I've had a few, but the one I'm thinking of knocked my socks off and I wanted to share it with you. I was about to attend my first RWA Convention and to top it off I was going with my "Big Sister" Marlene Urso. Many of you may know her.

Her eldest daughter, Kellie, had been fighting cancer; we were 3 days from leaving for Colorado when Kellie past away. Kellie was more than just an adopted niece, she was VERY special to everyone who knew her. One of the things Kellie said to her Mama before she left us, was to make her Mama promise to go to National, no matter what.

You tell your children what they need to hear...so she said sure. Kellie, knowing her mama the way she did, said "If you don't going I'm going to haunt you."

Now, knowing Marlene as I do, I can just see her face, smiling and nodding for her daughter's sake, knowing no way was she going anywhere as long as her daughter might need her. Needless to say, Marlene stayed home and took care of business. I went to Colorado. My heart so wanted to be home with Marlene, but she wanted me to go...it was the hardest trip I've ever made.

The following year, RWA convention was in New York City, how cool is that, and yes, Marlene and I were there, together, and so was Kellie. Marlene, Anna Stewart, and I were roommates. Anna had promised to give Marlene lessons in shopping; who knew a woman needed lessons on this topic! We checked in, and decided to look for food. Yes, we love to eat. We found a great sandwich shop across the street from our hotel and had a fabulous New York Pastrami "Sammich"...and then went shopping. Let's just say Anna taught Marlene very well, in fact, we had trouble keeping up with her.

While in New York, we planned to go to Ellis Island, Central Park and a few other places. We'd had a couple of great days when we made our plans for our trip to Ellis Island. It was a slightly overcast day which I was happy for. I wasn't looking forward to the outrageous heat I'd heard so much about. We had a terrific boat ride over, and being typical tourists I had to get a picture of both Marlene and Anna with the Statue of Liberty in the background. It just seemed the thing to do.

So I position Marlene and Anna, look through my viewfinder, when Marlene turns her head sharply and says, "Kellie's here." I can't tell you how that sentence affected us. I suddenly had goosebumps from the expression on Marlene's face alone...she'd turn her nose up into air and said, I smell her.

I thought Anna was going to pass out, right then and there. I was fighting back tears, but determined to keep them at bay for Marlene's sake. I got my picture, and yes, thanks to progress it was a digital picture so naturally I had to look at it. What I saw just about sent the three of us to the emergency ward. Here you decide for yourself.

We just looked at each other, looked around, looked back at each other and did a collective shiver. While we loved out trip to Ellis Island, I remember being silent after that and constantly looking over my shoulder. Marlene on the other hand, grinned like a proud Mama the rest of the day, glad Kellie came to visit.

That day, that picture, still does something to me every time I see it. Not only was that a fantastic trip, great sights, fabulous conference, endless new friends, hey, and I almost got us kicked out of Hooter's for taking pictures. Hey, I have sons. what can I say. And who'd of thought you'd ever find a sign like this?

Post by Deb Julienne


  1. Beth Trissel // May 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM  

    I posted this for Deb as she's having technical difficulties and downloaded the pics before reading the post. I wanted to write her and say. Deb, there's this fuzzy sort of glow thing in your pic. Did you mean for that to be there. And what is that, btw, and then I read the post. Holy Cow. I still have chills.

  2. Mary Ricksen // May 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

    Oh my God! I had something like that happen years ago at my grandfathers house. Every picture taken there had this similar glow to it! My cousin showed it to a psychic who told us it was an elderly woman. We knew it was our grandmother. You gave me chills Deb, you really did. I am glad you were able to post it Beth, you are such a good kid.

  3. Judy // May 27, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

    Wow! It's those life experiences that make believers... Thanks for the story...

  4. Marianne Evans // May 27, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

    WOW. Just WOW. Thanks for sharing.

  5. debjulienne // May 27, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

    Beth...that WAS the freaky part....there was no water/moisture/fuzz nothing on the camera...I checked...that was Kellie

  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel // May 27, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

    Facinating story! Yes, I've had family members stop by to visit after they'd passed on. My grandmother often comes by and I know it when I smell her special scent which was a combination of her face cream, Evening in Paris and someother, undefined element. The scent doesn't exist, can't be recreated with store bought fragrances and yet, every now and then the her scent will waft through the room and I know she's visiting!


  7. Edie Ramer // May 27, 2009 at 4:11 PM  

    Deb, this made me tear up, in a good way. I love that picture. My mother and sister have passed, but I feel their love often, especially my mom's.

  8. Mary Marvella // May 27, 2009 at 4:55 PM  

    What a wonderful post! I agree that people we love hang around for us. I haven't seen it, but I believe! We just never know.

    Good job Beth and Deb.

  9. Mona Risk // May 27, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

    Marlen Urso is a dear friend of mine and one of the nicest persons I ever met. She often talks about her daughter Kellie and calls here "my angel". And we all believe that Kellie is Marlene's guardian angel now.

  10. Beth Trissel // May 27, 2009 at 11:28 PM  

    I just read these wonderful comments and have chills again.

  11. Joanne // May 28, 2009 at 3:02 PM  

    Wow-what a fascinating story. Thanks for posting for Deb, Beth.

  12. Lucy Naylor Kubash // May 28, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

    My sister has a picture taken of herself and her husband shortly before he passed away and there is a very bright light behind them. No explanation for it. Just recently, a long-time friend passed away and on the way home from the visitation we saw a silver gray fox. Another friend took a picture with her phone but when we looked at it later, no fox was in the picture. There are more mysteries in this world than we can ever explain, but how wonderful that your sister was able to feel her daughter's presence and even "see" her.