This is everyone's favorite Dr. Mary story. After reading about the bear attacking poor Doris I know some of my friends are going to say "You can't expect us to believe a story like this!" I can only rely on my reputation for veracity.
To say my mother had an open mind doesn't quite explain how open. You could drive a tractor trailer through a mind this open which made her tremendous search for meaning beyond the mundane a real adventure. Her search began a with fortune teller in her hometown of Beacon, N.Y. when she was young. The fortune teller told her that she would not find what she was looking for there, but would find her heart's desire far away. My being born legally blind was the impetus for her moving us to Davenport, Iowa and you would think going to college on a GED with two young boys would be enough to occupy her mind and time. We were always going to strange meetings-hushed gatherings listening to Martians speaking on reel-to-reel tape recorders. I must admit that was quite a thrill for a kid who loved to watch Captain Midnight on Saturday mornings. I delighted in having an avowed vegetarian buy me a hamburger after a Theosophist meeting. The humdinger of humdingers was Saturday nights at Edith Ewing's in Rock Island Ill. which was on the other side of the Mississippi River. I remember walking down a dark alley with my mother and brother and knocking on the door of a poor but clean apartment. About a dozen people and one Irish Setter named Rusty sat on overstuffed chairs and a sofa, My spot was a chair by the window where I could marvel at the slivers of light that would come and go past my face. She was an elderly, warm woman who lived since childhood surrounded by about six Native Americans who walked this land over a hundred years ago. They were her friends who vowed to stay with her until she passed. Did I think this was scary or odd?-no not at all which probably explains why I have never felt that comfortable in this world. Edith would sit with her eyes closed for a few minutes in this darkened living room and at some point different voices would emerge from her body. People went around the room asking questions. My mother wanted to know what her father did in the next world. One of the Native Americans would send a runner and a minute later my mother was told that her father helped children who had died a violent death transition to a purely spiritual world. My mother derived great comfort by this answer. It was something she could imagine her father doing. White Owl was a medicine man and he would answer medical questions. My mother bonded with him and all the decades of her chiropractic career he would place a light over an area that required attention on a patient. I wonder how many of thousands of people she worked on new that. I will save the most incredible part of this story for tomorrow as I need to fill out work reports.