Source: Pocahontas Star Herald, “Just Jana” Column
Author: Jana Caldwell

In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d share an encounter I had recently with a psychic. Yes. A Psychic.

You see, it all happened one Saturday afternoon when I was touring the Hotel Rhea in Walnut Ridge with Charles Snapp. It’s a beautiful old hotel that Charles and his wife, Jackie, have remodeled and opened to the public. I had just pulled up to the hotel and saw a woman taking photos of the building. She approached me and shook my hand, introducing herself. At that point, she didn’t mention that she was a psychic. I guess it’s not something you just blurt out due to the skeptics in the world. Skeptics… like me.

As I toured the gorgeous hotel, looking at all the antiques and photos from times gone by, I listened to the woman talk about things she had “seen” on her visit the day before. By this time I knew what she claimed to be and I followed her through the halls taking everything she said with a grain of salt. She talked about a woman in a window–what had actually drawn her to the hotel in the first place. She told Me she never felt any evil or bad spirits in the hotel. Only people waiting; possibly waiting on her.

As I said before: I am a skeptic. I just don’t believe in ghosts or goblins. I get more scared at the thought of a closing falling through than I do at the prospect of a house being haunted. I just don’t get it. So you can understand my surprise and utter amazement when the psychic looked at me and said, “You had a Jimmy in your life, didn’t you?” I cleared my throat a little, trying to recover my voice and hide my surprise. I got out in a raspy voice, “Excuse me?” She repeated, “You had a Jimmy in your life? Your dad, Jimmy?”

I sat down at this point…luckily there was a sofa behind me. My mind was racing, wondering how this woman had known my dad was a Jimmy and that he was gone. The psychic then proceeded to tell me that my daddy was there and had been bugging her nonstop to tell me something. At this point I’m pretty much in a combination state of being unable to speak and needing to wet myself. I sat in awe listening to everything she said. She told me personal details she would have had no way of knowing–things that had happened in my childhood and conversations I had had with my father. She even talked about a strange incident that had happened the night my father died that I had never spoke of to anyone. She knew it all. The skeptic in me shut up for a little while and I sat on the sofa, numb.

The psychic had one last piece of information she wanted to share with me on behalf of my father. She said, “There is a suitcase. No, a trunk. A brown trunk. Upstairs. There is a document in it he wants you to have. And I keep seeing the color orange for some reason, but I don’t know why.” Pretty interesting news to hear considering we have a brown trunk upstairs at my mom and dad’s house. Things are a little fuzzy from this point on. I can remember telling her that she was freaking me out. I also remember asking her if she could give me some insight into the real estate market. Did I mention that humor is my coping mechanism? At the end of our tour, we hugged and said our good-byes, and I left thinking over everything she had told me.

I spent the next few weeks debating on whether or not to go open up the trunk. If I looked and nothing was there, I worried that the comforting words she had told me would be less real. I was torn, I tell you. Eventually, with the reassurance of friends, I went out to look into the brown trunk. I had the words “a document and something orange” swirling around in my head. My happy thoughts were of me finding a baby picture of myself. You see, there are NO baby pictures of me at all. (It seems by the third kid came out, they ran out of film.) We opened the trunk and sifted through old newspaper clippings, piles of photos, and miscellaneous papers. And in the middle of it… an orange folder. My heart leapt. My dad wasn’t a man who favored vibrant colors, so this one orange folder had to be it.

I opened the folder and found some of the sweetest, heart felt, encouraging poetry that could touch a daughter’s heart only like a daddy could. It was real. Then in the back of the folder tucked away safely was a single baby picture. A beautiful little girl with wide eyes, sitting atop a sofa, posed and happy. It was the perfect ending to my search… Sort of. The back of the photo said “Teresa–age 6 months.”

Good one, Daddy. Good one.

Jana Caldwell is a local resident and author of “Thursday Night Confessions”