The Elements of the In-Between
After her mother’s death, Cynthia Schemmer spent hours watching Long Island Medium, in which Theresa Caputo talks to the dead. Then she decided to seek out a spirit guide of her own.
Two years ago, I spent most of my alone time watching Long Island Medium. For those of you who haven’t been blessed by the voice of Theresa Caputo, she’s a sassy, bleached-out, tangerine-skinned Long Island mother who can apparently talk to the dead. She struggles to record her sessions on cassette tape and takes down notes with her two-inch acrylics. Think grown-up Jersey Shore meets The Sixth Sense.
I had a strong disbelief in her ability, and in no way did she resemble my own Long Island mother who died of lung cancer eight years ago, and yet I still cried during each episode. Her voice, in all of its New York glory, was like a prayer to the people who sought her out, and even those who didn’t,like the time she walked into Ferrara Bakery in Little Italy and blurted out, “There’s a crapload of spirit in here right now.” I felt a kinship with these heartbroken people who were searching for something they never thought they could access, until they could. They needed a little more for their grief, a small message of hope born from closure. During one episode in particular, I felt so desperate to communicate with my mother that when my cat jumped on top of the television and stared at me –something he’s never done –I couldn’t help but look into his big orange face and see my mother reincarnated.
Isn’t the absurdity of life, and our clinging to any pretense of interpretation, completely astounding?
Now, I definitely felt skeptic in seeing a medium. If this person Googled me, some of the first things that would show up would be writings about my mother –an easy clue to what I was looking for. I’d heard plenty of stories from friends about psychic experiences gone very wrong, and while I do believe that there are plenty of frauds out there, I also believe in true intuition. And that belief is what led me to begin looking for my own Theresa Caputo.