Sunday, September 10, 2006

France 2 – D-Day Reunion 62 Years Later-Sept 1-4, 2006

Dearest Family and Friends,
This was a difficult entry for me (Icasiana) to publish as it exposes so much of me that I wasn’t even aware of until now. I had asked Creator if I really needed to publish it, and was told “yes, because this will help others who are afraid to speak out about their experiences that are not easily understood and are ‘outside of the box.’” It is scary to venture in these realms and I believe there is healing in being this vulnerable. I continue to marvel how this journey keeps tapping us for more; more healing, more opening, more courage, and ultimately more expansion.
I thank Gabriel for his adventuresome spirit to ride the course with me and support me in such an amazing way for my soul’s evolution. I thank Kate and Matt for trusting me, and I thank Elijah for just being. I thank all our friends and family for sharing this journey with us, vicariously and through our thoughts and prayers.
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Normandie Revisited, In This Lifetime
Goosebumps coursed through my body and erupted on my skin as I studied the map while looking for our next destination in France. As soon as I realized how close we were to Normandie, the more I realized I had to go back. Strange, I had never been to France before, in this life, but I was to come to the realization that my life had ended on June 6, 1944, D-Day. I had told Gabriel that there is a very strange and strong pull for me to go there. I didn’t know why I had to go there or why I was feeling so emotional, but I was very sure I had to go there. Gabriel said, “well let’s go.” As we got closer to Utah Beach, Gabriel could see the emotional effect of this return on me, and he asked if I had had a previous life here. I just nodded yes. The strange occurrence of the previous days was starting to make sense. Several days earlier when we got to the Normandie region and visited Le-Mont St. Michel, I started feeling extreme pain in my left shoulder blade, close to my spine; it also restricted the movement of my neck. Pain would shoot through me and when Gabriel would work on me, it would free up for a while, but then it would return. At first I thought it was from sleeping cramped up in the van, but intuitively I knew it was something deeper. I literally asked my body what it was trying to show me; I asked, what lessons must I learn through this pain. The answer came soon after asking.

Ascent on Utah Beach
Once we started our two-hour drive from Le-Mont St. Michel toward Utah Beach, more information started coming to me. The hair on the back of my neck would rise up when I would think of why I was having flash backs to 1944 and why I was feeling such an affinity in this life for the French people, as I really didn’t have any exposure to many French people before. As we drove, images starting flooding my mind, these were images of me in Army fatigues running off the US Boat toward the shore. The weather was rainy and dreary and there was a high wind. I was struggling carrying all the radio equipment and supplies on my back. I was thrilled reaching the beach without being shot. I was so loaded down that I was moving quite slowly when I heard my buddy call me from behind. He had been shot. In my mind I didn’t want to head back because I would be exposed to German gunfire. My orders had been to run to the beach and get up the hill and “do not turn back.” But I was not able to leave him behind when I heard him call my name, “Bobby”. I made a split decision, against orders from my commander, and trudged back to my fallen buddy James. He had been hit badly and blood was gushing from his neck. By the time I arrived by his side he was nearly dead. Then a shot from high above sounded and it came toward me. Now I was hit. I could feel the bullet ripping through all the equipment I was carrying, but I felt it as if it was in slow motion. I thought the equipment was going to save me, but no, the bullet ripped through my left shoulder, near my spine. I doubled over James and we looked at one another with the look of death. I knew I would die, I just didn’t know when, but I definitely knew my time was coming. I held James as he spat blood and gasped his last few breaths. It comforted him a little to die with me, his buddy. For that I was pleased.

My Fascination with D-Day
In this life, I have always had a fascination with D-Day and the invasion of Normandy. I found that strange as I have never been one to have the desire to learn or speak about war, but inexplicably D-Day held a spell over me. When I watched the movie Platoon many years ago when the PT boats landed on the shore and all the soldiers were basically slaughtered even before they hit the sand, I had a visceral reaction, so much more intense and personal than just from seeing the images on the screen. I felt like I knew those guys. I somehow knew what they were going through.

I have a dear friend, John Allard, who fought at the Battle of the Bulge in France. He and his twin brother were both sent over to fight. When I first met him, I just adored him and his wife Betty (who has since passed on). I started asking him about his life and he shared his experience about the war. I found it so fascinating and yes, even familiar. He had said that when he fought in the battle, nearly all of the men from his squadron were killed. A knowing chill ran through my body when he told me this and now a chill runs through my body as I remember this today.

French Angels Rescue Me
I didn’t die on Omaha beach where I landed and where I was shot. James died, but I was rescued at dusk by a wonderful French family who risked their lives by sneaking onto the beaches past the German guards to rescue any survivors they could find after a day of gruesome war. They didn’t care what uniform the person was wearing. They cared about saving people’s lives, at the risk of their own. They drug me off of James and then removed my radio equipment and supplies and laid them on the beach. Then they drug me closer to the rocks to avoid the German soldiers from seeing us. Once they got me near the rocks, I was carried, quite roughly for what seemed like many miles, up a huge hill and over pastures and fields. The woman, Marie, was telling her husband, Henri, in French that I had lost quite a bit of blood and I needed to lay flat or I would surely die. It’s odd that I was able to understand their conversation even though I don’t believe I could speak French. I can only imagine that I was close to death and had begun to pass through the veil with expanded awareness, where language is not such a barrier. Finally, he stopped and laid me down in a field. I knew we were near a church as I could hear the bells toll. I was grateful to hear the bells, and glad to still be alive. Marie cradled my head while Henri looked at my wounds and I could tell by the shocked look on his face, I wasn’t going to last much longer. I was in excruciating pain, I didn’t have to say a word, he just knew. He took out a bottle of whiskey and let me drink some. Marie cradled my head and spoke to me in French. It was like a lullaby. Her voice was lovely and kind and she then started to sing. I knew this was the end. I was so grateful that I was not left on the beach, piled with all the others who lost their lives. I drifted off quietly, feeling love and gratitude that I died in the arms of these courageous and compassionate French souls.

The Church Bells Toll
We drove the van out to Utah Beach and the hair on the back of my neck was prickly and my neck felt that electricity of remembrance. Gabriel asked me if this was the beach and I told him no. The beach I was at had German soldiers perched on a hill and there were stones near the shore. This beach was completely flat with only the sand and long grassy fields. It was surreal to see this beach now looking so calm and peaceful, knowing it was the site of such horror so many years ago. I started to doubt myself and wondered if I had just imagined the whole story. As we stood there the weather began to turn; the wind started to pick up and the rain started to come, simulating the weather of that day and further igniting my memory of the treachery that had occurred 62 years ago. Soon after we drove into the town of Saint Marie du Mont, just up the road from Utah Beach; we went on the roundabout and I heard the church bells toll and time stopped for me. I knew those bells. Those were the bells. The sound reverberated through time. Just across from the church was a Museum that was called the Musee de Occupation, and even at this late hour of 6:30 p.m. it was still open. We went in and the first thing I saw was a WWII American soldier dressed in uniform. I recognized that uniform, it was the same as the one I wore.

Musee de Occupation
I asked the curator if he had a map of the beaches of Normandie and he did. He showed me the map and it showed where the US troops landed, where the British troops landed, where the Canadian troops landed, and where the other allies landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day 62 years ago. Utah and Omaha beaches were the 2 beaches where the US soldiers landed. Chills ran through me as I remembered I had once studied maps of these beaches, I then asked him if there was a place on the beach that had a hill, a cliff and rocks at the bottom. He said “yes!” here, and he pointed to Pointe du Hoc. That was it. I knew it. I was stunned and relieved that I had found it.

After our tour through the museum we had dinner at a nearby restaurant. Throughout the entire town there are monuments and signs of gratitude to the American people for their assistance in their liberation. Even in this restaurant there was a picture of a soldier who had returned for the 60 year anniversary of D-Day. He was pictured hugging two women. My thoughts turned to my return, 62 years later. The only difference is that I came two years later, I have another body, and I’m a woman now. Dinner was over and strangely, the wind and weather had knocked out the electricity as we left. I thought that was odd. I remembered this kind of weather from the last time and it had an eerie effect on me.

Remembrance at Pointe du Hoc

The site at Pointe du Hoc that I remember

The next morning we drove to Pointe du Hoc. There are monuments in tribute and an American flag hanging in the center of the square. I said to Gabriel, “why would the US flag be hanging here?” We soon found out that the United States had been given the 30 acres of land including Omaha Beach that they had been so instrumental in winning back. The United States had been given the honor of being responsible to care for it in perpetuity. I felt proud for a moment. I then proceeded to read about the D-Day invasion. The weather today was beautiful, blue skies, fluffy white clouds with a warm, balmy breeze, nothing like it was yesterday. As I read the placards it said that the D-Day attack was scheduled for 6:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944 but stormy weather and navigational difficulties delayed the deployment of the men on the beach by 40 minutes. This was critical and costly to many lives as the bombing brigade that preceded the soldiers landing on the beach had ended 40 minutes earlier, not just moments ago as planned. This gave the Germans time to regroup and recoil for our next assault. This is why they were ready when my squadron came.

The Casualties Were High
Two hundred and twenty five US soldiers had hit the Omaha Beach at 7:10 a.m. The Germans were ready. They killed nearly 100 of us just as we got off the boats. The remaining soldiers that did get up the cliff and hills used grappling hooks and sheer guts. When the battle was over, only 90 soldiers survived. I started crying and feeling such sadness and shame that I wasn’t one of the 90 who made it. I had lost my life along with all the other men. I wasn’t part of the glory. I was a casualty. There was a lesson for me here; I just had to wait for it to unfold.

Reminder When the Bell Tolls
We left the monument and headed towards Omaha Beach. We walked through the grassy fields and peered over the cliffs and I saw the rocks that lined the beach. This was it. These were the rocks I never made it to. I then saw the area that I had landed 62 years ago, the beach had changed over the years, the sand had diminished, but I recognized the rocks and cliffs that remained the same. We walked in a procession to this area and then made our way through bramble and nettles to an area high above the beach. From here I could see the area where Henri had carried me to safety, the place where I died in the arms of Marie. I looked in the distance and saw the church steeple that housed the bell that rang out to me all those years ago. The same bell that tolled at 6:30 p.m. when we arrived into town yesterday must have tolled near the time when I passed over. Maybe it was 6:30 p.m. the night of June 6, 1944. I don’t know, but that feels right.

Awakening to the Healing
As a family we created a ceremony on this grassy field. Gabriel burned sage and shook the rattle in a chanting trance inducing rhythm. He asked Creator through prayer for any messages that would assist me in this lifetime, and he asked for healing and integration between my lives. Once I was able to relax into the prayer I felt a great release as we sat there. I, too, asked Creator why I needed to relive this tragedy. Why was I here today, sitting in this field with my family, not as a victim, as an observer. What was the purpose of all this? I was told that this tragedy of the past was still holding me back in my current life. Even though I assisted my buddy James and my heart opened to Marie and Henri, I still held strong feelings of failure and shame. When I deployed from my boat that morning 62 years ago, all I had on my mind was the glory of what I would feel as a hero saving the land of the French people and stopping the onslaught of the Germans. Never did it occur to me that I would be shot and killed. I felt I had failed my buddies, failed the mission and failed myself. This is the residue I brought into this life and it was something I needed to clear. It is the fear of failing, deeply seated in my cellular memory. What I’ve learned in this lifetime is how the body stores the memory of traumas, fears, and everything that is not cleared, and the importance of clearing it so we can move forward and be here now.

Spirit Speaks Through My Soul
Spirit spoke to me and let me know that it was time now to let go of this fear. Many times I have not been willing to do things for fear that I may make mistakes or fail and look foolish. I realized now that there was no failure in what I had done. There was honor in dying for this cause, this was my path, and I had helped to pave the way for those that made it. I also felt reinforced to stay in my heart and keep connecting with people the way that I do. Spirit showed me that my deep connection with people comes from my ability to listen through my heart, something I had learned from Henri and Marie in that field as I lay dying. After we left and drove away from Normandy, the pain in my left shoulder and neck was totally gone. I was free and clear. I believe part of the reason I could release and heal this past event was that I didn’t feel victimized by it anymore; it felt like another stage or phase of my life that was necessary for my learning. It is through this work that my soul advances.

Gratitude for the Lessons
Another lesson I was shown was that war needs to be avoided at all cost, but if we are at war, as we are now, it is our duty to support the soldiers who are fighting. Not the policies or policy makers, but the individuals who risk their lives and who serve their country – right, wrong or indifferent. I believe there will be more lessons to come from this experience, yet already this has been truly cathartic, insightful and uplifting to have released this energy to its appropriate lifetime. I thank Creator for this gift, the catalyst for healing and expanding my divine connection.

As a family we spoke of my experiences and the healing that occurred when I faced it. Kate was attentive and fascinated with hearing about my past life and asked many probing questions. That night she had a very poignant dream that she’d like to share with all of us. She wrote about this as a journal entry and we are sharing it with you below:

Kate’s Dream about Normandy
When we got to Normandy, something amazing happened to mom. She realized that she had a past life here, and not really the best of lives in my opinion. She, or shall I say “he” was a U.S. soldier that came here to fight the Germans. She was one of the men that would run off of the boats to get up the hill to take back France from the Germans. Unfortunately, many were killed when they came off the boat.

As she was running off of the boat when it landed, she was determined to get to the rocks for safety and shelter from the Germans. As she was running up, keeping her eyes on nothing but the rocks, her friend James had been shot in the neck, and lay behind her. He was near death but he was calling her name. My mom just kept thinking about those rocks, and how if she turned around she would be shot too. But it was her friend and she made the choice to try to save him. So she turned, and as she reached her friend James she was shot in the left shoulder by a German soldier, by me (according to my dream anyway). In my dream I was younger than a lot of the German soldiers. I believe I was in Hitler’s youth Nazi group, I don’t know anything else about who I was except for I knew that I was scared to hold a gun, and even more scared to shoot somebody.

As the men were running up on to the beach I was even more frightened, they looked like a huge stampede running towards me, I was clueless about what I should do. As they were running up the Nazi soldier next to me shot a man, the man was calling out a name after he was hit, I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but after a few seconds another U.S. soldier turns around to listen, that man being my mom, I was In the perfect line to shoot this man, but I didn’t want to. The same Nazi next to me said in German to shoot the man and make Hitler proud or to die myself (in my dream if you didn’t make Hitler proud when in the youth group then you would be beaten or even shot and killed as punishment.) So I shot the man in the left shoulder, all I could remember was the man falling and then looking at me, then his face turned into my mom’s face. Then I woke up. I was so frightened by this that I couldn’t sleep for the next 2 hours, finally when the image left my mind, I went back to sleep. I was glad to see my mom okay and alive the next morning, so I asked her to make me breakfast – then I knew everything was really okay.

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