Mother’s Intuition: Mysterious Ways Staffers Tell Their Stories

For Mother’s Day, Mysterious Ways and Guideposts employees share stories, both amusing and amazing, of instances when their moms displayed mother’s intuition to a heightened degree.

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Rakeem Nelson; editorial intern: So this is a very embarassing photo of me and my mom, and speaking of my mom, me and her are really big tea drinkers, and one time after school—this is way back when I was young—I turned on the stove to boil a cup of tea and then I went to take a nap. And wherever she was at the time—probably at work—I got a text from her, saying “Go turn the stove off.” 

I was pretty upset that I couldn’t go and take my nap, but when I got up to go and look at the stove, the fire wasn’t on; it was just the gas.

Hilary Robins, associate editor: This is my mom and I; this is a few years ago. So this one experience that I had with my mom was super inexplicable. After high school one day, I was thinking about my after-school snack, what I wanted, and I thought, “I really want frozen yogurt.” And I was think about the toppings I was going to put on it and how much I wanted to just go and get this frozen treat and mid-thought my mom calls me and she’s, like, “I’m driving to pick you up, and I was thinking we really need to stop and get some frozen yogurt.” 

It was just one of those weird moments where you go, “How did you know what I was thinking?” It was wasn’t the only time, but that’s a really memorable Mom moment for me.

Rick Hamlin, executive editor: Hi, it’s Rick Hamlin, and I’m here with my mom. I grew up in California and Mom and Dad also grew up in California. They made only one trip east before any of us kids were born. They came to New York, saw South Pacific, and then they went to Princeton, New Jersey. I don’t know why, but they saw the campus there and Mom had this feeling: One of her kids was going to go to Princeton.

Well, there were four of us, and years later, I applied to Princeton on a whim, got in, and I became that kid who went to Princeton. I sang in lots of shows there and Mom came and saw me, and her intuition proved right.

Elena Tafone, assistant editor: This is my mom. Once we were out shopping, doing our own separate errands, each on our own, and during that day, we both went to the same store at different times and bought the exact same pair of shoes and since we have the same size feet, they’re the exact same size, too, so literally the exact same pair of shoes in the same day.

It was great because when we both got home in the evening, she was, like, “I bought the best shoes! You have to see them” and I was, like, “I bought the best shoes. You have to see them!” And they were the exact same pair.

Diana Aydin, managing editor: Hi, this is me and my mom. My mom has a pretty incredible mother’s intuition, I would say, so back when I was in eighth grade, I was feeling really sick: tired all the time, my eyes felt funny.

The pediatrician said I was ok, but my mom had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. So she took to me to doctor after doctor over a few months. She took me to one doctor, and they said, “She’s definitely ok, she’s a normal teenager. At some point, you might want to get an MRI.”

In the car, my mom couldn’t get the word MRI out of her head; it was like the words were haunting her. So she convinced my father to drive to the pediatrician’s office; she got out of the car—she’s like this small, petite lady—and she demanded that he write a prescription for an MRI.

He said she was crazy, that she was overreacting and being hysterical, but she wouldn’t give in.

I got the MRI, and sure enough something was wrong: I had a brain tumor sitting on my optic nerve, and if my mom hadn’t been so pressed to get an MRI, I would have lost my vision or maybe worse. So my mom’s intuition saved my life. Thanks, Mom!

Edward Grinnan, editorial director: This is my mother, Estelle Rossiter Grinnan. It’s a black-and-white photo, but if you look closely, you can see her eyes are luminous and they were green. 

When I was a little kid, I had really, really bad asthma; I used to sit up, like, three or four nights a week, trying to catch my breath. My mother put a statue of St. Jude in my room, and I found out that St. Jude was the patron saint of hopeless causes. 

My asthma was a hopeless cause, but I did get better as I got older and I became an adolescent. I got into a fair amount of trouble in my teens, and St. Jude reappeared in my room. I didn’t like that; at that point in life, I didn’t consider myself a hopeless cause, so I would just remove St. Jude. I would just evict him from my room, but mysteriously, St. Jude would always reappear in my room.

So I started to get more inventive about where I was going to hide St. Jude. I’d put him in the linen closet; I’d put him in a cabinet in the kitchen. I don’t know how my mom found St. Jude, but she always turned up with him, and that statue of the patron saint of hopeless causes always returned to my room. And it infuriated me! 

So one day, I took St. Jude down to the garage; I climbed up into the rafters of the garage. I found the farthest, junkiest part of the rafters to hide St. Jude; I buried him in a bunch of rubble and I figured, “That’s the end of it.”

But it wasn’t, because two nights later, there was St. Jude back in my room, and I knew it was the same statue because its hand was broken. I was too proud to ask my mother how she found St. Jude, and I’ll never know how she did. But the interesting thing is, St. Jude’s color is green, just like my mother’s eyes.

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