Mysteries of the Plantation: I Think Ya Mama Sent You
Linda was so excited when she came in a couple of years ago for her final meeting. Her wedding would be the next month so I had asked her to come in to discuss all the final details of her wedding. I had called my friend Diem earlier that day to discuss Vietnamese traditions and how I could incorporate them into Linda’s wedding. We don’t normally host Vietnamese traditional weddings, but I wanted to make it special for Linda.
As we discussed champagne toasts at each table and who gets corsages, the subject of our new sign came up. I suddenly felt compelled to tell her about a dream that I had the night before. Every year our family goes to Dollywood for vacation. The butterfly is the logo for Dolly and her amusement park. In my dream, I decided to add butterflies to my new sign that is located on River Road. They would form a circle around the name Tchoupitoulas.
Linda’s eyes widened as I told the story, and she reminded me that her mother and father had passed away. Linda went on to explain that when she had her first visit with CGT Plantation, she sat in her car for a few minutes before coming in. Every bride wants to find the perfect place to say “I do” and she wondered whether CGT was that place. As she got out of her car, three butterflies encircled her as she walked up the path to the front door. Before I opened the door, Linda had her answer. Her symbol for her mother was a butterfly. With three butterflies surrounding her, she knew that her mother was smiling with approval at her choice in venues. My dream the night before her wedding confirmed that her mother was indeed pleased and would “attend” in spirit at this very special event.
After this happened with Linda, I started taking a mental note of how many brides and grooms came to us with mothers that were deceased. The results were a little astounding. Inevitably, when I questioned these couples about why they booked with us, their answer always included something that reminded them of their mother. Does the house have such a spiritual connection that it’s capable of expressing desires of those passed? I’m not sure, but the following account seems to indicate that it does.
I received an email from a bride, Shana. We corresponded back and forth. Two of her friends were being married at CGT Plantation and she was interested in finding out more about the prices and accommodations. She made an appointment but never showed up. A few weeks later she made another appointment but canceled it. Then a week later she made an appointment for 5:00 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. I was about to close the doors after waiting fifteen minutes for her. I began to think someone was playing a joke on me.
Finally, I noticed a car coming up the blacktop driveway. She hurried in and apologized for being late. I asked if she was seeing the property alone. “Yes, just me,” she said. I showed her around each room, detailing all the amenities we offer. However, she seemed distracted and rushed.
The plantation has a calming effect on most people and she was no different. As we flowed to the back of the building, she seemed to be unloading all her worries of the world into the air. I had assumed she would just walk through and leave. However, when she started to ask questions about the ceremony space, bar, food, etc., I thought perhaps I should sit down and talk to her for a bit. I invited her to sit at a table with me and go over the package, but before I could finish it she said, “I think this is it.” She then asked if her date was available. I looked at the schedule, and it was available.
There was a strange but peaceful feeling in the plantation. I asked her, “Do you want to book this date today?” She shook her head yes. I went to get the paperwork, but before I started to fill it out, my thoughts caused me to stop and ask her a question. “I know this is a really weird question,” I said. “But has your mother passed?” She looked at me, puzzled by my question. She responded, “Yes, how do you know that?” I really didn’t have an answer for her. “I don’t know. It just came to me,” I said.
We continued with the meeting. When we were finished, I needed a deposit, so she went to get her checkbook from her car. As I sat at the table waiting for her return, I thought, Why did I say that? This girl is going to think I’m a nut!
After about ten minutes, I went to the front door. I thought she may have left, but she was on the phone searching through her purse. Ten minutes after that she finally returned. She exclaimed, “I couldn’t find my checkbook. I always have my checkbook.” She continued, “I had to call my dad overseas to ask him if I could use his checkbook. I found his but not mine!”
As she started to write the check she paused for a moment, her hands trembled as she noticed the wording on the top of the check. This checkbook turned out to be her parents from a couple years ago. What she saw was her mother’s name on it. But what she said next was what led me to believe that this is not all a coincidence. She said, “This was my mother’s checkbook that I have had in my purse since last year. Today is the day she died one year ago.”
The hair on my neck stood up and my eyes widened. We were both silent. Finally, I said, “I think we can be assured that she helped you find us!” With that revelation, my connection was made with this bride. Her concerns and doubt disappeared. Shana clearly needed a sign from above to make this very important decision. Her mother came through like fireworks! She was not alone on that day. We were not alone. . . .
Most “spiritual guidance” from our mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather is very subtle. Often, it’s just a flower in the garden or an old chandelier that reminds a bride of a loved one now in heaven. But no matter how someone comes through, it is always an honor to know they feel comfortable coming here to this very special place. It is our belief that on the wedding day or event, loved ones are here from all levels dancing the night away!