My Mother, Anne

Anne Joyce (nee Sciortino) Carlson, 1927 - 2009
Anne Joyce (nee Sciortino) Carlson, 1927 – 2009

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the major reasons why I’ve had an ongoing interest in the unexplained since childhood was because of my mother. My mom was a person of great humor, and it was rare that she was not smiling, laughing and joking about something. For a petite little lady who barely weighed over 100 pounds (I get my stature and large frame from my dad’s side), she made a big impression on everyone she met and people naturally gravitated toward her.

My mom was a woman of many talents. She was was a nurse, having graduated near the top of her class from Long Island University in Brooklyn in 1947. She spent most of her career in pediatrics because she loved infants and children, and she frequently bandaged cut knees and scrapes for most of the neighborhood kids. Her cooking talents were legendary, and she was often the first one that people turned to with their troubles, always having a willing ear and a kind word of encouragement to help ease the sorrows of others. She and my father, Harold, were married in July of 1949, just short of sixty years until her passing in February 2009.

Although hardly a sanctimonious or pious person, my mom was a deeply religious woman, having been raised in an devoutly Catholic Italian family. Having such a background, she did believe in the fact that God spoke to her at times through her dreams, and she often laughingly referred to herself as “a witch”, primarily because of her incredible sense of intuition and her frequent precognitive (or as she called them, “witchy”) dreams.

Her gifts were not always welcomed, and my mother would honestly worry for someone if she’d had one of her “witchy dreams” about them. This was not unwarranted, because her accuracy was uncanny. The most vivid and upsetting example of her precognitive powers happened during the summer of 1975, shortly before my eleventh birthday. My mom was having persistent and very upsetting dreams involving her mother, who’d been deceased for about two years at that time, and her two brothers-in-law, my uncles.

My mother was the sixth of seven children, first generation American-born to Sicilian parents. She, like my father, was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and many of our relatives lived there. Her younger sister and her eldest lived next door to each other in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, my elder aunt being married to a physician, aged sixty-five. Her younger sister was forty-five years of age and her husband was forty-six. In the early morning hours of July 4th, 1975, the elder sister, Jane, called next door to her younger sister and brother-in-law to say that her husband was having a heart attack. Naturally, my aunt and uncle went next door and as my younger uncle was calling an ambulance, he too suffered massive cardiac arrest. Both my older uncle and younger uncle died within minutes of each other in the same house.

A horrible and bizarre tragedy indeed, the effects from which our family has never fully recovered. The strangest part, however, was the fact that my mother had been experiencing a feeling of foreboding and increasingly dark, disturbing dreams involving my uncles in the weeks and days leading up to their deaths. She spoke of having vivid nightmares of her two brothers-in-law struggling and drowning in black, churning water as her mother stood at the shore. In the dream, my mother would run up to the edge of the water, wanting to help her sisters’ husbands, but was told by her mother that it was “too late to save them”. She would then watch helplessly as the black waters eventually engulfed them.

On the morning of July 4th, 1975 at approximately 4 AM, my mother awoke in a cold sweat with her heart pounding. She later learned that it was at approximately this time that her younger sister’s husband passed away. After their deaths my mother had a more pleasant dream of my uncles and grandmother seemingly at peace and smiling at her.

These were the most memorable and upsetting of my mother’s many precognitive dreams, but she experienced them frequently throughout her life. Sometimes they were fairly innocuous, involving mundane events, but as friends and neighbors came to know of her abilities they often consulted with her about her dreams or feelings concerning various matters. And her instincts were usually correct.

On another occasion, about ten years ago and a few years after Jane, the eldest of her five older siblings, had passed away, my mother was in her bedroom folding and putting away some clothes in her dresser. Suddenly, my aunt Jane appeared, sitting on the edge of her bed. In a stern and commanding voice, unlike my sweet Auntie Jane, she told my mother to call their brother, saying “Buddy’s in trouble and he needs you!” At that, aunt Jane vanished. Within a minute or so, before my mother was able to compose herself and call her brother as she was told, the phone rang. My mother answered and it was in fact, my uncle. “How are you?” my mother asked. “Not too good” replied my uncle. As it turned out, his daughter had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. My uncle’s wife had passed away several years earlier, also from breast cancer, so this was naturally even that much more upsetting to him.

The good news is, my cousin’s tumor was removed and over ten years later she has been cancer-free. The strangeness of these incidents, though, has had a lasting effect on my view of reality. Why are some people, like my mother, more “in-tune” to the unseen and appear to have the ability to tap into events that have not yet occurred? And what is the true nature of precognitive dreams and clairvoyance? The answer may lie in the field of quantum physics. In Lynn McTaggart’s excellent book The Field, she coins the phrase “The Endless Hear and Now” — the fact that human consciousness is inexorably linked to the basic fabric of reality, the zero point field, a timeless and all-encompassing field of consciousness. This concept, once relegated as New Age nonsense by “serious” scientists, is now being advanced by some of the most brilliant minds working at the cutting edge of quantum physics. At this level, they tell us, we are all linked, and past and present becomes meaningless. So then, is it possible that some individuals have an innate ability to access this field?

Admittedly, these are difficult concepts to get one’s head around, and as Richard Feynman once famously remarked, anyone who claims to understand quantum physics is “a liar or a fool”. Readers of this website will find that the intersection of new science, quantum physics, and the paranormal/mystical is a central concept to many of my articles. I am, of course, not a scientist or researcher. I’m just a person who finds all of this fascinating and who is an avid reader of all materials concerning these subjects, and I look forward to encouraging a discussion with readers of this blog about such matters. My feeling is that there’s far too much empirical evidence to simply dismiss all such experiences as my mother had, and if it cannot be dismissed, then we must address their true nature and origin.

In conclusion, I must say that I miss my mother more than words can even begin to express. I don’t know of a more wonderful person that ever I’ve met, and I don’t say that simply because she was my mom and was dear to me. She was truly remarkable, and wise beyond reasoning. I love my mother and take pride in knowing that all which is good and decent about myself comes from her and my father.

UPDATE, 12/2015: It has been over six years since I wrote this article and as I look back at it I find that my views have changed a great deal. While I don’t dismiss the emerging field of quantum mechanics and importance that it may play in understanding what we’ve come to term “the paranormal”, I now believe that it is all part of God’s glory. Although my mother was often uncomfortable with her gift I do firmly belief that it was a gift of the Holy Spirit. I have a had a change of heart in mind concerning my faith and I now see the narrowness of my earlier views. I feel that I have only now begun to scratch the surface of what my mother understood so well: God’s glory and his love for us are boundless.

13 thoughts on “My Mother, Anne”

    • Thanks for reading. I’m rebooting the site this month and will have some new articles coming out. The subjects you mentioned are ones I’m very interested in exploring, and I hope to have some posts about deathbed and near-death experiences.

  1. I enjoyed reading about your mother, and her gift. Most all my family have gifts, but not me. Don’t know why, I’m part of the same family. One of the things I’m most interested in is death bed visitors. Several of my family members have had loved one that they mention are in the room waiting for them. I have talked to some Hospice nurses that mentioned they have observed this. What are your thoughts on this?

    • I believe in an afterlife and it certainly is a comforting thought to believe that our loved ones are waiting to help us over to the other side upon our death. It’s one of those things that may be impossible to ever prove scientifically, but I choose to believe in it. Partially, I admit, because I want to, but also because I think we truly are more than just our physical selves. I feel a bit sorry for people who think we are just a collection of chemical compounds. I’ve always felt that our soul is who we are and the physical form that we occupy so briefly is not what we truly are. Our essence is our higher self that lives on after our bodies cease to function.

      There are just so many people who have reported NDEs and visits with loved ones as they transition from this physical plane to the spiritual. I can’t accept the idea that all the people who make these claims are simply delusional or participating in wishful thinking. It would be a pretty dark existence to think that there is no afterlife. At least in my opinion it would be.

  2. “So then, is it possible that some individuals have an innate ability to access this field?”

    I honestly believe we all have the “channels ” – the conduits – in-built in us, as a natural organ, but with many, or perhaps even most, people they seem to be obstructed.

    What I don’t quite get is what compels us to see the so-called “future”, either in dreams or by means of waking intuition, even visions, if we cannot do anything about it.
    Or can we?
    In this case you described, clearly nothing could be done.
    So I don’t think such premonitions are meant to “warn” us, as if from an outside intelligent source – but rather something compels us to let that particular piece of information through, instead of keeping it out of view, like the rest of our so-called “future”.
    But what?
    Is it perhaps the emotion surrounding that “future” event that is simply too strong and breaks through into our awareness?

    I am very sorry to hear about your mother’s passing; but very glad to have been able to read about her.
    Thank you.

  3. She obviously passed on a lot of good things to you. I don’t see it as a good or bad, positive or negative either. It just is what it is, I would like to see more and more individuals just accept that and pass on what they know and help others understand, which is exactly what you are doing here. Just like an archeologist if we keep digging and putting the pieces together we might just one day be able to write our own Book of Knowledge. 🙂

  4. You’re mother was truly blessed and obviously learned to use her gift. I wonder if she ever passed on her knowledge to anyone other perhaps to you. I feel people should pass on what they learn through these experiences. I know I could have used a teacher when I was young and I’m betting so could everyone else who is gifted in this particular way.

    • My mom often laughed about her “gift” (if you can call it that), but sometimes it upset and frightened her. If she had a bad dream about someone she would truly worry about that person because these dreams of hers often came true, in one form or another. I don’t think she really saw it as a negative or a positive, but only as something that was a part of her. She passed on a lot of other good stuff to me though 🙂

  5. hello John. Sorry to hear of the passing of your kin. it is certainly sadto hear, it is a dear and tender human component of life.

    well surprise, i have a few stories to tell. as i might have hinted, i have some tales to tell. For example, there was this guy, and he had come to my work, just before i was closeing and he wanted to go out. I had only 2 hours sleep the night before and had been working since 7 am, and it was 11 pm, so i said, sorry some other time. but he insisted on going out, and begged. i didn’t really like the guy but i decided to entertain him, we were to go to the arcade which was open. before we left, i told him, something is going to happen tonight, as he had his hair black flat top with two red ‘horns’ at the temples. I had seen it before, i said, i saw this before, you were surrounded by darkness.(dark arcade, hint hint.) i couldn’t quite place the details. well, it turned out he had no money so i spotted him a few dollars to play some games. i was playing this fighting game which he kept beating me at, i asked him to let me practice a little bit, since he didn’t have to beat me 2 times in a row. but this jerk, idiot, kept killing my dude, so i moved his hand off the control and dude, chill, and this peice of shit say get off me, and i knew it, deja vu, my jaw was about to be broken. bam, yep, he broke my jaw. i just there amazed. and he kept swinging at me, and i was stopping him. and i said, dude, you just broke my jaw. and he didn;t believe me, cause i was so calm. i was in a lot of pain but i was very calm. perplexed even. and worried. it was big situation, my jaw was broken in 3 places. that was bad, it cost me 4000$ a job, a car, and oh yeah, i had to wait till monday afternoon to get operated on, no sleep, no food, til then, it was very bad. oh, and the dr at the emergency room, he didn’t believe me either, that it was broken, he torn my jaw apart (even when i told him not to touch me) and gave me a bolt of extreme pain that lasted for about 3 days. yeah, it sucked. These people need to be sent one way to hell.
    sorry, oops.
    here’s another i like to tell, i was working on side shingling this house, and i cut myself. i was bleeding pretty good, and i knew i had to stop the bleeding. i got down from the scaffold, walked to the corner of this yard, grabbed some mouse ear, or hawkweed, put the leaf on the cut and it stopped bleeding in about 2 seconds. left just a red line and healed in a day. couldn’t even see it, till i put tea tree oil on it and it opened up and left a scar. but the point is, there was only those couple plants in the whole area. i went directly too them. i couldn’t have done it faster. i was also trying to do my job faster than my boss expected.

    i have maybe 1,000,000 other stories.

    those quantum scientists are generally idiots. totally evil people, not scientists at all, stupid and evil people. I’ve read their books and they’re really dim. they really don’t know what they’re talking about.they go on like this: there is a box, they view the contents of the box with a gamma detector and conclude, ONLY gamma rays are in the box, they view the box with an electronoscope, then conclude, ONLY electron waves are in the box, etc. these guys solid idiots with an agenda. to serve evil masters. i’m telling you that’s the truth. it’s disgusting. they want you to believe that only you exist and that you are the ruler of your world. the idea that something doesn’t exist until you measure it is a retards expression. the simple concept i explain above is something that doesn’t need be explain but when you deal with pin heads, there you go. and yes, this lie is the lie that all aliens and gnomes and demons and vampires will try to convince you off. That you make truth, that is not the truth. Truth is what is without you. The ones who pretend to be their own truth, That is SATAN. the ones working in GOD’s TRUTH, that;s the whole christian gospel. I can tell you more about that. i’m the only expert on the bible.

  6. Thank you, Nicole! Great to hear from you again. I’ve had a few premonitions and precognitive dreams myself, but nowhere near to the extent that my mom had. What the Bleep…? was great, and I’ve caught some of Down the Rabbit Hole on YouTube. I’m looking forward to writing more about that stuff as I read more about it (and hopefully begin to grasp it more). Hope you have a lovely Halloween too. Keep in touch!

  7. Hi John! The whole world misses a woman like your mother…she was such a light. Thank you for sharing her stories.
    I have not had dreams that were reoccurring and that vivid before. I did, when I was younger, dream of people before they died. Thankfully, none were that close to me, as your mother’s. How trying that must have been for her! Mine where usually more distant relatives and family pets. They would seem to be saying bye to me, normally in the dreams. Or I’d just wake up knowing that they’d go soon. They weren’t scary, thankfully. I haven’t had those in a while.
    I used to also have dejavue on a regular basis. Sometimes 6 months after the dream. I still have it now, it just hasn’t been as vivid as it was. I figure that my increase in fear as I’ve grown up has been the main culprit to my connection weakening. Since having a child everything has changed it seems.
    I hope that you will share more of your mother’s stories! They are fascinating!
    I, too enjoy hearing about quantum physics and how it all connects. M theory is something that’s fascinating. I also like the movie, “What the bleep?!”. I have yet to see the follow up they made entitled, “Down the Rabbit hole”, though.
    Well enough from me! Have a good week and a lovely Halloween weekend and time change.


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