this Divine knowledge) as we demonstrate our humanity.

Reece and Rhonda – it is good to know you both. Son, thank you again for bringing such beautiful souls into our lives.  Kristine and I really do appreciate it.

Ernie and Kristine

PS - Below is the link for the radio show.  Enjoy

Messages of Hope: Unity Radio - Guest Ernie and Quinton

 

Published in Quinton's Messages
Friday, 19 January 2018 20:22

The Traveling Man

The traveling man left Peoria long before sunrise.  By the time he made it to where Highway 160 turned north, five miles from the Four Corners Monument and six miles from where his son transitioned, it was approximately 8:00 a.m.  The sun was now up and it was a cold twenty-three degrees outside.  As the man made the turn he saw two figures standing alongside the road, almost in the exact same spot they last pulled over eight and one-half years ago to adjust the jet skis on the trailer.  The couple standing there saw the truck make the turn and wondered if it would stop and give them a ride.

They didn’t raise their thumbs until he was close.  The man was watching them and hadn’t picked up a hitchhiker for years, and had never picked up two at one time, but he stopped, backed up and then unlocked the doors.  When they opened the doors, the man asked where they were going to which the gentleman said, Towaoc.  The traveling man knew the town.  The first responders to the accident came from the station located there and a few years afterward he had spoken with them there.

The woman sat in the back seat and the man sat in the front.  His name was Eric and he was upbeat and positive; he had a good and strong energy about him.  The traveling man asked him what was going on in Towaoc and he responded that he had an orientation for a new job he had just landed.  Given the proximity to the accident site, the traveling man mentioned the memorial, the accident that claimed Quinton’s life years prior and even some of signs from his son.  And then the conversation began in earnest.

The Eric’s father had transitioned a scant one month prior.  Naturally the traveling man asked if he had received any signs yet or if his Dad had visited him in his dreams.  He indicated he hadn’t but that he could hear his Dad’s words in his head, encouraging him to get up and go to the orientation even though it was cold out.  He spoke of his Dad’s conversation with him two weeks prior to his transition, telling him that while it was his time to go, he (Eric) had to stay. 

The hitchhiker was no stranger to death; his baby sister had transitioned when she was just three month old.  It broke his Mom’s heart.  She was so sad, he explained.  She often spoke of wishing she could see her, and be with her again.  He shared that one morning  years ago, his Mom wouldn’t wake up.  She slept for so long that he and his Dad were about to call for paramedics, when suddenly she woke up.  She was happy and excited, and had something to tell them.  She had gone to heaven and saw her daughter.  She said her daughter was alive and well, and went on to describe the surroundings as “bright and misty”.

The traveling man and Eric really hit it off as they both discussed the fact that we are eternal and our lives here have purpose.  The traveling man encouraged Eric to be an example for his people, to be a bright light and not to fret if he ever stumbles.  None of us are perfect; just get up, forgive yourself and keep being a role model.  The world today desperately needs role models.

Eric told the man that he never would have thought he would meet a man like him that morning.  He shared that he had stood at Quinton’s Memorial just a few weeks prior and thought, “this is some man’s son.”  He continued by saying, “And here you are.”  The traveling man provided him with two business cards, one for Arizona and another for Colorado and told him, “Call me if you need to talk with me.”  Then he dropped them off at their destination and continued with his drive.

The world is a funny place as it quite effectively separates us by race, color, nationality, sexuality and sex; by the haves and have nots.  This is not reality.  The truth of the matter is, we are tied to one another, if we go deep enough, if we care enough; we are all one, linked to one another by an absolute Love.  All we need do is get out of our own way and begin to see through the stories that we allow to separate us.

Namaste

Published in Quinton's Messages
Sunday, 26 November 2017 20:07

SHARING LOVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

The Holidays are upon us and it is difficult at best, to be joyful for so many of us in this family of parents who have a child on the Other Side. But we are not the only ones on the planet, this school called Earth, who are in pain.  There is pain and suffering everywhere, as the news is sure to point out. 

I abhor the word “choice”, like we have a choice to be melancholy or not to be melancholy. It goes beyond choosing.  Our pain and grief must be felt, processed and maybe even burned away in fits of rage, tears and exertion.  And this comes in its own time.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve and it isn’t a race to get through it.  We know, don’t we?  But at some point, I implore you to take a chance and re-engage with the world.  For our benefit, yes, but also because the world needs us and our perspective that life is eternal because our kids have shown this to be.

What brings this on, you might ask. The Holidays for sure but also because of how I feel when I engage, not that I engage all the time.  I carry my burden as do many of you, and I honor it by not faking engagement. Too often still, I closet myself away but when I step out and interact in a meaningful way - when moved or even called to do so, typically I get more in return.

Naturally, doing so involves people. When Quinton transitioned I flatly said, “Don’t leave me alone” to those who came to our aid.  Now I tell myself, burn brighter and engage more because sometimes (even for me) it is easier to withdraw.  Interacting with the world is why I work now as a Realtor why I coach, write and speak. 

What brings this on, you might ask. Well it is when I speak to the young men on the football team.  Rarely do I talk to them about the X’s and O’s of the game; it is when I speak to them about the adversity they face and work through, there is a silver lining; being the best they can be; standing up for and protecting their brother / sister on the field of life; to be not only leaders, but leaders in doing what is right and good; to know they are held to a higher standard.  To share all of this and more, then to hear, “I feel you coach” or “Thank you Coach, I love you.”  I come to them in a spirit of Love as they were my own son (Quinton).  I come gently but serious and they respond accordingly.

Another example of the benefits of being involved and engaged with life and others is naturally with our grandchildren. To be more present with them than with our own children is in a way the definition of being a grandparent. Just being with them, present with them is a gift of love (both giving and receiving) that is a perfect example of what is available to us all – just by being engaged with others by sharing.  To have them come to us and cuddle; to hold them; to hear them say “I want to be with Grandpa” touches me so very deeply – beyond words which is my point.

It is said that our emotions guide us and point the way to how our hearts and souls want us to live. Turning away from love and turning our emotions off (oh, I am quite good at this) does us immeasurable harm.  So, get out there this holiday season and take a chance.  Share some love, even if it is a genuine and heart felt “Hi” to a stranger.  Hold somebody’s hand who is hurting and be there to listen.  With what we collectively have been through, doing so means more to the one on the receiving end than you may realize.  And don’t be surprised when you feel your heart smiling.

Enjoy the Holiday season my dear friends and fellow travelers.

Christmas 2008

Published in Quinton's Messages
Friday, 27 October 2017 10:11

Quinton's Legacy

Another Mountain Bowl; Evergreen High School football vs. Conifer.  The first one I attended as a spectator in 2009, months after Quinton had transitioned.  The next year 2010 I joined the Evergreen High School football staff which is shared in our first book, Quinton’s Messages.  We had been 7 wins and 1 loss since against Conifer.  As we prepared for another battle this past Friday, October 20, 2017, it was Senior Night.  Each of the seniors was introduced one at a time by the announcer; each had written a prepared statement which was read by the announcer.  This gave me plenty of time to reflect on the fact that Quinton would also be a senior if he were here with us in the physical world.  This thought made me more than a little melancholy.

The ceremony ended and we started warming up again.  As I watched us getting ready, I ended up standing near Adam Cardillo who directed me to look at the back of one of our helmets.  I was quite taken back to see a “Q” and the word “Adversity”.  As I stared kind of dumbfounded, Adam  watched my reaction and then told me that everybody’s helmet was the same.  I walk behind a line of players looking, at each helmet and everyone was the same.

I really didn’t know what to think; I guess I was numb, shocked, surprised and humbled. I wouldn’t have even noticed if not for Adam.  Warm-ups ended and game time approached.  I told interim head coach David Leek that I was headed to the coach’s box next to the press box.  This is where I am in the games because I can see the field better and report my observations of the opponent’s defense.  Mr. Leek said, “Hold on Ernie, the boys have something for you.”  I didn’t know what was going on, but I had noticed another difference.  A few of the boys had come up to me during warm-ups and out of the blue said, “Coach, I love you.”  I found that odd, as I embraced each with a hug, but the moments were fleeting as we had a game to prepare for.

After the coin toss, the four senior captains came off the field and walked toward me.  This happened fast, but as it did, I noticed other players and coaches walking toward me.  The captains came to me together, Luc (Tank) Lajoy, Will (One-Hand) Jermano, Jack (Wags) Wagner, and Mason (Mace) Edwards.  This was happening so fast, none of it expected or known to me.  They handed me a helmet, a helmet that most of the team and coaches had signed.  A helmet with a “Q” on the back with the word “Adversity”.  Oh, how often to I teach & preach there can be and often is a silver lining to adversity.  More than that, it is through adversity that we learn, grow and evolve.

I often wonder if anybody hears me as I honor our son, Quinton Stone Jackson, by speaking the truth that he opened our eyes to.  In the context of being an assistant football coach at my alma mater, I usually share that I coach because of Quinton.  Additionally, whenever there are struggles and adversity faced by the team or by an individual on the team, I am there to do what I can to help them to see adversity through a different lens.

One by one, each captain hugged me, telling me they loved me and then other players and then the coaches.  Now I was shocked.  This was Senior night, and Quinton would be a Senior, and the team honors us in such an heartfelt way.  As this unfolded and after the game, I was told that this was the senior captain’s idea! This is what makes it even more special; these young men originated this tribute! Later I looked at the helmet closer, a number 15 was on one side; the number we associate with Quinton because he was born on December 15th. 

Kristine and I are humbled by this loving gesture by these young men the same age as Quinton.

 Q AdversityHelmet 2

 

Published in Quinton's Messages