Part memoir, part spiritual exploration, part inspiring stories, Expect the Unexpected provides knowledge and support for tapping into spiritual realms we do not fully understand.
Bill Philipps had the kind of childhood that seems too tragic to be true drug-addicted parents, parental kidnapping, homelessness. At fourteen, he watched his mother die. Two days later she appeared to him, letting him know she was spiritually alive. From then on, spirits “knocked on his door.” He tried to ignore them. He wanted to be “normal.” But as he pursued his singing gift at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, his psychic gift pressed for a hearing. As Philipps gave readings as a psychic medium, witnessing the comfort the spirits offered, he came to accept and honor his abilities.
With testimonies from many people, Expect the Unexpected is an honest firsthand account of how spirits communicate with Philipps, why he believes they chose him to do this, and how he works with them to ultimately convey their messages. He offers insight and suggestions to help ask for and receive signs with or without a medium and shows why he is convinced that readings always contain the possibility for love, peace, healing, and hope.
|Publisher:||New World Library|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Bill Philipps is a psychic medium who helps the deceased communicate with their loved ones on earth. He conducts individual readings in person, by phone, or via Skype, as well as small- and large-group readings throughout the United States. He has established a reputation for offering compelling psychic communications and has a way with large audiences. He lives in Orange County, California.
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Expect the Unexpected
Bringing Peace, Healing, and Hope from the Other Side
By Bill Philipps, William Croyle
New World LibraryCopyright © 2015 Bill Philipps
All rights reserved.
THE FIRST TIME
The universe works in mysterious ways to bring you exactly what you need at exactly the right time. Trust in your higher source.
I was fourteen years old when I had my first encounter with the spirit world. It was the starry summer evening of August 16, 1999. I'd been sound asleep in the upstairs guest room of an old home in Amityville, New York, on Long Island's south shore. The home, coincidentally, was two doors down from the one that sparked the popular 1970s book and movie The Amityville Horror.
Fortunately for me, there was nothing horrific about my encounter. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I was awakened by a warm, inviting glow near the ceiling in the far corner of the room. I sat up and rubbed my eyes to adjust to the radiance. And there she was.
A dazzling, young, gorgeous woman with deep-set eyes who was as fixated on me as I was on her. I was mesmerized by her majestic appearance as she gently hovered within the vibrant light, like an apparition. I sensed that she wanted to speak, but that she was waiting for me to make the first move. What did she want me to say? We both remained silent and patient, continuing our friendly stare-down for several seconds.
Finally, I blinked.
My body trembled when I realized who she was. It was an epiphany that blasted shockwaves to my core.
"Mom?" I said timidly, confounded by her presence.
The last time I had seen her was in the hospital two days earlier — when she died.
The first question I am usually asked when I begin to tell this story is: "How do you know it was not a dream?" I can assure you that while I've had some pretty vivid dreams in my life, this was absolutely not one of them. Trust me, I tried hard to convince myself that I wasn't seeing what I thought I was seeing. A ghost? A spirit? My dead mother? No way. But she was there. I was as awake as you are at this very moment.
Before I tell you what happened next, and to help you better understand the long-term significance of that unparalleled moment, I need to take you on a brief journey through my sordid childhood.
* * *
My mom and I shared a strong, unconditional, unbreakable mother-son bond, but our relationship during our short time together was toxic. That toxicity derived primarily from her heavy addiction to drugs and alcohol. She shared the drug habit with my dad, who also abused her. There was a vicious cycle of hate, anger, and degradation around me that I could not escape. That I turned out as normal as I did, considering the hell I was dragged through and witnessed as a child, is nothing short of a miracle. Sometimes I wonder how I made it out of my early years alive.
My mom boldly kidnapped me from my dad when I was six years old. The three of us had been living together at the time in Southern California with my paternal grandmother. My parents had been separated for a few months before that and then had reunited. Dad thought they had reconciled, but it was a devious ploy by my mom to gain his trust before running away with me. She had a boyfriend at the time and had formulated a plan to skip town with both of us. She implemented it one ordinary weekday morning after Dad left for work. She gave him a kiss, closed the front door behind him, then peered through the peephole to ensure that he was gone. As soon as he pulled away, she dashed to the bedroom and grabbed the bags she'd secretly packed the night before. She clutched my hand and told me to stay close to her as we scurried to a waiting car driven by our neighbor. The neighbor peeled out of the driveway and took us to the home of my mom's friend, who was expecting us. It was a well-orchestrated abduction by my mom, who had several helpful hands involved in her scheme.
When Dad came home later that day and realized we had vanished, he hit the streets to search for me. While we hid in my mom's friend's house, Dad telephoned in a rage, demanding to know if we were there. Afraid that he was about to find us, Mom rushed us out of the house. We fled down the street, desperately knocking on neighbors' doors until we were taken in by total strangers, a kindhearted family that I will never forget. Huddled inside, we could hear my dad calling me from the street: "Billlllllyyyyyy! Billlllllyyyyyy!" I was confused about how I was supposed to feel. In one sense, I felt safe with Mom. In another sense, it didn't feel right that Mom was hiding me from Dad. I could hear the desperation in his voice with each cry of my name.
With Mom fearing he might find us, we covertly left the strangers' home on foot after dark, about ten o'clock, for an abandoned school bus in a nearby ditch. Yes, a school bus in a ditch. Welcome to the drug underworld.
There I was, an innocent six-year-old boy up way past his bedtime, hiding out in a musty, broken-down bus lit with gas lanterns. While my friends were in their homes, blissfully and soundly sleeping in the comfort of their own beds, I was surrounded by eight adults smoking their crack pipes, jabbing themselves with needles, and performing sex acts on each other. I tried not to look as I maneuvered past them toward the back of the bus. I snuggled into the last seat, covered my ears, and closed my eyes in an attempt to escape the repulsiveness. My mom gave me a kiss on the forehead and told me she loved me before going to join her friends.
I don't know why, but strangely enough I felt relaxed and comforted within seconds, as if a force field of love were protecting me. Everybody ignored me, and I was able, for the most part, to avoid watching and listening to their repugnant acts. Who knows, maybe that was actually my first encounter with the spirit world. Maybe that force field of love was the work of those on the other side shielding me from the evil that abounded. That bus was a horrific place to be, but somehow I safely made it through the night.
The next morning my mom, her boyfriend, and I boarded another bus — a working Greyhound this time — for a crosscountry trip to Brooklyn, where her boyfriend had family. It was a wearisome three-thousand-mile trek over several days to a place that was not much different from the one I'd left. The phrase "It takes a village to raise a child" definitely applied to me, but the villagers raising me in New York left a lot to be desired.
Sometimes Mom and I lived in a crowded two-bedroom brownstone house with ten of her boyfriend's relatives. Other times we crashed at her boyfriend's sister's house, or with friends of theirs. I never felt wanted by our hosts; their homes were simply places to lay our heads, the atmospheres desolate. I was nothing more than another body in an already crowded place. We moved from house to house, apartment to apartment, even church to church. I never considered myself homeless, because there was always a roof above me; but by the federal government's definition, my situation was the essence of homeless.
I transferred to new schools multiple times each year, never settling into a routine or able to make many friends. My grades were decent, considering how many times I had to start over, but my real-world education outside of school overshadowed my academics. Drugs and violence were prevalent wherever we squatted. I was in the living room of a home one day with a couple of guys I barely knew — Mom was out on one of her drug binges — when one of the guys pulled a gun on the other during an argument. It scared me but didn't surprise me.
Some nights I went to bed and got a kiss goodnight from Mom. Most nights I tucked myself in and cried myself to sleep because she didn't come home. I never considered running away, but if I had I'm not sure anybody would have noticed I was gone. It was not unusual for Mom to disappear for weeks at a time as she wandered the streets looking for her drug fix. One Christmas Eve, I went to sleep wondering if she would make it home before Santa Claus arrived. She did ... after police found her slumped on a cold metal bench in a train station. She was higher than Rudolph could fly. Merry Christmas.
My mom was a lost soul. As a result, so was I.
My turbulent life in New York lasted for three long years and ended, fittingly, when my mom went on another of her extended drug runs. We had been living temporarily with her boyfriend's sister, who decided enough was enough. I don't think she had anything against me; she simply decided she wasn't going to be responsible for raising her brother's girlfriend's son anymore. Who could blame her? I wasn't her kid. Technically I wasn't even family. She somehow found a way to reach my paternal grandmother in California. I hadn't seen anyone on that side of the family since the abduction.
"I'm not taking care of this boy anymore," she said to my grandma. "If you buy his plane ticket, he's all yours. I'll drive him to the airport."
Grandma and some other family members chipped in to buy the ticket. They actually had me fly from New York to Las Vegas, where my dad was temporarily working on a construction job. It sustained my new nomadic life. He and I lived there in an apartment for six months before we returned to Southern California, where it was New York all over again, but with palm trees. We lived in various hotels or moved from trailer to trailer and from school to school. When Dad wasn't working, he was lighting up his crack pipe. The constant moving lasted for about three years, until I was twelve, when I found refuge with my grandma. But Dad moved in with us a year later, still recklessly addicted.
During the years that I was away from my mom, I kept in close contact with her. I never got to see her, since there was no way my dad's family was going to take that chance, but I spoke with her by phone almost daily, or at least on days she was lucid enough to pick up a phone and talk. I cannot imagine how emotionally difficult it was for her when she sobered up and returned home to find that I had been sent back to my dad; I'm sure she immediately hit the streets again to try to escape the pain. It wasn't easy for me, either. Despite all that she put me through, she was still my mom. I knew she loved me, and I loved her. She just could not kick her habit. Somehow, even at a young age, I got that. But it was little consolation. She wanted what was best for me, as long as her needs were addressed first.
* * *
Flash forward to August of 1999 and the week leading to Mom's death.
It had been almost six years since I had seen her. I was a few weeks shy of my fifteenth birthday, and we still regularly talked by phone. She called me on Monday, August 9, to tell me she hadn't been feeling well for a while and was going to the hospital to have some tests done.
"You don't need to worry about it, Billy," she said. "Everything will be fine."
Two days later, on Wednesday, she called and told me she had a benign tumor on her pancreas. I don't know if she knew the truth and was trying to spare my feelings, or if it was just too difficult for her to come to terms with the real diagnosis, but at that time I had a strong suspicion that something was seriously wrong. She wasn't her usual bubbly self. She sounded as if the life had been sucked out of her. The clincher was when she ended the conversation very conclusively.
"I love you," she said, her voice cracking. "Good-bye, Billy."
I went to bed that night very sad. I knew she wasn't telling me everything, so the next day I called her boyfriend to find out what was really going on. Unfortunately, my intuition was correct.
"Billy, she has pancreatic cancer," he said, fighting through tears. "You need to get here. She is not doing well."
The phrase pancreatic cancer has long been synonymous with a quick death. I don't think I knew that at fourteen, but I could sense from the urgency in her boyfriend's voice that this could be the end of her life. Deeply distraught at the thought of losing my mom, I told my dad what was happening and pleaded with him to let me go see her. Of course, given their history and the con job she did on him when she kidnapped me, he did not believe for a second that she was sick. He released a long, loud, rambling rant about everything he hated about her and gave me multiple reasons why I wasn't going. But after stating his piece — and realizing by the look on my face just how much this meant to me, and remembering that I was almost fifteen and not six — he gave in and let me make my own decision. I took a red-eye flight on Friday and arrived in New York on Saturday morning.
I got to the hospital about 11 AM and was stunned by Mom's appearance, given that we had talked on the phone just three days earlier. She was hooked up to every tube and machine imaginable, including a breathing tube. Her eyes were closed, occasionally fluttering. She looked frail and lifeless. She was forty-one years old but looked twenty years older, if not thirty. I sat quietly in a chair at a little bit of a distance, just watching her, letting her sleep. I wondered if she would feel my presence and wake up on her own. When she didn't after a while, I tentatively walked to the side of her bed and touched my hand to hers. "Mom?" I softly whispered. "Mom?"
That's when all hell broke loose. At the sound of my voice, her eyes shot wide open. The breathing tube muffled her frantic screams. Her arms flailed as she yanked every tube and wire she could reach, ferociously ripping them off her body in an effort to stand up and wrap her arms around me for the first time in six years. Alarms triggered on every machine. Several nurses flew into the room to try to calm her down, resulting in a mini-brawl on the bed. One nurse swiftly escorted me out while the others teamed up to restrain Mom, literally tying her to the bed. She fought them with every ounce of what little energy she had, but lost.
I knew she would be shocked to see me, but I never expected that.
I wistfully left the hospital and went back to her boyfriend's house, the one in Amityville, to get some sleep. I returned to the hospital later that day, probably about 7 PM, and was accompanied to the room by a nurse just in case Mom went crazy again when she saw me. She was still in restraints, but unconscious. I talked to her but this time received no response. She looked peaceful, almost too peaceful. I could sense that the end was near. I told her I loved her, but that was it. I was a kid about to lose his mom. I really didn't know what more to say.
A little more than three hours later, at roughly 10:30 PM on August 14, I was at her bedside holding her hand as she quietly passed away.
I cried hard, as any child would at the loss of a parent. My life with Mom flashed before my eyes, and a flash was about all it took. We had such a short, difficult life together. Even when I was with her, she was rarely mentally with me. Essentially, I raised myself, and she filled in the gaps when she was able. I felt empty inside. I had few memories of her ... few good ones, anyway. It was not the way a son and mother should part, but she was gone. It was over. There was nothing I could do. I had no idea, though, that there was something she could do.
* * *
When she appeared to me in the bedroom on August 16, she barely resembled the woman I had watched die two days earlier. In fact, she hardly looked like the mom I had known for nearly fifteen years — the old, ragged, tired woman who rolled the dice on the streets with her life each day. Within that brilliant light that night, she was much younger, healthier, and happier. Her complexion was immaculate. In a word, she was angelic. Ironically, I had never seen her look so alive.
After I had acknowledged that I knew who she was, she smiled and finally spoke to me. Her voice was soothing but had a persuasive tone. She said just two sentences, the first of which calmed my nerves considerably.
"Billy," she said, "I want you to know that I'm okay."
I smiled. If we could ask one question of our deceased loves ones, wouldn't it be: "Are you okay?" That's what we care about the most — for their sake now and for ours after this life. Even though Mom had succumbed to numerous temptations and had not lived a model life here on earth, she was in a better place. And her reassurance gave me profound comfort and a glimpse into the unknown that few people have ever experienced after losing someone close to them.
But she also gave me one more statement to ponder, one that was more ambiguous. "Also know that I will take care of you," she said.
Take care of me? I thought to myself. Like my guardian angel? I didn't know what that meant. Was it just a general statement about my life? Or was she referring to a specific situation? But before I could ask, she was gone. I cannot describe her transition from being there to not being there, because it was that quick. If I blinked, she vanished in that nanosecond. I would guess the entire encounter, from when I first saw her until she left, lasted thirty seconds, if that.
Excerpted from Expect the Unexpected by Bill Philipps, William Croyle. Copyright © 2015 Bill Philipps. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Foreword Maureen Hancock xiii
Introduction: Peace, Healing, and Hope 1
Part I Discovering the Gift 5
Chapter 1 The First Time 7
The Unknown Sister 22
Chapter 2 See, I Told You! 25
Across the Miles 40
Chapter 3 A Medium (with Your) Latte? 43
The Unlikely Connection 49
Chapter 4 The Haunted House 51
Even the Cat Was Involved 64
Chapter 5 Spirit Homework 67
Friends on the Other Side 76
Chapter 6 Coming out of the Closet 79
All Bets Were Off 89
Chapter 7 Spirits and Faith 91
The Bottom Box 96
Part II How It Works 99
Chapter 8 Psychics versus Mediums 101
I Would Give My Life… 111
Chapter 9 Meditation 117
I Raised My Hand 125
Chapter 10 Their Voices 129
My Two Sons in Heaven 138
Chapter 11 Validating 141
Over the Rainbow 146
Chapter 12 Interpreting 149
Choosing to Forgive 156
Chapter 13 Conveying 159
My Daughter's Return 165
Chapter 14 Keep That with You 169
Singing for Mom 174
Part III The Medium Life 177
Chapter 15 Why Me? 179
Easing the Guilt 184
Chapter 16 Chaos in My Head 187
A Family Reunion 191
Chapter 17 Why Not You? 193
For the Rest of My Life 200
Epilogue: Thank You 203
About Bill Philipps 211
About William Croyle 213
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was moved by his story and has opened me up to the possibilities of the other side. I am so grateful you shared your story with us! Love a good read!
Wonderful read. I couldn't put the book down! Finished it in one day.