Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
My Great Aunt Rose was the first person to introduce the concept of reincarnation to me. I was young – probably 10 or perhaps younger. I had gone to the Hotel Pathfinder to pick up my Great Aunt, she wasn’t ready when I arrived so I went up to her room to wait.
Aunt Rose lived in a wonderful apartment on the 5th floor of the hotel. Her hotel residence was a single large room with an alcove for the bed – there was a closet on each side of the bed – giving the room a sense of order and symmetry.
There was a nice size bathroom with a shower, sink, medicine chest and toilet located to the right of the right-hand closet. Next to the bathroom was a very small but completely efficient kitchen. The sink, stove, and refrigerator were contained in a single unit. A row of cupboards had been placed above the appliance unit. A small – very small work table with shelves was scooted into the corner. Only one person (or my Aunt and a small child) could fit in the kitchen at a time.
In the middle of the large room was a desk – which acted as a divider. The bedroom was behind the desk, the living area in front of the desk. Rose had a book case, a chair and small sofa in the living area. I remember an end table, television, radio and foot stool – but overall, the living area was quite minimalistic.
As I was waiting for Rose to gather her hearing aid, jacket and purse, I walked over to the wonderfully giant windows to gaze at the scene below… It always freaked me out a bit to be so high but it was such a cool vantage point. Aunt Rose joined me at the window and told me that earlier she had seen a cricket on her window sill.
She had heard the cricket chirping and was surprised to find the critter sitting, big as you please, five stories up in the sky. She wondered aloud how the cricket had managed to find its way up to her window sill. Aunt Rose was a fantastic story teller and she always added an interesting detail or two that brought you into the mind of her characters. She told me that the cricket was friendly and genuinely happy to see her. She talked to the insect and asked why it had traveled all the way to her window – it didn’t answer – but she had the impression that it had been a difficult journey. The cricket appeared to be calm – not at all excited or fearful to be sitting on a window ledge so high off the ground. The cricket was quite content to rest on its perch, listen to her voice and simply share some time with her.
This is when reincarnation came up. She explained that she didn’t recognize the cricket but she felt that she knew the cricket. She felt that the cricket had been on a mission to check on her, see if she was doing ok and say Hi. She mused that she must have known that cricket in another life and she was honored that this reincarnated being would take the time to travel up the side of a five-story building to check on her well-being.
As we left her room and entered the elevator, she told me of a friend who had told her if he returned, he wanted to be a bird. She had joked with him – saying “Oh my – is there someone you want to get even with?” Which was funny – because a few days earlier a bird had pooped on my head as I walked home from school. We laughed – Aunt Rose admitted that she had been waiting for her friend to come visit her as a bird one day… I was wondering if it was her deceased friend who had pooped on my head just a few days before.
Our conversation that day, was a lighthearted, joking exchange. Reincarnation was introduced as a possible explanation for a rather unusual, random occurrence. There was, however, normally some truth and most definitely a lesson in whatever story or fable Aunt Rose shared with me. That conversation planted a seed…
Aunt Rose traveled to far off lands and the stories she told us and the photos she shared, opened my eyes to the history, governments, arts, belief systems and cultures of a variety of countries throughout the world. She was a Christian woman who truly believed each person on the planet was a child of God.
We never really discussed it but I believe that through her teachings to me, she believed that there is but one God and that there is a universal truth present in each religion - the law of love. Aunt Rose was devout in her Christian faith. She remained steadfast in that faith and beliefs while exploring the mystical and spiritual aspects of other religions. Even allowing for the possibility of the reincarnation of a friend – a cricket sitting on her window sill.
She was a woman of the world – a strong – independent woman. A woman who wasn’t afraid to go beyond traditional boundaries. She was a woman of great curiosity – a woman who wanted to experience first-hand the beauty, the diversity, the various cultures of the continents, and the many wonders contained on this planet. A woman who learned and accepted new things and different people. A woman who made friends with persons of many faiths – Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and probably more… A spiritual woman who was certainly open to the mystical…
I was raised within the Christian faith; however, my belief structure has grown to include the actuality of reincarnation. To allow for the very real possibility that God does work in mysteries ways, his miracles to perform.
Since the cricket and bird poop episode, I have learned more about reincarnation. I have heard stories concerning reincarnated beings. I have read articles and books on the subject. I have attended Darshans and listened to the teachings of a reincarnated master of wisdom.
To me, reincarnation is as much a possibility, as the resurrection. To me, reincarnation is the same process of renewal, regeneration and rebirth that we Christians celebrate at Easter!
I bring this up – not to convert you to an alternative belief system, not to debate you on the merits of various belief systems, but rather to explain how I got from there to here as a Christian. I want to understand the process by which reincarnation has blended into my Christian faith and I want to document for my family and loved ones, the journey that has led me to this point. It is a rather boring journey of many years of nothing - sprinkled with a smattering of mystical experiences. Each magical moment leading to a major healing crisis or spiritual awakening – or both… Each experience leading to a greater awareness and acceptance of just how little I know or understand.
I will share more details concerning the shaping of my views regarding reincarnation... as the spirit moves me.
The slide program features pictures of my Aunt Rose. She was the youngest sister of my Grandpa Joe Green and a person I adored. Whenever I needed a babysitter, I asked for Aunt Rose - her stories were the absolute best! Many of the pictures include family members... I wish I had pictures of her apartment in the old Hotel Pathfinder... I'm going to draw some sketches of how I remember her room - it won't be exact... but I'm going to give it a try!