My husband was out of town; often the case in those days. I worked my way through some laundry, the History Channel running in the background for noise. At night, the beautiful large windows of our home seemed sinister, allowing anyone to look in, and the droning blare of the tv made me feel less alone somehow. I was just returning to the family room after shelving some towels, when I looked over at the tv screen and saw a picture of a woman in a polka dot dress with fluttery brown hair and a familiar face. Suddenly, my knees gave out (luckily, I was standing next to the couch). It was the woman in the mirror from my regression! Although only a head and shoulders shot, I recognized her instantly. I quickly realized I hadn’t even been paying attention to what the program was about, but then I heard a name, “Kay Summersby.” My vision started to close in on me, as it often does when such things happen, but I fought for concentration, I desperately wanted to hear what the narrator was saying. The program spent a short minute or two noting that Kay Summersby was Eisenhower’s chauffeur while he was a General in World War II. The VoiceOver mentioned that there had been a lot of controversy around whether Eisenhower and Summersby had been having an affair. Pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place around my regression session.
Now, I know what many of you are probably thinking -if you were Kay Summersby that means your ex-boyfriend is the reincarnation of Eisenhower!? Honestly, that didn’t even register at the time. I was still reeling from the change between having thought I ’made the whole thing up, but at least it had therapeutic value’ to coming face-to-face with a picture of the woman I saw myself as and a story that fit with the vignette.
Checking the Rear-view
The next day at work I could barely concentrate. I confess, I used quite a bit of work time that day to do Internet searches on Kay Summersby. I wanted to see if I could find anything else that either seemed familiar or corroborated the scene I had envisioned. From my ’deskchair’ research I learned that, while working for Eisenhower, Kay’s fiancée had died in an explosion that had been termed “an accident” (a detail that closely aligned with my recollection from the session). Additionally, the internet alluded to the close relationship between Eisenhower and Summersby, but indicated that Kay had stressed it had neverbeen consumated (this also closely aligned with my feeling about the relationship from my regression). There were some additional details about her having a love interest in later life (in my session I associated this person with my current husband) and dying of cancer (in my session when asked to describe my death I had said I was “sick” and the feeling I had had about it was that it had been a prolonged disease not a quick, unexpected death.) There were other things to, other stories, that began to filter in from earlier life and suddenly make sense.
Once, when I was a young high school student, our neighbors offered to lend us a movie they had just seen. It was called “Somersby”. When they mentioned it, I only heard the title. Off in a part of the living, sitting by myself, my ears perked up at the name. I said to myself, “Summersby isn’t a movie, Summersby is a last name, but whose? It’s someone really close, who is it?”. My vision began to close in on me at this time, it was a particularly bad occurrence of that phenomenon. But I couldn’t at the time figure out who I was thinking of. We didn’t know anyone with the last name Summersby. Notable, also, was the fact that in my head the spelling was “Summersby” and when I saw that the actual movie title was “Somersby” I immediately said “it’s spelled wrong”. After awhile that incident sunk into my subconscious, an isolated event, until this unexpected occurrence dredged it up and breathed meaning into it.
There were other small incidents also that suddenly made sense. Once, when I was younger (i would guess maybe eight) I stumbled into my Aunt & Uncle’s garage – presumably looking for a ball or toy or something. My uncle had a giant (or so it appeared to me from my Lilliputian height) black car rusticating under a drop cloth. Curious, I lifted the cloth and something about the car riveted me. I have never been and still am not a “car person,” but that car captured my imagination for a long time afterwards. Although it certainly isn’t the same make and model Kay drove, i have since realized that the car was stylistically from the same era and had similar structural characteristics. I remember also, as a child, chancing upon some kind of publication related to the card game bridge in the Chicago Tribune. When I looked at the sequences of letters, numbers, and symbols, I felt I ought to understand them (although I did not). In fact, I was very frustrated that it didn’t make more sense to me. This too had inexplicably captured my imagination. I asked my mother about it, but she only said “that’s bridge, it’s a very complicated card game” and that she didn’t know anything more about it. I’ve only recently found out that Bridge was a favorite game played amongst Eisenhower’s staff. A bit later, when I was in high school, I once had the opportunity to give someone a “false” name instead of my real one. Without even thinking about it, I told him my name was “Kay.” Immediately, when the name sprang from my mouth I thought, well, that’s ridiculous, who has the name ‘Kay’ these days? He also seemed surprised “Kay?” he repeated, incredulously. I swiftly amended the name to “Katie” – a much more common name in those days. It is an interesting coincidence though, that my past life name may have been Kay.
The hunt for information on Kay became a mini-obsession of mine for a few days, but I shortly exhausted the internet resources on the subject. I discovered that she had written two books, but when I tried to track them down they were out of print and elusive to find online at the time. I questioned, too, what i was trying to achieve with all this research. It didn’t really matter whether I was or wasn’t Kay in a past life, i had sought out past life regression to help me understand a particular situation in my current life and it had accomplished that. From a therapeutic perspective I was completely cured, so what was the point of all this ghost-chasing? For many years it completely dropped off my radar.
At the end of January of this year, perhaps due to some other strange events, I was suddenly compelled to re-open this chapter of my life. On a whim, I ordered both books that Kay had written and was quite surprised when they actually arrived (I had ordered at least one of the books via alibris a number of years prior, but it never showed up). I was still a bit bemused at my own behavior. What was I looking for here? My husband asked me the same question, “Why are you interested in this again all of a sudden?”. I couldn’t give either of us any answers because I didn’t understand it myself.
In the background, I was just starting to come out of a period of deep testing on my spiritual path. Although doors were opening in every direction, I was in a bit of a rut on which way to go. After much mulling and some financial consideration, I decided to schedule an appointment with Sonia Choquette, a powerful and respected intuitive spiritual guide in the area to see if that would help point me in a direction. In the meeting, one of the things she conveyed was that I had been “a giver” for many lifetimes and that this was a lifetime for me to work on my skills at receiving. (Which, btw, is a fair point, I am a horrible receiver… to the point where my poor husband is sometimes terrified to give me things because he is unsure how they will be received. I know, I know i’m working on it 🙂 ). The funny thing, though, is that I didn’t really think of myself as a “giver” in life. My husband fits much better in that category. In fact, I have often mentally berated myself for not giving enough – for being too selfish. It was as I was reading “Eisenhower was my boss” and “Past forgetting” (kay’s two books) that pieces began to fall into place.
Previously, I had been somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of being Kay. After all, she had a quasi-affair with Eisenhower. Even though the affair was never officially “consummated,” I thought of the Kay lifetime as one I had to atone for in this life instead of trying to understand who Kay was as a person. As I read her books, however, I began to see beyond those circumstances to the more complete woman she had been (at least at the point in time covered by her books). Kay gave so much of herself in her position, and in her own way she was a very positive force in a powerful arena at a pivotal time. I think she was a necessary reminder of the “softer side” of life for the military men around her who lived and breathed destruction and death on a regular basis. One key passage that illustrates her dedication and service is when Eisenhower had her measured for a new uniform.
“As I went upstairs to be measured that morning, I overheard Butch saying, “Well, what does one have to do around here to get a new tailor-made uniform?’ I stopped and listed for the reply. “All you have to do,” Ike said brusquely, “is work day and night, seven days a week, always be obliging and cheerful and get paid less than half of what the lowest-paid American clerk gets. That’s all’ Butch apologized, ‘I shouldn’t have said that, even joking. I keep forgetting that Kay’s a civilian. She must have a hard time getting along.’ I didn’t really. My pay was laughable, but there was nothing to spend it on.”
I realized that Kay had a tremendous ‘inner strength’ that allowed her to endure in a highly challenging situation. It is a quality that multiple people throughtout my life have remarked on about me – although I have never before understood what they meant. In recognizing certain characteristics that we share, regardless of whether I was she in a previous lifetime or not, reading about her, especially in her own words, was helping me to understand myself. And if I really was she, which I sometimes let myself believe, I can see my trajectory much more clearly having this earlier life as a reference point.
You may wonder whether I ever told my ex-boyfriend that he might be the reincarnation of President Dwight David Eisenhower. In the beginning, as I alluded to, I was just so happy to no longer feel “tied” to him, that I didn’t make any effort to reach out to him at all. At some point years later, we did eventually connect in a vey informal way over gmail. I hinted at the story, but also wanted to avoid “influencing” things, in case he was ever interested in going for his own regression session. I certainly didn’t tell him he might be the reincarnation of Eisenhower. I mean – what would you do with that information anyway? Once you’d been told – it’d be hard to establish an objective point of reference on the subject. It may seem like a fantastic thing, to be the reincarnation of a past President (especially one so famous), but in the end we’re all just people. Why couldn’t one have a lifetime thrust into the spotlight, followed by one that’s more low-key? Fame and power in an earth-life are more about spiritual testing than spiritual advancement, from what I can see. I will say this, though, having now read Kay’s books and thinking back on my ex-boyfriend’s personality, I definitely see it.
 Past Forgetting, Kay Summersby Morgan, Simon & Schuster 1976