Rev. Vicki Marriner wasn't always a clairvoyant medium or spiritual healer. In fact, for much of her life she was not aware of her link to the world of spirit at all. It took the pain and upheaval of losing one of her newborn twins-who followed eight miscarriages and who were born very premature-to start Marriner down the path of self-discovery, truth, and spiritual awakening. Angels and Lamb Chops: A Spiritual Journey presents the heartrending and ultimately joyful story of Marriner's life, tracing her journey from death, despair and broken relationships to peace of self and freedom of soul.
The lessons of Marriner's experiences can guide all of us in our life's questions, for the principles of success in all our lives are the same: grounding ourselves to the earth plane and strengthening our connection to the spiritual plane can save us from self-destruction and fear while also lending joy, confidence and compassion to our daily lives. Marriner's role as medium allows her to bring us the gifts from Spirit-gifts to help us cope with what we have been given, help us see the world for what it is and can be and help us thrive in our hearts and minds.
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ANGELS AND LAMB CHOPSA Spiritual Journey
By Vicki Marriner
Balboa PressCopyright © 2011 Vicki Marriner
All right reserved.
Chapter OneANGELS AND LAMB CHOPS: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Oh, the pain, the pain! They promised me this wouldn't happen again! My knees are buckling from under me! I must get to the phone, yet it seems so far away. As the pain grips me again, it goes down my back and legs. Why does this always happen to me? I've done everything the doctor has told me; only mild exercise and rest. I've so rested that I've stacked on so much weight. My mind refocuses. Oh no, Scott, you're going to be fed up with me and so terribly disappointed yet again.
The pain reaches a new height as not only my physical body is hurting but my soul is so sad and frightened again. I dial 000 and the soothing voice on the other end of the phone tells me to breathe deeply, stay calm, and that they will be there as fast as they can. I hang up the phone and get to the front door to unlock it. More pain goes like a fireball through my whole being. I have to get back to the phone. I should have rung Scott before I worried about the door. As I start to dial his number, my knees go from under me.
My next memory was of the ambulance officers carrying me out to the ambulance, and I remembered that I hadn't contacted Scott. I asked that someone ring him, as he was going to be upset with me. I'm so terribly useless, so useless.
I now fell into a different state, one of induced, medicated oblivion. We headed down the corridor of the hospital, and I could hear all that was going on around me, but I was unable to focus or speak. "Nearly there, hold on, love," the ambulance officer encouraged me.
There seems to be some sort of emergency somewhere, and then I feel needles, cords, and leads being placed on my chest. One arm seems to be weightless; I think they have it in some sling-like thing. Goodness knows what they're doing to me. I just I know I need help. Won't somebody please help me?
"Calm down, Vicki," the charge nurse said. "You're safe. We have you in emergency. We've been able to contact Scott, and he's on his way. He told us to tell you he loves you and always will. You're a lucky girl to have someone so devoted to you, my dear."
All of a sudden I'm not there; I'm a little girl again with bright red hair and freckles everywhere. Oh, how I hated being a redhead, because they all called me blue—a nickname some bright spark thought up, goodness knows why. Now I'm playing tennis! I so wanted to be a tennis star to make Mum proud of me; I was going to play at Wimbledon. I'm hitting the ball really well ... little girls and their silly dreams. I'm feeling very safe; there's this brilliant, white light and it is growing all around me.
I feel as though I'm looking down at everyone; it's a lovely feeling. I'm not frightened at all; it's the most peaceful I've felt in years. My whole being wants to stop my earthly battles and just go to this peaceful light. I don't want to be a burden anymore to those I love. I'll be free. They won't have to worry about me anymore.
From the moment I was born, I'd been ill with this or that, and if anything was going around I'd be the first to catch it, my mum always told me. So right from the beginning I'd been a nuisance. The light felt so tranquil.
There was this beautiful—no, it couldn't be, but it was—angel, and she was coming to me through the veil of light. "My dear child, it is not your turn to join us yet," she told me. "You have many more things to do, my child! Vicki, look how sad they would be without you; your Scott would not cope." At that moment I knew I had to go back. Why, at that time, I didn't know.
I heard a strange voice in my ear and felt the coolness of a wet cloth on my forehead. "Come on, Vicki, wake up. That's a good girl." As my eyes began to respond to her voice, I heard a deep sigh of relief coming from the voice that was so close to me. "Thank goodness, we thought we had lost you there, my girl. You gave us all a scare."
Apparently, I'd gone into shock and my body had closed down, then my heart. I was far too groggy to know what had happened to me at that time.
Then the news I'd dreaded filled my every cell. "We are so sorry, Vicki, but we must take you down to the operating theatre. Doctor is there waiting for you." As she patted my hand, I was wheeled down a different corridor to yet another operation. Every fiber of my being was screaming, please don't do this to me. Not again! Tears began to flow from me like a river. I couldn't put my Scott through all this again.
"Nurse, nurse, ring Scott," I screamed. "Tell him not to bother coming. He doesn't deserve this. Just tell him to forget me and move on."
"Now stop that right now, young lady." The nurse scolded me as if I were a child.
How dare she! She had no idea of what we'd been through, what it had been like for us these past seven years, watching our so-called friends avoid me when I was downtown and feeling the friendships slowly fall away. We used to be so popular, but now we got invited nowhere. There was no point; Vicki would be sick.
What made it worse was that my darling Scott also had been cut off from his friends. No more "footy" days with the boys, or barbeques after the cricket. He never once complained; just became very skilled at repairing things around the house.
Yes, at that moment, I was feeling very sorry for myself. I admit it. But geez, who did that nurse think she was? (I realize now that she was only trying to help me, and I send her love every time I think of how rude I was to her that day.)
We entered the operating theatre, and my doctor smiled at me with a reassuring look in his eyes. I felt that, even though he didn't speak at that moment, he was trying to calm me for what was ahead.
"Vicki, we have been closely monitoring everything, and I'm afraid to say, my dear, that we must go ahead, for it is the only way that we can see that we can save you. I shall try with all the experience I have to give you a successful outcome."
The anesthetist walked over to me and proceeded to prepare me for the long procedure ahead.
My mind is racing a million miles a second. I remember telling the nurse that I didn't want Scott to come to the hospital. Oh, but I do love him with all my heart. I hope to God she didn't listen to my ramblings.
Scott came into my life just before I turned twenty-one. I'd had so many personal problems and health scares over the years, I believed I'd never find lasting love. Yet the moment he set eyes on me, it was as though we were one.
I remember his mates used to tease him about me.
"Stop thinking about that woman of yours, mate, and do some work," they'd tell him, and he always laughed because he'd take me to the pub with him on Friday nights. That was always strictly a boys-only night. But Scott would just smile and say, "Where I go, Vicki comes. All right fellas?
Now who's first buy at the bar?"
I was always happy to sit there and talk to the girls serving the drinks; we'd catch up on all the weekly gossip whilst the boys played pool or darts. Scott would come up to the bar when it was his shout (or buy) and always ask me, "How you doing, sweetie?"
He'd give the most wonderful smile and either touch my arm or squeeze my shoulder, and it would melt my heart. I loved him so very much, and I knew he felt the same. He had always cared for my through the good and the bad times, but now, once again, I felt I had let him down. Here I was again in surgery. As they gave me the injection, I drifted off into an induced sleep.
Now I'm solely in the hands of Spirit and my doctor. I'm feeling very strange. It's as though I'm in the operating room and yet it's like a dream. I'm there, but I'm above myself looking down. I try to open my eyes, and all I see is balloons dancing in front of my eyes. And I smell flowers, such beautiful perfumes flowing into my nostrils. I'm here, but I'm floating. I'm back down again. I'm in a room now, not sure why yet. I notice the gifts now, and I feel despair run through me. I'm in the hospital again, I remember ... that will be right. Everyone is sending me get-well wishes again, but no one ever comes to see me. I try to move, but the pain is severe. It's a different sensation from what I had before the operation. Operation? What operation? What happened to me? What am I doing here? I press frantically for the nurse. She enters my room with a big, cheery smile.
"Hello, Vicki. Good to see you're back with us. I checked on you a few minutes ago, and you were sleeping soundly."
I feel like shouting at the silly woman. Doesn't she know what has happened to me? Hasn't she read her notes, for goodness sake? Can't she tell that my whole world has just fallen apart? I have heard of good bedside manner, but this is insensitive, uncaring. I'm going to remember her name and tell my doctor. I don't suppose she knows that this will have to be it with me and Scott now. I can't be a burden to him any longer. I must set him free.
"Vicki, my love, calm down," the nurse told me.
"Scott is in the hallway waiting to see you." I hadn't realized I'd actually verbalized my thoughts, as I was still heavily sedated. I felt so embarrassed, and tears welled. Ashamed of myself, I pleaded with my eyes for her to forgive me. Again, there was that smile, the knowing smile of our professional nurses who put up with so much from their patients yet are always there with a smile to reassure us that all is well.
"That's all right, love; you've been through a lot. Scott is waiting outside. I'll just call him in." My heart froze! How could I face this wonderful man again? He had so bravely helped and nurtured me over these past seven years, and every one of those years had been a disappointment in one way or the other.
Burying my head in my pillow, I felt that terrible sense of loss yet again—loss of both our joys for living in the moment. Scott entered the room and lifted the pillow from my face, looking at me with so much love. "Vicki, darling, I love you so very much," he told me. "As much as all our yesterdays. You make my world a brighter place, and I love you more than you will ever know."
I couldn't believe this wonderful man. Here he was giving me his undying love, and yet again I felt I had let him down terribly.
The sobs racked my body, and we embraced the best we could. How blessed I felt to have this darling man in my life. I was still feeling groggy and somewhat confused by my surroundings, still unaware of what the doctor had done to me.
A nurse entered and asked if I would like to sit up and if I could manage to go in the wheelchair with her and Scott. I looked over at Scott and he replied, "Only if you think you're up to it, my darling," and as always, I knew I was safe in his care. Between them, I was gently lowered into the wheelchair, thinking to myself that they must need to do an X-ray. Who knew? My curiosity got the better of me as we entered the elevator, and I asked the nurse where we were going. She looked at me strangely, yet didn't reply. Before I could ask her again, we were on the fifth floor and starting down the corridor.
"Scott, it feels really lovely up here. Is this why you brought me here?" He embraced me as we were walking and again looked at me with so much tenderness. He then gave me one of his special squeeze-hugs, and right at that moment I didn't know whether to be happy or scared, there were so many emotions running through me. It was very strange. We entered the ward, and as I looked around me, I couldn't believe where they had brought me. Again the tears flowed, followed by the endless self-pity and the feeling of total loss.
Scott came to the front of the wheelchair, trying to calm me. It's all right, darling. I saw the worried look in his big, blue eyes, and yet I didn't understand why they would bring me here. Maybe it was for some sort of shock treatment. Maybe I'd gone crazy. I just didn't understand.
Scott said, "It's as though you don't know what is happening. Surely they told you on the ward."
"Told me what, Scott?" I asked him angrily.
Suddenly the nurse put her hands up to her face in anguish. "Oh, Vicki, I'm so sorry. Doctor and the professor wanted to tell you themselves. I'm so sorry, dear. I didn't realize you hadn't seen them yet."
With that, both of those men walk into "the unit," as they called the ward. Two doctors smiled at us, and the professor took over from Scott and wheeled me through the doors.
My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as I was being wheeled toward two of the most previous living angel-girls I'd ever seen. The professor had told us that if I miscarried again, it was very unlikely that I would ever give birth to a live baby; my body was too tired after having eight pregnancies and not one child to hold in Scott's or my arms. They had advised us to look at adopting or fostering.
But I'd come so close this time, only to once again fail us both. As I looked at these two beautiful babies, I thought I would be blessed to be able to choose one of them; and yet how could I choose between them?
Scott knelt down beside me and spoke with so much love in his voice.
"Darling," he said, "these aren't our adoptive babies; these are our own twin daughters. You have done it, my darling. These are our girls!"
Not only one baby, but two. One of the babies had been hidden, and it wasn't until I was delivering them that the professor and all in the delivery suite got the greatest surprise. We had been given the gift of two beautiful little girls.
The professor announced to me, "You have two little miracles, Vicki. They're both healthy and doing well." As he left the unit, he smiled back at us and said, "Good job, you two; and I'm pretty proud also."
As I sat there in awe and wonder, I still couldn't believe that these two beautiful babies were mine. I knew that straightaway our lives would never be the same. They were now complete. The love that flowed from me was all empowering.
"Oh, my goodness, Scott, you're a daddy!" I squealed like an excited little girl.
"And, my darling, you're a mummy." It now dawned on me what all the flowers, cards, and balloons were for—and naturally, they had all arrived in every shade of pink.
The twins were very tiny. Their birth weights were only two pounds and four pounds. Twin one, as she had been dubbed, was so tiny, she was nearly transparent; and yet her little lungs were working and her heart was strong. Twin two, though also tiny, was basically doing well, considering they were ten weeks and five days early. As I gazed in wonder at my daughters, everything began to make sense to me. We had done it. I was at last a mum. At a later date, I was told all about what had led to this joyous day; but at that very moment, all that mattered to me was that at long last we were a family.
"Scott, Scott, love, we will have to go and start ringing everyone and tell them the marvelous news." He smiled at me, not saying a word, but it wasn't until we returned to my room that I realized what I'd said. All the gifts meant that, naturally, whilst I'd been sleeping, my two daughters were being introduced by their father. Laughing, we gazed once more at our girls and then happily went to find a phone so I could speak to my parents.
The babies weren't named for five days after their birth, as we had hoped to have only one baby. To be blessed with two was just incredible. So what would any good daughter and son-in-law do when my mum and dad came to visit? We asked her to name her two granddaughters.
Mum looked at our precious angels and said, "This is Jody Chantel, and this is Mandy—"
"Kathleen," I piped in. Kathleen being my mother's first name ... well, the smile on Mum's face was lovingly frozen in time. We all had a family hug as we welcomed our girls into our lives and world.
Because they were premature, the babies were taken into the intensive care nursery to monitor their vital signs. Wrapped up in the hospital cots, they looked so very small and alone, but they were alive and doing well.
As life works in mysterious ways, not only was twin two a surprise, but the girls were also born on different hours that gave them different birth dates. Twin one came into the world at 11:38 p.m. on 19 July 1997, and twin two arrived at 12:08 a.m. on 20 July 1997. So there was I, a woman who had had eight miscarriages over a period of years, and on this delivery, not only had I had two beautiful daughters, but I'd also had two children in one year. (Now stop and work it out. Wasn't I clever?)
Excerpted from ANGELS AND LAMB CHOPS by Vicki Marriner Copyright © 2011 by Vicki Marriner. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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