Two Birthday Gifts From Afar


I usually schedule a post to be published one minute after midnight every Tuesday morning. I’ve done that pretty consistently for thirteen years with the exception of a year or two when I was so busy with my third book that I posted every two weeks. For some reason, or probably many reasons, yesterday I didn’t schedule anything for publication today.

Now I know why. When I awoke this morning I found that during the night I had received two early birthday gifts. My birthday isn’t until April 23, but this was such an unusual, synchronistic occurrence that it seemed important to share them with you today, on April 11.

The first was from my father. Yesterday, April 10, was his birthday. He died 70 years ago and appeared to me in a dream last night.

Dream #5561: I’m watching videos of auditions of male singers for roles in an opera or musical play. Four men will each sing one of the songs from the production.  I see closeups of each of them on a screen as they sing. First comes a man with a lovely baritone voice, then an older man whose voice is a deep bass, then a third, maybe a tenor. The fourth is my father. I’m so excited and thrilled to be able to hear his beautiful voice again after all these years. He only sings a few lines, and I don’t remember the words or the melody, but it’s him and his baritone voice, and it’s beautiful. I wish I could have heard more. I hope he gets the lead role.

That’s Daddy in the picture above with his dummy, Johnny, McSafety.  He was a policeman, actor, singer, and ventriloquist. Those of you around my age may remember hearing Edgar Bergen and his dummy, Charlie McCarthy on the radio. He may have been on the Ed Sullivan show too. For a while my father had a local radio show with his dummy and a pianist who played music for him. I think the show was called The Singing Policeman. My father, Ernest Raymond Benedict, called himself Uncle Ray.  He and Johnny McSafety would go around to schools and sing and talk to children about traffic safety. Dreaming about him the night after his birthday was very special for me.

My second birthday gift arrived this morning via email. This one was from Deborah Gregory, a sister Jungian-oriented writer and gifted poet from England. She and I have commented on each others’ blog posts for years.  Her blog is called A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World. You can read some of her exquisite poetry here.

To my delight, she has written a birthday poem for me and illustrated it with this beautiful painting which she says reminds her of me. The poem consists of four haikus, one for each of my four Jungian-oriented books. The fact that Deborah created this especially for my birthday and that I received it on the same morning as the dream of my father blows me away. Synchronicities like this are messages from who or whatever is running this show called Life that we are seen, known, and loved by something vast and unknown beyond our conscious selves.


Eighty Years of Light

By Deborah Gregory

For Jean Raffa


A bridge to wholeness

Still helping others to heal

Deeply feminine


Sacred dream theatres

Made visible by her hand

Alchemist, four score


Soror mystica

Healing the sacred divide

With ancient wisdom


Balancing the twins

A whole shining soul singing

Eighty years of light


A heartfelt thank-you Deborah, for your generous, loving spirit, your creative work, and your friendship. You are an inspiration and a blessing to me.

Happy April to all. Happy spring. Happy life.

Have you ever experienced a synchronistic event related to your birthday?

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at

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14 Responses

  1. Dear Jeanie,

    I’ve just had a very quick read of your latest email but thought it best to reply here first.

    Believe me when I say I’m ab-soul-utely thrilled that you love your birthday haiku! Twelve days early I know, but still, who can argue with the Muse when She whispers sweetly in my ear yesterday, inspiring me to honour your four books of soul, placing one in each haiku verse.

    What an incredible dream you had this morning, and on your father’s birthday too! Right away, I can’t help but notice the quarternity (the fourness) of men and that I chose four verses about four books and that you’re almost four score. Two early, unique birthday gifts ” for sure!

    This is going to be an epic to unpack, I sense you’ve been waiting for this dream all your life!

    “Eighty Years Light” is my small gift to you. It’s true, every time I’ve seen this painting over the years, I’ve always been reminded of you. Whatever you’re planning for the Big Eight-Oh, I hope that you will be surrounded by love, light and laughter, always.

    Love and light, Deborah

  2. Dear Deborah,

    Thank you again with all my heart for this extraordinary gift. I love it so much!! I promise I won’t quibble with the Muse’s timing, nor with yours. As it turns out, it was perfect for me. Moreover, I’ve never received a poem for my birthday before and I can hardly imagine a better gift. Especially since it’s so personally meaningful.

    I don’t know you you managed to convey the essence of these four books in so few words. And Haiku! Not the easiest poetry to write. It’s amazing to me. And the fact that you thought to do it in the first place is equally amazing.

    I appreciate your help with my dream here and in our email exchange. It is, indeed, going to be an epic to unpack. And I can’t get over how timely it is in very many ways other than the date of its arrival.

    Our children and their spouses are planning my birthday bash, a weekend stay-cation for the immediate family at a local hotel with a great restaurant and other amenities. There’s sure to be lots of love and laughter, and since it’s Florida, plenty of (sun) light too! We will miss our twin grandsons who can’t get home from college, but the other three grandchildren will be with us. I’m looking forward to it very much.

    Our friendship over the years has meant a lot to me. Thank you.

    Love and light, Jeanie

    1. Mine too Jeanie! Oh, I can’t help but notice the auspicious date of your birthday which celebrates St. George’s Day and William Shakespeare’s birthday here in the UK. A day to make peace with dragons and fill one’s heart with verse. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend and enjoy unpacking your big, big dream! x

      1. Thanks for pointing that out, Deborah. I knew it was Shakespeare’s birthday but not that it’s St. George’s Day. That does feel auspicious. Especially since making peace with one’s dragons, i.e. feared shadow, is a central tenet of Jungian theory. 🙂

  3. YES! On my 50th birthday in 1994, the dream led me to knock on an unfamiliar wooden door. It opened, and my mom and dad stood there with big loving smiles. (Dad passed in 1960. I was 16. Mom passed in 1976. I was 32.)
    They extended their hands one by one to gift me with one half of a layered cookie. Shocked and amazed I realized, not only was I whole cookie, they filled me with the fullness of their love and gift of feeling fully accepted, just as I am. I am enough. They saw me and heard me from afar!

  4. Oh, my goodness!! What a beautiful, extraordinary birthday gift from afar that was. I think “Afar” must be a very special place for it to allow the people who are gone but still love us to send us messages. Thank you for sharing your story here. Blessings, Jeanie

  5. What a thrill, to have your father’s presence slip through time, and to hear his voice …
    Dreams bring us the gifts
    from hidden domains
    that resist comprehension
    there wholeness resides

    And Deborah has the rare ability to resonate deeply with her heart kin, to which you belong as a soul sister..

    1. Thanks, Ashen. I’ve often wished I had a recording of his singing voice. My major recollection of it was the time he sang me to sleep with the song, “Daddy’s Little Girl.” My mother used to sing me to sleep with the Irish lullaby, “Toora loora loora.” As I got older we’d beg her to play the piano at bedtime. Our home was always filled with music.

      I love your poetic murmurings about dreams. Yes, they come from the place of wholeness beyond ego’s realm of control. They happen to us.

      You’re right about Deborah. I think you may have that same rare ability . . .

  6. You are both great angels, and I am so grateful to have you as friends. The poem from Deborah is very touching and shows her feeling towards you as I wished mine. The interesting part is your dream of your father on his birthday; it offers a deep connection between souls.

    1. I am so grateful to have you as a friend too, Aladin. You’ve always been so amazingly supportive of my writing. Thank you!

      Yes, a deep connection between souls is essentially the explanation for synchronicities (meaningful coincidences) like this one.

  7. There are no coincidences in life one book I read many years ago stressed. These incidents you narrated indicated that. Happy Birthday! ❤️

    1. I’ve heard that too, Donna.The implication of that is that all things are connected at the deepest physical and metaphysical levels. The latest findings of quantum physics suggest that as well! It’s good to hear from you. Thank you for the birthday wishes. It looks like I’m going to be celebrating it for at least the next eleven days! 🙂

  8. Extraordinary and wonderful and gratifying – and so beautiful Jeanie. I’m travelling so I’ll be short. Everything about this post and the comments fills me with joyful amazement. Love, Susan

    1. Awww. Thanks for taking the time out of your travels to comment, Susan. I hope you’re having a wonderful adventure! Much love, Jeanie

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