We left [the Chamberlain house] and I wanted to take a walk around Brunswick rather than drive. The family church across the street did not appear to be open but there were workmen there who let us inside for a look around. We waited outside for the workmen to open the door and heard organ music coming from inside, which was such a strange coincidence that my friends all looked at me in disbelief. Fanny had played the organ in the church and worked with Lawrence on the choir for a while rather early in their relationship.
Inside, the great Gothic church impressed me immensely whether it had been my church in another life or not. We found the plaque marking the Chamberlain family pew and I had to chuckle to myself because in my present life in various churches, I had a habit of choosing pews in the same right-hand position of the church. I moved closer to the altar with one of my friends while the other two took pictures of the choir loft in the back. We came to a set of pews on the right side and the vision of young men lined up together there imposed itself over the emptiness.
“The Bowdoin students sat here,” I whispered to her.
“You think so?” she whispered back.
I did not think so. I knew so, and she certainly supported me in my experiences. We stopped at the altar where Fanny and Lawrence had been married in 1855 and where Fanny’s adoptive father made his ministry career for most of her life. So many significant events happened in that lifetime there for so many residents of Brunswick and the presence of those things seemed to linger in the atmosphere. We talked quietly and one of the people who worked for the church approached us with a friendly smile. He talked to us about the history of the church, where we were from and other things.
Then he paused and gestured to the area where I had just been with my friend. “And the students from Bowdoin were required to attend church here every Sunday,” he explained. “They sat over there in those pews.”
The validation shocked my friend and me so much that I think someone could have knocked both of us over with a feather but we were careful to conceal any outlandish reaction until he was gone. I knew what I experienced with my life as Fanny was absolutely real but I was not at all accustomed to receiving validation on things I could not have known before I arrived in places where she went. My friend is the type to be rather logical and even tempered. She does not have extreme reactions to things unless they truly deserve it and she appeared shocked for quite some time.
“I knew you were telling the truth,” she told me in a hushed voice, “but I have never actually seen something like that happen. You just told me about the college students and then he came and said the exact same thing. I’ve never seen validation like that before.”
Where the house had been Lawrence’s and Fanny’s domain, the church distinctly felt like Reverend Adams’ domain. It felt so different from the house where I had the emotional impressions of a grown woman. The church gave me the emotional impression like that of a young girl wanting nothing more than to sit in her father’s lap and hang on his every word. In many ways, visiting the church was more emotional than visiting the house. It touched much deeper, quieter nerves in me and it was unexpected.
Reverend George Adams has already been reborn and died again. Months before I went to Maine, I had an intense dream in which my paternal grandfather, who passed away a year before I identified Fanny, showed me a picture of Reverend Adams that I had seen many times. I did not understand what he meant but I had not seen him in so long that I could not remember what he looked like in detail, so I looked for pictures of him. I placed pictures of my grandfather in a lineup with pictures of Reverend Adams and I realized that I was looking at the same soul in different centuries. I kept murmuring, “Oh my God,” over and over again, and stared at the pictures for probably a half hour or more.
My grandfather had a difficult life. His name was Raymond Jones and he married his high school sweetheart, Lou Ellen Pittman, in the late 1940s and went into the Air Force. When my father was three-years-old, a drifter broke into their house for robbery and my grandmother took him by surprise by coming home from shopping. The drifter brutally beat and murdered my grandmother with my toddler father as the only witness and my grandfather discovered her body when he came home that day. My father’s testimony sent the killer to the electric chair but neither my father nor my grandfather was ever the same again. My grandfather lost himself in alcohol for the rest of his life, although he remarried a wonderful woman and had another child, a daughter.
Physical resemblance is not enough to claim a reincarnation case, as I have said, but the resemblance added to other parallels and the type of relationship we had, coupled with the increasing emergence of my intact soul group, had led me to believe in the possibility that Reverend Adams became my grandfather. Reverend Adams married young as my grandfather had and adopted Fanny and another daughter. His first wife, Sarah Folsom Adams, died in 1850 and he took a second wife and had a new family with her. His relationship with the family of his first wife was rocky after she died, as it was with my grandfather after my grandmother’s death as well.
As a little girl, I remember my grandfather behaving differently with me than other people. He had long since become the strong silent type after my grandmother was killed but he was always more tender toward me. He cared about my development and we had a special connection that, looking back on it now, indicates the “I feel like I’ve known you before” deja vu when souls recognize each other. After my parents divorced, I did not see my grandfather anymore and I did not know he passed away until a few years after it happened. It is one of the biggest regrets in my life that I did not get to see him again before he died and that we did not get to share in this journey together.
Had I not been prodded into looking into Reverend Adams by my grandfather, I would not have taken a closer look at Adams’ second wife, Helen Root. There was a picture of them seated together that I had seen many times before but I never paid close attention. In the batch of pictures from my father’s side of the family that I sifted through to find my grandfather, there were pictures of my stepmother as well. She and I have had a cordial but distant relationship since she married my father, so I overlooked her as a possibility of being part of this soul group. Even as a woman much older than Helen was at the time of her photograph, my stepmother not only exudes the same energy, but looking at my stepmother is like looking at an age-enhanced version of Fanny’s stepmother.
If she was Helen, then the dynamics of the relationship have not changed that much. Helen was significantly younger than Reverend Adams and their marriage was not something Fanny accepted easily. The news of the marriage was sprung on her suddenly, as it was for me with my father and stepmother, and there were clear issues of disagreement and resentment between Fanny and Helen. My stepmother and I have drifted even further apart than in that life, if it is her that I have correctly identified. Some relationships are not designed to be close in certain lifetimes no matter if you were extremely close before or not.
I fully credit my grandfather with putting more pieces of my past life puzzle together through the simple act of holding up a picture of Reverend Adams in my dream. Standing in that nearly empty Gothic church filled me with a sense of his energy, the complete father of the past and the grandfather of the present, as if he was there to tell me it was all right to miss him but that he was there watching everything.
Where to Buy
Unveiled: Fanny Chamberlain Reincarnated is on sale today through the retailers below, both in the US and internationally. Brick and mortar bookstores, NACSCORP, the Espresso Book Machine, and Ingram Book Company are also be able to order and stock Unveiled as well.