THE REINCARNATION OF RICHARD SWARTZ

“To Whom it may concern:  As of this date, reincarnation remains a very controversial issue.  It has neither been proved or disproved regardless of how much has been written about it.  Whether or not the people who witness this statement or the people who open it on April 30, 1993 believe in reincarnation is of little importance to me at this time.  I am concerned only with the following facts as I have seen them to be in the future.  The basis of these facts are the results of dreams and/or mental images produced during many hours of sleep.  It is not for me to even consider the evaluation of these dreams; I can only  rely on the future to validate the following facts.  In my mind as of this date, there is no question whatsoever that the following will occur.” … So was written by my father on November 4, 1975.

I wasn’t a skeptic.  When you’re nineteen, twenty years old your mind is open and anything is possible.

In the 1970s my father started having strange dreams; dreams that made him feel as though he was living some one else’s  life while he recovered in the hospital after some heart-related problems. They continued long after he convalesced at home and happened so frequently that when they awakened him in the middle of the night he would jot them down on a piece of paper by his bedside. Because of my open mind and curiosity  I was dad’s assistant in this incredible journey to document, and in some cases, corroborate these dreams or recollections of another life.  You can be a skeptic or you can be a believer; it is your choice.

***

During the wee hours of the night Richard L. Swartz of Natick, Massachusetts “became” Jeremy Wesley Porter from Bennetsville, South Carolina.  Living in the late 1890s and early 1900s in a sprawling plantation with his grandfather, Jeremy was a privileged boy being attended to by a housekeeper and maid.  His grandfather loved to entertain many guests, including the military  in his large white-columned home;  one such party held on June 3, 1910 commemorated the birthday of Jefferson Davis.   Jeremy and his best friend, Robert Martin, enjoyed fishing in the Pee Dee Creek which was not too far from home.  The two pals were such good friends that Jeremy would often accompany Bob to  St. Michael’s Cemetary to visit his  Uncle William Martin’s (prominent attorney) gravesite.

A romance began to blossom between Jeremy and Mae Powers, a local girl whose father was very well known in the town.  The couple would meet under the wagon wheel chandelier at the Powers Hotel, proclaiming their young and sometimes desperate love. It was a time of adventure, romance and of impending war.  Jeremy was called to fight and his orders were to leave for Charney, France.  Before his departure he gave his girlfriend an engraved necklace; a promise that he would return to her.  In return she would wear it every day until they were in each others arms again.  That chance never came.

***

My father, Richard, had never been to Bennetsville, South Carolina; in fact he had never heard of it.  When he began amassing these stories about Jeremy’s life the first action I took involved making a call to the Bennetsville, South Carolina police department.  Through them I confirmed that there had in fact been a Powers Hotel which had been famous for its wagon wheel chandelier; it  had burned down many, many years ago!  I will never forget my father’s face when I authenticated one of the pieces of his mysterious puzzle.  He had been playing pinochle with a few friends around the kitchen table and his face went white; ashen.  After that incident my dad wrote many letters to the living members of the Martin, Porter and Powers families in the Bennetsville area with the premise that he was trying to track down lost members of his family.  He couldn’t tell them the truth; HIS truth; that he had been Jeremy Wesley Porter but now he was some one else.  My dad soon found out that Jeremy was listed as “Missing In Action” in Charney, France and a few of the responses corroborated some of his dreams.  However,  quite suddenly all correspondence from South Carolina mysteriously stopped. Could it be that the Porter family thought that Jeremy was still alive after all these years and wanted to claim the remaining fortune? Dad stopped sending letters and decided at that point to put things down for a while but the dreams continued.

One morning dad woke up from his sleep.  It had been a long fitful night full of strange dreams. He looked over at his pad of paper and was shocked to see that he had written down some information in a foreign language that he had never seen before!  Going over the dream in his head he remembered an older man from a small village who was clothed in burlap.  He had five children.   He was watching over his beloved wife as she lay dying and as he cried and prayed for her recovery he heard the comforting voice of God speaking to him.

Dad decided to take the pad of paper to the Boston Public Library to see if he could decipher the language and words. However, he had no luck because even though some of the letters looked to be a certain language others were not.  Almost ready to give up he brought the paper to the librarian, asking her if she could help in some way.  She told him that a professor from a local college was in the library and perhaps he could show the paper to him.  Dad was thankful and made his way to the professor, making up a story that the paper was given to him as a practical joke and asking him if he could figure out what the words said.  My dad certainly couldn’t tell the professor the truth!  The man looked at the paper and back at dad and said “Are you kidding me?  This is a very old Slavic language spoken in the 16th and 17th century and not commonly used except in remote Ukrainian villages!”   My dad just laughed and asked him if he could please try and decipher the meaning of the words.

These are the words from the dream; the message that the man heard as he prayed for his dying wife:  “Please don’t be sad.  You have lived a happy and kind life and you will be rewarded.  You have been together before and will be together again many times in the future.”

***

In 1975 when he was 52 years old my dad had another dream in which he would be reborn on April 30, 1993. The event would take place at the Cincinnati University Medical Center, 234 Goodman Avenue at 10:15 am.  His parents would be Joseph and Chris Perrone and he would be named Michael Perrone. He wrote this all down on an official piece of paper which he had notarized and put away in a safe place.  Hearing this information was not easy for me; it would mean that he would die and be reborn before he was 75 years old.

***

My dad died when he was 63 years old from a sudden heart attack, several years before his predicted rebirth in 1993.  As the year came and went the curiosity that I had in my youth still lingered within me.  One day I reached out, grabbed the phone and made my first phone call.

Advertisements