25 December 2002
Visit from Mary (Polly)Peeler
My 4th GreatGrandmother
On an earlyChristmas morning in the year 2002, I fell fast asleep on the couch of ourHurricane, West Virginia home, exhausted after a busy week and that evening’swrapping of gifts for our 4 children, Brandon, Brittany, Bryanna and Brayden.At about 1:45A.M., I was awakened by a sweet, pungent aroma that I did notimmediately recognize. It was only after sitting up and taking a few, short,deliberate breaths through my nose, that I realized the scent as that of freshroses. This was followed by the increasingly familiar feeling of paranormal experiencesthat have now frequently characterized the most recent years of my life—thestrong presence of someone close by in the room with me. And then, two sensations that I cannot evenbegin to explain how I can comprehend, but I do so with more surety than onewho would observe a visiting family member with their very own eyes. First, Ifelt the assurance of “Motherly Love” and secondly, the “very joyous, thoughcalm, sense of peace” reminiscent of my maternal Grandmother, Angela VeronicaPadovini-Bell. However, I quicklysensed that this woman was not Grandma Bell, but someone many more times over,an Elder. A few seconds later, as if answering a visitor’s call at the frontdoor of our home, I knew in my heart “exactly” who was with me---my 4thGreat Grandmother, Mary “Polly” Peeler (1774-1851). History states that Pollywas of German ancestry (Biehler) and one of the most beautiful women of her day(married to John Park, 1773-1828). Tragically, Polly went blind in her lateryears and was led about by a young, Negro girl. But, on this holiest of nights,she spoke to my heart: “I am no longer blind, I have been blessed to see themost wonderful things”, she said. Andshortly thereafter, she departed, the feeling of her presence subsiding withinme like the tide that bids farewell to the infinite sands of an ocean beach.Grandma Polly left me with one last image though, that I clearly saw in mymind’s eye—her beautiful, blue eyes!
In all of myexcitement, I could not fall back asleep until the sun began to rise onChristmas morning, and as I peered out the window at the graceful dance offalling snowflakes, I smiled at the memory of something that I had known oncebefore….that Polly Peeler was born on an early morning of a winter’s day in theyear of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy-four. And like thisday before me, she shared it with the Christ child. Yes, you see, Polly was born Christmas Day, 1774. And she knew that just like Christmas, Icould never forget her.
And she has not forgottenme.
Because onChristmas Day 2002, Polly Peeler’s 228th Birthday, she warmed myheart with her faith, love, and yes,peace….the Peace of Jesus Christ.
God Bless PollyPeeler, God Bless our ancestors, and May God Bless all those who remember.
“How callous anddisrespectful it is to refer to our ancestors….your very own flesh and blood,as “Those Dead People”. I often hearthis profanity uttered from the mouths of the narrow-minded, who considergenealogy a mere curse to waste one’s time. Not only is “death” a blatant untruth, but it spits in the face of thosegrandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that we have not yet met. Their merephysical absence from our daily lives is not an excuse for such language.Rather, we should pray, that if our children have not yet found grace in thepresence of their grandparents, regardless of generation, that they have thewisdom to speak of them with reverence and gratefulness and not as discardedentities. You should thank the Lord and your ancestors, for the precious lifethat they have given you, lest you someday have to endure peering into thetear-stained faces of those who gave so much, but whom you thought so little,as to choose not to claim them as your own.”
- William D. Park