Sadie photos for blog min


I bring thousands of messages from spirit ever year. Multiply that by my forty-plus years of working as a medium, and that’s a lot of communicating. Every message is special to me, because I know how hard the spirit person worked to come through for my client or, if I’m doing a public message event, someone in the audience.

But nothing is more amazing than when the message recipient is me.

Several summers ago, I was in Lily Dale and volunteered to work a fundraiser for the Lily Dale Assembly alongside talented mediums Joseph Shiel and the late Janet Nohavec. One of Joe’s specialties is spirit drawings – as he feels the spirit presence, he draws the person. As Janet contacted each presence, Joe started sketching what he felt. As he worked, his drawing was projected on a screen so everyone in the audience could see.

As Janet made contact with one spirit, I sat onstage and gazed over several hundred people in the audience. Who would claim this person? Half-listening, I suddenly realized everything Janet was saying sounded familiar – a cottage summer home, someone with a back problem, an elaborate walking cane. My mother had one; she carved its brown and white pattern herself and had it shellacked. Janet then brought in a second presence related to the first: an older woman who was a teacher yet like a mother and spiritual mentor. She then mentioned several names that resonated with my relationship with Sadie Nickerson, my longtime friend and teacher, who had passed into spirit three years prior.

I sat stunned. How often is it that the medium gets a message? It was so unexpected – messages are always for audience members, not the mediums onstage, right? Yet…could it be…?

I withheld my hand to see if someone from the audience would claim this spirit. Nope. Sheepishly, I raised my hand and said, “I… I think I can take that.”

Joe gestured to his drawing and asked if I recognized the woman he had drawn. My mouth opened in surprise. The picture looked like – Yes! It was Sadie.


Afterward, I asked Joe to sign his picture, which he happily did. He joked that I should hold onto his artwork, because some say it would be worth millions. I told him his picture was already invaluable to me.

Flash forward four years, and again I’m at Lily Dale, volunteering at an outdoor message service at the Stump, a clearing in the virgin forest of Leolyn Woods. Waiting with other local and visiting mediums for our turn to work, I spied Joe Shiel on the next bench, also waiting to go on.

My name was called and as I walked up to the front of the crowd, I saw Joe drawing. Then he took his turn, and as he walked away, he paused to give me picture. “I felt this person was near you,” he said.

I couldn’t believe it. He had again drawn Sadie! In fact, his sketch was almost an exact copy of a portrait she had taken of herself several years before she died. Overwhelmed by the sketch, I was in tears and asked if I could keep it..

When I told him, he’d drawn the same spirit person for me several years ago, he expressed surprise, then chuckled. “Joe,” I said, “there isn’t much that wows me, but this certainly does. Thank you.”

Joe then gave me a message he had received while drawing the picture. I don’t remember much of the words, but the message was about future success and to be patient about it.

I’ve framed both pictures and keep them in my reading room to remind me that if I always expect the unexpected, then I will never be disappointed. And my mentor in spirit is always nearby when I need a boost of encouragement.

If you have any questions or comments on this subject or on any other spiritual matter, feel free to write me at  And please visit me again!

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