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Validation from the Wood n Tap

I just wanted to validate some of your readings from last night (thank you!)

You read both my husband Chris and I last night at Wood N Tap, and I wanted to validate some of what you told us! We called Chris' mom when we got home, and she helped us a lot.

First of all, we think Chris' grandfather started coming through a little earlier than we originally thought! We told her you started to shift from the other woman and her grandfather when you asked if he loved dogs and said you were seeing a dog, and then you got into the dog with the back leg problems we took to be his old Golden Retriever Molly we were telling you about. And his mom said "Well, my dad loved dogs, loved them, he had a dog he loved so much." Chris asked what the dog looked like - and it was a two-toned black and white dog!

She validated pretty much everything you said about his grandparents, who Chris didn't know well. Her father was the marshmallow, loving guy, funny guy - Walter Winslow (there's your W!). Grandmother was very much like Bea Arthur. You had the family nailed! The guys are all business, they say hello and then retreat to the living room to watch football, and the women just talk over each other in the kitchen. Chris is the quiet one, as is his dad - he has a mom and two sisters who are, like he said, "noisy as hell." Maybe that could bethe family of five you kept getting in the first woman's reading, if he did start coming through earlier? His grandmother did die of cancer in her stomach area, too.

We laughed when you brought up the tool belt, like Tim the Tool Man Taylor - that's actually who he's going to be for Halloween!! Chris is very good with his hands, and actually just finished remodeling our kitchen. The stories about the project cracked up my coworker so much that she said we had to go to as Tim the Tool Man Taylor and Heidi the tool girl for her Halloween-themed wedding in a few weeks. :)

As far as my reading goes, my best friend of 15 years Jay was killed on impact when his friend drove drunk and hit a tree. We were 17. The poem he was referring to was a tribute poem I included in our high school newspaper (I was editor), which I then framed in a collage of pictures of him (behind glass!). He was a very funny kid, and like you said, both strong and sensitive. I struggled with the scarf over the head, embroidery thing... but when I got home and flipped through a little photo album I have of him, he's got a bandanna tied around his head in a few. I'm guessing that's what that is? I do write, and the book he was showing you were most likely the two recent stories I had published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series - he was always proud of my writing. I'm still working on the butterflies and party planner bit and Waterbury, but at the end, you said the name Michael. Michael Boule was another young man killed on impact in a car accident at the age of 22 when I was 20. Michael was the son of my dad's best friend and the big brother of my friend Chris, who was also good friends with Jay. Jay's brother Ross was best friends with Mike. We all grew up together, so it's a very sad circle of brothers losing brothers and friends losing friends. It's wonderful to think those two found each other when they crossed over.

I also find it fascinating that you were getting some sort of connection with Jay and Chris and I together. Chris never met Jay, but I've always told him I think Jay brought him to me. I'm a firm believer in things-happen-for-a-reason, and when Jay was killed by a drunk driver, it seriously affected me. I went to Providence College, but the party atmospherejust terrified me to the extent that I transferred to University of Hartford to be close to home after one semester. Because I transferred in the middle of the year and all the freshmen had their friends set, I went to my comfort zone of writing and joined the newspaper to meet people. I hit it off with a girl named Meg on staff who took me under her wing, and she took me out one night to meet her friends (all 2 years older than me). One of the boys living in that apartment was Chris. So I firmly believe that if I hadn't lost Jay, I wouldn't have met Chris. And he's got many of the qualities Jay had that I needed - the strength, the sensitivity. So kinda cool!

Only thing we're both very much hoping you were wrong on for the time being is the pregnant thing!! We'd like to have kids someday 3 or 4 years down the road, but Chris has a longroad of apprenticeship hours and nine tests before he can be an architect, and we just got married in April, so we're really trying very hard to NOT be pregnant for a few years!! Really hoping that'll be somebody else. :)

So I think that's it! I just wanted to share that with you and thank you. You made a (healthy) skeptic a complete believer, and hearing from Jay was a great comfort for me. Thank you so, so much for a wonderful night.

Caitlin Bailey O'Neill

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