Interview with Carol Steck – A Spiritual Medium
written by Pamela Scott
Spiritual Mediums come from all walks of life throughout the world in past and present generations. If you have always wondered what it would be like to talk with a Spiritual Medium, this may very well be a sign that you are ready to open up to a whole new spiritual awakening bringing you closer to your past loved ones, giving closure and comfort, and an insight and understanding of your own life in a way you have never thought possible.
A Spiritual Medium may turn out to be your best friend and confidant forever where secrets are kept safe between the two of you even if it is only for one initial meeting. Are you an empath or caregiver looking for insight and relief? A Spiritual Medium can guide you when there is nowhere else to turn.
Spiritual mediums talk with each other and learn from each other and are available to guide you on your own Spiritual journey.
For centuries this type of mediumship has been practiced with success while under constant challenge of being pushed toward the dark side of non-believers, historical hoaxes, impressions of Hollywood fictional movies and general opinions by word of mouth with no real proof. It is a known, yet the distance between the known and unknown still exists, so do Spiritual Mediums.
As we proceed well into the 21st century, a Spiritual awakening is tapping into our plane of existence hinting for us to listen and to take a moment in time for ourselves to appreciate its very existence. Whether it is through meditation, worship, helping others, alternative healing, and/or choice of religion, Spirit is for our benefit here on Earth to guide us for as long as we shall live on the physical plane and well into the life here after. Spiritual Mediums offer us a keen insight to that very ticket of communication and you can learn and gain more insight. Today, an increase in events and awareness circles are becoming more popular online and offline.
You can find Spiritual Mediums easily. You may have seen them practicing on the boardwalks at sea, at a Fair or Carnival, in a downtown office building. You may have seen hundreds of them in advertisements or in a magazine, on television, a seminar or workshop. Today, Spiritual Mediums are available online. Communication has never been simpler. All you have to do is ask!
Have you ever wanted to know how Spiritual mediums became to be or what they experience as they are communicating for you? As you advance your spiritual journey, take note, for it is life long journey where in actuality, no one ever passes.
Q. Welcome Carol! It is an honor to interview you today and to take time from your busy schedule. Do you prefer to be called Cas? Is this a name given to you by Spirit and does everyone have a special name given to them by Spirit?
A. Hi Pam, thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity to explain the Spirit World according to Cas! My name is Carol but everyone I know call’s me Cas which are just my initials and as long as people are polite I answer to anything! I don’t feel the need for a spirit name and have never asked for one but some people do have them, its personal choice.
Q. The history of how you became to be a Spiritual Medium is fascinating. Can you tell us more?
A. All Mediums will have varying versions as I. All will have completely different journeys and experiences, I can only speak from my own. I am very grateful to you and if the truth be known the spirit world had a hand in organizing this! I hope this will be of help to many people in many walks of life.
As I sit in my lounge Merlin’s Magic (Reiki music) is playing on the iPod, a gift from a friend of mine many years ago. I was thrilled when I listened the very first time. I had never heard of it and when she told me the name I simply laughed! Very subtle Merlin, thank you!
I like to think of Merlin as my ‘body guard’ so to speak, he has been and always will be my main guide and friend until I return to the spirit world. We all have an array of guides drawing close at various times in our development/life to teach us different things or lessons if you like.
Q. You mentioned you first saw your guide, named Merlin at a very young age. Is this the same as a Guardian Angel?
A. The reason that Guides give themselves a name is purely for our benefit, not theirs, something familiar that we can recognize and accept as a calling card, it will be taken from our subconscious ‘on board computer data’ stored in our memory banks, I liked the era of King Arthur, Knights of the round table, Merlin etc., when I was a child and I wondered what his name was as I went further down my path, even asked a couple of times then gave up asking and as soon as I forgot about it, there it was, given in a very powerful way that I had to sit down with the sheer energy of it … not easy when you are in a bookstore. It literally took my breath and my legs away!
When I was a youngster I clearly remember something that happened to me in my bedroom one night, I had been asleep and was woken by the spirit world though I never realized it was them then, as I looked at the far wall of my bedroom I saw a Knight in amour with a shield and sword astride a huge black horse rearing, it was in polka dots but I could clearly see the detail … once again I was very scared and dived under my duvet thinking when I looked out it would be gone, well …. it wasn’t! I did it 3 times and on the 4th it had gone! As I looked at the window I saw Merlin and his piercing blue green eyes, long grey white hair and beard and a serene face in a plain white robe. I thought I’d seen Jesus. I did the same thing looking 3 times and on the 4th he was gone which now is funny considering, I have no religious beliefs apart from Spiritualism and he’s fine with that …. So am I! I actually call him Merlin now. That was the first time I saw Merlin and the Knight in amour became significant also.
Now further down the line I realize it is quite usual for the spirit world to give the same information 3 times as though clarifying and underlining info when we question it. A guardian Angel is an entirely different feel or energy as they vibrate at a higher frequency and have never touched the earth plane. Guide’s have walked the earth before so have ‘human’ experience added to the spiritual learning they had to go through in order to come back and help guide us hence the name Guide.
Spiritual Guides and Mediumship
Q. Did you ask for a spiritual guide at this young age or did he appear to you in a dream? And how did you know his name? What did he look like? How did you feel after meeting your guide? What are some of the things he helped you with?
A. No I never asked for a guide as I didn’t understand what was going or the process at that early age. I do remember things like seeing black shapes and the hover and lights coming on in the middle of the night! I was on my own a lot whilst growing up and preferring the company of animals to humans. I also felt things very deeply.
After meeting Merlin, it never dawned on me that he was in fact my guide. If I hadn’t pinched my arm to make sure it wasn’t a dream, I would have recognized it as that! He has helped me right through my life guiding me, advising and keeping me safe. Sometimes I’d ignore his teachings thinking I knew better, but every time he would show me in a round about way if needed (if I was stubborn) his way was more sensible and he was right!!! He is kind and oh so patient with me, very old and learned. Just recently my Dad was taken seriously ill and we nearly lost him twice. Right at the beginning of his illness I asked him ‘will he be ok’ and immediately my answer came ‘yes, don’t worry trust …. he will be fine’. This was a biggy for me, real evidence …… though I didn’t realize it at the time as my head was all over the place, the message was given to me again and again eventually it sank in. One occasion when he was in the hospital, all the machines were around him, nurses, doctors, etc., were running in and out behind the curtains. We were in the hall so they could work on him, I felt worried, but calm as deep down I knew he would be fine!. Thank you Merlin, you have never let me down!
Q. Can anyone ask for a spiritual guide? How long can it take and how will you know if it is your guide?
A. Everyone has a spiritual guide Pam. They work with and for us all, both for their life here, and ours. We all have different guides at different times in our lives according to our need. We don’t need to ask, they are simply walking the same path as us though sometimes we get a bit lost because we don’t listen. Don’t misunderstand, they don’t ‘tell’ us what to do but show us the best way forward and in the end its all down to personal choice, a bit like a parent with experience trying to help show a wayward child different choices that will help them develop into a kind, compassionate, helpful, thoughtful, loving person.
Guides will leave a calling card that we learn to recognize, as I’ve mentioned, Merlin gives me the feeling of fizzing, mostly now I just ‘know’ he’s here as soon as he is I’m ready to work. As to how long it can take it depends on so many things, how seriously we apply ourselves, if we regularly meditate and sit in the power, if we read, read, read, look on the net, get together with like minded people and talk, sit in circles, be aware of our surroundings and constantly add to our memory data so your guides/guide have lots of material to work with.
Q. As a caregiver caring for family or a friend with an incurable long time illness, what are some of the ways a Spiritual Guide can help?
A. I feel that in order to gain a closer relationship with our guides we need to try and find the time for meditation, during which we are often give answers, help and guidance to cope.
Q. You have a valuable gift of being able to communicate with those that have passed away from this earth physically. Can you advise more on the specifics of what it actually means to pass over?
A. Yes it is valuable precious even, I can only give you my interpretation of the spirit world, as to the actual ’passing’ it’s still somewhat of a mystery and very personal. All humans including animals will have their own individual ‘passing experience’ and as its individual no one else can experience their transition fully.
There are many accounts where people getting ready to make the transition, see relatives and friends in the room with them not visible to the naked eye meeting and guiding them, some see a bright light and feel pulled in that direction.
My understanding is it’s a bit like shedding our old overcoat and leaving it behind (according to the very well known English medium Doris Stokes) as we don’t need it in the spirit world we are light forms of energy and memories stay in the ether. The actual ‘passing’ is not painful but joyous as that’s how I feel it, perhaps a little strange same as if we go to a different country/town it’s strange until we make friends or settle in, but not painful.
I have felt the experience myself but it was conveyed to me via a spirit already crossed over the rest I have gathered over the years via sittings with clients so it won’t be exact only to the extent of what can be conveyed.
A. The easiest way is to replenish by getting plenty of rest, early nights, good food and try to remain as relaxed as much possible. Positive thoughts come into play here too, some readings as you can imagine are very emotional so I need a certain amount of detachment otherwise I’d be in floods of tears and obviously you can’t work or be useful to your sitter like that!
Q. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to hear a message from Spirit of a loved one through a Spiritual Medium. There is a special vibrant energy that I personally felt when receiving a message. Do you also feel the same energy when giving a reading?
A. Its more of an emotional high and does take a while to come down lol, usually about half hour sometimes more sometimes less depending on what was given to the sitter. It’s a very different feeling to receiving.
Q. It is so wonderful that you can actually ‘see’ a spirit of a loved one and interpret the message. Is this through a voice that you hear or an internal message through a type of telepathy?
A. Telepathy is explained as thought transference to one human or animal, for me it is completely separate to spirit communication.
Q. It is so wonderful to know that anyone can go to a Spiritual Medium and be able to communicate to a lost loved one. How exactly is this reading performed? It seems it only takes seconds to connect in communication. So is it safe to say that a spirit of a loved one is always close by.
A. It may seem as though it only takes seconds but it can in fact have take weeks, months or years for the spirit world to put everything into place, to get the sitter there maybe through a friend or relative still here or arrange the circumstances … there is no such thing as coincidence!
Once with your medium it will depend on the frame of mind of the sitter and the connection to the spirit world also the level of competence of your medium, some are outstanding some are ok and then there are the rest! I can only speak from my way of working, if it is a private sitting then I welcome my sitter in, offer a drink and ask them, what do they expect from their reading without giving me any details whatsoever, that’s my job.
You would be amazed how many people don’t grasp how it works and come for some fortune telling that’s why I ask. Normally a spirit will make contact with me before the sitter comes, just for a little fine tuning if you like, maybe a week before and give me a few bits of evidence which I note down so when we start I have something to work with and it flows from there. Sometimes they don’t come until we start, very rarely… not at all, there are many reasons for this perhaps it’s too early after loss for a sitter to accept the evidence as its all still too raw.
On other occasions it can be a short time, spirit can come back on the same day and in rare cases especially if the sitter has an understanding of how it works or are spiritualists. Maybe the mediums and the sitters energies are not compatible but again this is extremely unusual though can happen! Timing is everything and it may be that a sitter has lost their loved one say 3 years ago but to them it feels like yesterday so they aren’t accepting of the evidence for them it’s still too soon!
There are many variables and each reading whether private or on platform (stage) is personal to the recipient I have given but a few. As a medium I have to assess the situation tune in and proceed accordingly with many, many things to contend with and all with a smile lol, wouldn’t change it though I love what the spirit world and I can achieve.
Q. Can an individual with absolutely no experience in Spiritual Mediumship gain and learn how to communicate with Spirit. What is recommended and what types of schooling is advised or is this something that is handled through Spirit only?
A. Yes I believe it is possible to all, providing there is a level of discipline and people want to learn.
Once again meditation really is the way to go it helps in so many different ways and spirit will often teach during meditation guiding us in the right direction to find teachers, school, workshops etc.
Once we start on our paths the spirit world work closely with us to find our niche like, are we a medium, trance medium, direct voice, trance healer, so many more besides and sometimes more than one!
This can change over the years also as we progress and take different paths.
It is not only handled through spirit as we need each other to be able to work for the good of all.
Q. What other types of readings do you do and what preference do you have versus performing a reading via telephone, in person or through the internet?
A. I do spiritual readings, direct contact with loved ones (and not so loved ones). This is done either on a one to one basis or on platform.
Telephone readings are good in so much as there is no body language to contend with which I feel makes my job that bit easier the same with internet readings.
For instance, a sitter is in front of me and with each piece of evidence there will be a reaction, if you do not switch off you can lead off down the wrong road, this often happens with new mediums but gradually they learn how to ignore it, the same as the effects of a sad reading, we must not be swayed as that can affect it. There is much to take into account but really I love all readings and each one is special to me.
A good medium will learn to use all.
A. I feel all ethical mediums have much empathy how else we can feel the pain, laughter, suffering and happiness from both sides?
In the beginning it affects you greatly, many a night I’ve gone through the reading again and again and that was my mistake! if you let it, it can affect your whole life that’s why its so important to separate the two as much as possible, being persistent and training yourself. I honestly believe that once that door is open that’s how it stays, when working its open when not working its ajar as Merlin explained to me, when we need to contact you we will whether you like it or not, and instead of saying that’s it I’m closed down (like I was taught), I simply say ok here if you need me but please keep it to emergencies. They always do and mainly leave me alone in ‘my’ time.
I know that sounds contradictory but its like this, I wake in the morning and get on with my day, I do not wake and say, right, I am a medium let us do some spiritual stuff. That too is done a lot in the beginning when we discover we can speak to the other side and want to do it all the time that is where the training comes in. If there is mediumistic work to be done, once or twice throughout the day I let my mind wander to the spirit world and jot down anything that has been given for later, I could be hovering or stacking the dishwasher, then I carry on with my human life.
I do not do the protection thing ever! I know when to ground myself as I feel it or Merlin will say you are too much in the head today Cas, ‘ground’ if I have missed it, so maybe you could class that as protection. I do not ever give bad energies, thought, there is no point, better to put loving positive energy out there.
Q. What do you recommend for a caretaker with empathetic symptoms, to help alleviate the loss and drain of energy when caring for a loved one that has a terminal incurable illness?
A. The very first thing I would suggest and I know the spirit world would too is learn ‘detachment’, like a Doctor has to, imagine all the patients they see in a day all the very sad cases they have to deal with, imagine how traumatic it would be if they took their work home It would make them very ill indeed.
As to a caregiver, naturally it will be hard ‘but’ in order for them to be the best caregiver they can be and kinder to themselves they need to learn how to do this. A switch if you like on/off, its a very hard thing to learn but once mastered hopefully the quality of both lives will lift from the despair, exhaustion and understanding of the situation, like why did this have to happen to me, to them, to us, its not fair etc …
I think I mentioned in an earlier answer about the meditation side of things that will benefit both. If the caregiver can manage to obtain a guided meditation they can do together then speak about their experiences after perhaps writing it down, never underestimate this small action. Many times the patient will meet in meditation with family and friends from the other side, they know how scared they are, they will reassure them and sometimes give them a small journey there to show them what is in store and believe me….. its beautiful, I have seen it when Merlin took me and other times I have gone on my own, yes they have let me loose there.
Also Homeopathy and natural remedies from a qualified practitioner can help.
Q. What other advice can you give to an Empath caring for a loved one with an incurable terminal illness when it comes to other family members who may not feel as empathetic? How does one cope? What are the boundaries? How does an Empath protect themselves and why are there Empaths? Is it true we are all Empaths, just experience it or are aware of it on different levels?
A. It is my belief that you cant force empathy, you either have it or do not, some people become empathic due to a crisis in their life that changes the way they look at things which is a good thing, maybe others see the change and it encourages them question their own empathy. Some Empaths have to hide it as it can make them look weak in others eyes, so for some family members this may apply, some simply cant be bothered sadly with the situation and are happy to leave it to others, some cant cope, there are many reasons.
You do not need to be an Empath to be a caregiver either, some will do it out of guilt or loyalty or because they have to, some because there is no one else! Some even do it for a job to get a pay check at the end of the week no empathy involved! If you are a caregiver and feel burdened try to find someone to talk it over with. Why not try committing it to tape then listen to it, how does it make you feel? Can you improve the way you feel by taking the words on board and looking at it from a different angle? How about writing it all down then taking it to an open space and safely burn it, setting all your worries free …… cleansing almost perhaps adding some sage.
There must always be boundaries like mentioned previously there ‘must’ be a caregiver’s downtime.
There have been and always will be Empaths, my feeling is the people without empathy need to learn from their own life experiences, as they do they teach the people that can why they are that way, in short how not to be!
Q. It seems as if Spiritual Medium and an Empath are life long journeys, it is not something that one can get away from yet on the other hand it must be rewarding gift as well. Can you expand on how this experience has helped you and others here on Earth?
A. Being an Empath as previously mentioned needs to be controlled and not the other way around otherwise it invites all sorts of problems. Too much empathy can lead to a soft medium, not enough and we are perceived as hard and unfeeling.
A Medium and Empath gel together very well, each helping each other, if we get the balance right, there have been times when great empathy in a reading or life in general have helped me greatly, learning to understand where they are coming from through their experiences helps me with mine. Also as readings are given the sitter learns from their experience then hopefully they chat among their family and friends passing on what they have learned and so on…
I am no different chatting to my medium friends also, that way we spread the things we have learned.
So everyone helps everyone and with a bit of luck its shared around the world.
Q. What other types of readings do you perform Cas?
A. I give direct spiritual contact readings bringing friends and relatives through to give evidence, messages and help.
Q. You mentioned that an ancestor in your family performed tea leaf readings and apple peel readings? Do you feel this is a gift that is inherited through the genes or through Spirit?
A. I feel it is an ability that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Q. What does a person have to do or prepare for when receiving a reading?
A. I always ask them to leave their expectations at the door as this can affect the reading for them. They may expect to contact a specific person and they could feel let down if that person does not come through. Also to simply relax and enjoy every second of it as to be tense sometimes can cause a block, meaning they are blocking themselves.
As readings are booked in advance I ask them to start putting the thought out who they would like to make contact with, then the spirit world will try to put it into place. Sometimes as I have mentioned the sitter ‘thinks’ they are ready to receive evidence form a certain spirit when in reality they are not for many reasons, so again this can act as a block, maybe they are so shocked when they do come through they will have a short spell of psychic amnesia where the brain is so startled at the contact it does not recognize anything that is being given, after a while it normalizes and in the middle of a reading they do recognize the info and say ahhhh I’ve got it now!
Basically relaxing and enjoying this time with the spirit world is the key.
Spiritual Awareness Events and Circles
A. I would recommend finding a local circle, it need not be attached to a church or organization, and this may take a while! It needs to sit well with you, you may try several before you find ‘the’ one, even, over the years your needs within the circle will shift so you need to shift with it or risk being left behind. Circle dynamics will always change.
Also get recommendations of experienced mediums who take their own circle and read, read, read … as many spiritual books as they can, as all the time, they will be increasing their data or knowledge which will come in handy when they themselves start to give readings. This need not be expensive; the local library often has a nice selection.
Keep a dream or visitation journal and a notebook of all the things you feel relevant to your own work.
Also look on the net, same process. Talk to like minded people about spiritualism, go to workshops learn as much as possible about a wide variety of things. It is not all about being a medium there are lots of other avenues to explore.
Meditate; sit in your own power.
Go the see mediums working in churches as much as possible (and its cheap) you will see many variables this is where your own common sense comes into play, you will learn to see the ways you would like to work or not, more often not, lol, however, never copy another medium so that you become a ‘copy’ otherwise all you will ever be is second best to that persons work! You need to be aiming to become a distinctive light worker in your own right.
Start your own circle with like minded friends, this is normally frowned upon but I personally believe its a good way to go, be sensible have a leader, practice meditation give each other readings etc try using tools like cards, scrying water or mirror, ribbon readings, exercises etc, this is a time of change so go with it and do not be put off.
The most important thing, know yourself and keep the ego in check, its not easy but anything worthwhile rarely is! Teach do not preach!
Q. Can you recommend ways to stay on the right path for the experienced and intermediate individuals continuing their journey? How can one avoid so as not stepping away or fading away from such a gift?
A. The thing is we all know the difference between right and wrong if we are honest so staying on the right path should not be a problem unless they are around negative and controlling people! It is up to us then to recognize this and straighten up. And of course we can ask our guides and spirit friends for help too.
Sometimes people need a break or step away for a time as we all have personal things, family, health, work etc., or need to process the information that requires our full attention, the spirit world understands this and often work in the back ground to help ease the process. Our ability will never fade it is there for good once that first step is taken, a bit like riding a bike, it may slow or as I mentioned we may take a ‘holiday’ for various reasons but it is always there, the same as our guides and helpers.
Also it could be the wrong time in our lives so we set it on the back burner and pick it up when the time is right.
Q. Is it true that Spirit is behind an individual at all times, although they cannot avoid events happening in life but can guide them through it, coping and moving on in the journey?
A. Yes I would say this is true based on my experience. Guides are exactly that ‘guides’ they cannot force us to do anything we do not want to or cannot stop certain events happening as we all have ‘free will’ but they are here to help and often help in unusual ways.
Q. What do recommend to someone that is new or experienced in this field and lives in a rural area where there are no meetings places to socialize and worship?
A. I would say that the internet is a good way to go, living so far out would create problems in so much as we all need others to practice with, there are I believe courses and interactive online workshops.
No one needs a ‘church’ to worship in, we are our own temple so to speak and can go within to pray or chat to spirit. Maybe set aside one day a month where you travel to a full days workshop, plan it to coincide with a trip to a bookstore for a new book or arrange a dinner after to talk over the days teachings.
Set up and online chat group with again like minded people. There is always a way!
Q. Lastly, Cas what types of study in colleges can you recommend to someone who is looking to learn and practice Alternative Healing and earn a degree or diploma so that they can prove it in order to be able to practice in accordance with business law, depending on what country they live in? How does it vary in countries? (i.e., your country ad compared to America?) What about other countries?
A. This is difficult to answer because I simply do not know. It is up to the individual to make enquiries in their chosen field, as you say each country will have different rules etc.
It really is down to the individual and you know as they make enquiries they will be going through a learning process that will pay dividends. There is so much choice out there research is the only way to find a course that suits your needs, by speaking to people who are qualified you can make an informed choice.
In this country (England) we have a new law ‘the fraudulent mediums act’ which has been set up to safeguard the sitter and ‘not’ the medium, so the medium is now required by law to display a disclaimer saying that the reading or platform event is for entertainment purposes only! Also we have to be insured here and again there are various bodies and groups which offer this.
Q. Cas, where can one contact you for a reading, or read your spiritual works and shop at your store?
A. I can be contacted via my website www.spirit-light.co.uk My store is under construction but again is on the site.
Q. Can you give an overall reading to our readers right now reading this article? What advice can you give to someone grieving the loss of a loved one?
A. The short answer is yes I could but would not, simply because one contact would come through and there may be many people reading this which would be very unfair, all I will say is that this article has been inspired by the spirit world so I hope some of the things that have been given help them in beautiful and inspiring ways.
My advice to anyone grieving a loved one would be, find someone to talk it over with, the more we talk the more we relieve the pain in the smallest way each time and replace it with happy memories and love, eventually although it will never go away they will find it will gradually become easier to live with. Maybe make an appointment with a grief counselor it is not for everyone but it may just be the right time for you. When they feel strong enough try a medium they will normally feel when the time is right.
It will never be easy to part with a loved one, friend or pet and I highly recommend having a picture out that you can talk to, look at and put fresh flowers by, it is such a simple thing but gives so much comfort. Do not forget even though loved ones are happy in the spirit world they still miss you and are around you so can hear and feel when you are sad or happy. They may leave a calling card, a brush on the cheek to wipe away a tear, an arm around your shoulder that can be felt by warmth, smells such as tobacco, perfume and let us not forget the memories they remind you of.
Dreams are a wonderful way the spirit world visit us and many times a sitter has come for an appointment having dreamt their loved one told them to seek out a medium, mostly the loved one will even guide them to medium they feel would best suit their energy!
Q. Do you have any books that you are writing or waiting to be published?
A. I am at present writing a book and developing a CD for meditation, spiritual development, and helping to understand the meeting of our guides and helpers.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you Pam for a small insight into the spirit world according to Cas. I have thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with you and the spirit world; it is always easier when being interviewed by someone who understands the process. As to my spirit friends a huge thank you to them also as I know they organized this behind the scenes and to Merlin what can I say? Always by my side guiding and teaching me, oh so patiently!
Om Shanti to all. (Peace be to all).
Thank you so much for your precious time today Cas! It has been an extreme pleasure to have met you and learn what it is like to actually be a Spiritual Medium, from both sides.
Many Blessings! xx
Pamela Jannarone Scott is a Freelance Writer currently based in Mid Georgia, USA with her husband. Born and raised on the east coast of New Jersey, she is the proud mother of a son and daughter and grandmother to one very special granddaughter.