Shattered Faith, Part II

This is going to be weird. I’m going to open up about some stuff that will make you judge my faith, my strength, my mental/emotional stability and question whether you will keep reading this site, or even talk to me without looking at me differently. I just ask that you read with an open mind, without judgement and with love.


“Who here lost a young boy that drowned?” Theresa asked as she stood at the front of the stage with her platinum blone hair and flashy disco ball-like high heels, which now function for me similarly to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock for Gatsby.

No one answered, so she inquired again. My heart pounded. My face felt sort of numb.

“In this section, right here. Someone lost a young boy that drowned.” With her arms extended straight and parallel, she pointed at our section.

Holy shit, this is happening. Everything I wished for is happening. My wife and I raised our hands in unison. But we were five levels up from the stage, sitting in the second to last row of the theater.



Towards the end of last summer, with encouragement from a friend and a thirst for something, anything that would help me believe in heaven again, I watched an episode of Long Island Medium on the cable channel TLC. For those that don’t know, the show follows a medium from Long Island, Theresa Caputo, as she helps the living communicate with loved ones that have crossed over (died).

I recorded any episode I could find on my DVR and watched alone. Whereas I was okay sobbing while soaking up some gut-wrenching episodes, my wife wasn’t ready to watch. My skepticism reminded me that this was a TV show. It’s cool to believe Caputo could really communicate with the dead and bring comfort and closure to the living, but what if it’s just all for show?

I continued to watch with an open mind, and Caputo continued to blow me away with her episodes. Her ability to bring up specific details she could never know with love and positivity while at the same time giving honor to God hooked me. A practicing Catholic, Caputo walks a curved line of traditional Christian beliefs and alternative spiritual theorem. She mixes in a typical Italian New Yorker stereotype and a charming naivety that warms the soul.

What if is this is true? Then I will see Jax again. He is walking with me. He knows my sorrow, my guilt and how much I miss him.

This show brought me peace. It gave me hope at a time when I had nothing.

The Show

About six weeks ago our friend, who is a big fan of the show and wrote in to TLC to get us on the show for a reading, text me that Theresa Caputo was coming to the west coast. She found available tickets at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. I asked my reluctant wife if she wanted to go on June 6, our tenth wedding anniversary. Romantic, huh? A few hours later I bought tickets at the back of the theater, the only ones left.

My seat at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. AKA BFE.

My seat at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. AKA BFE.

The theater seats 1,700 people spread across five floors with box seating that flanks the main stage. Our seats were on that fifth level, to the right of the stage if facing it and in the second to last row. Binoculars would’ve been appropriate.

The night before I spoke to Jax for about 10 minutes. Typically I cry when I talk to him, but that night I felt calm. I matter-of-factly explained what we were doing and that this woman Theresa could speak with him. I advised that there were going to be a lot of people there that wanted to speak with their passed loved ones, and that he needed to push his way to the front to reach Theresa. I asked him to be strong, because his mom and I ache to hear from him.

Last night my wife and I picked up our friend and met my mother-in-law in Cerritos for the show. The venue, a beautiful site which I highly recommend checking out an event,  was packed with middle age women, which shot my blood pressure up and required soothing deep breaths to keep from elbowing the ones that couldn’t seem to figure out that I was standing against a wall so that they wouldn’t walk in to me.

Caputo started the show praising God for her gift, explaining how she operates and curbing our expectations for the night. She told us Spirit was ready to work earlier than she expected so she got right to it.

My Experience

“Who here lost a young boy that drowned?” That’s how she opened the whole freaking thing. There’s 1,697 other people in here, I’m sure she’s not just speaking to us, I thought. Then she asked that second time. What the shit? I’m stuck up here in the boonies. Short of jumping off the balcony she wasn’t going to see us waving our hands.

Caputo moved on to other spirits communicating to her. About 45 minutes later, after moving around the lower level of the theater followed by a camera man and microphones, Spirit led her to ask who had a necklace with a thumb print. I didn’t think much of it until no one raised their hand, that I saw at least. I looked to my left and saw my mother-in-law tugging the chain around her neck. At the end was a flat charm with Jax’s thumb print. I totally forgot she had that keepsake.

What the hell is happening? Is my little boy, the first loved one to step forward, trying for a second time? Is he fighting for us? I felt helpless.

“Does anyone have an anniversary of some kind today?” Caputo inquired. Oh c’mon! My wife raised her hands, both of them. Just before the show I snacked on a sandwich in the parking lot and our friend snapped a photo of my wife and I sharing our “anniversary dinner” and posted it on Facebook. Again, no one else said it was their anniversary.

This can’t be coincidence, can it? I mean, it can, I guess. We’re showing up despearately hoping to hear from Jax. I could turn around a lot of things Caputo said that night to relate to us so that I felt better. But these three things were too specific. And NO ONE ELSE affirmed her messages.

I believe it was Jax. I have to. That’s what faith is, right? Belief that isn’t based on proof.

As far as Caputo goes, I utterly believe everything she did that night is true, real and a gift from God. It’s impossible to know much of the stuff she asked the audience as their loved ones communicated with her. She nailed the dead’s personality to a tee, knew about tattoos hidden behind clothing and detailed some horrific ways that loved ones died.

A Real Account

In late summer or early fall I told my mom about the comfort I found with the Long Island Medium. In November she emailed me a story she found posted by a woman on a message board at the MISS Foundation. The woman explained how she attended a Caputo show and her daugther came through and communicated to her.

My mom emailed the woman and formed a common bond. Her daughter also drowned.

“I questioned heaven every day, wanting to believe but also thinking why, why why?” wrote Jill Ritts to my mom. “Now I can honestly say that I have ZERO doubt that my daughter is really really with me, everyday. It is such a sense of relief.”

With Jill’s permission I’ve included her story, which she wrote three days after her Caputo experience. Because of her post, and my mom emailing to let me know about it, my faith took its first step towards restoration.


The showroom at the Tropicana showroom’s 2000 seats was sold out. We were seated on the mezzanine level closer to the back. We luckily had the first four seats in our aisle and the Duffy’s let me have the aisle seat. The stage had a table and chair and large screen projector. I was so nervous and kept telling myself that Madison didn’t stand a chance of coming through when there were so many other people here. I convinced myself that I didn’t care; I would be just as happy to watch other people get read.

When Theresa came on stage she explained that she didn’t like sitting on the stage and would be walking around and listening for messages, and would go to the person whose spirit on the other side was taking to her. No calling out or standing up, she would come to you. She told us that she could not possibly read everyone in the audience.

She started in the front row and proceeded to read about 3 people, one of which was a very distraught mother who had lost her daughter and now her daughter would have been 5. I knew at that moment that I was supposed to be comforted by that reading and that my Madison couldn’t get through!

Theresa then walked up to the middle aisle, about 20 rows down from where I was sitting and said “there is someone here with a very specific tattoo of their child, like a portrait of their face”

Liz hit me and told me to raise my hand and I did so tentatively but a man down close to where Theresa was standing actually stop up and said he had his son’s face tattooed on him, I dropped my arm and Theresa proceeded to read him but then got interrupted and looked up into my direction, Still 20 rows away and said:

“No, there is a little girl here and she is showing me a very specific tattoo.” Theresa was holding her left wrist and looking toward me.

I raised my hand and said “I have a tattoo on my wrist but it is not a portrait.” She said “But it is something specific to your child.” I said “It is her name on my wrist.” She said “Well you can’t get more specific than that! And what’s up with the butterfly? Do you communicate with her through butterflies?” I had long sleeves on and she could not see my tattoo of Madison’s name and a butterfly on my left wrist.

I was handed a microphone from an unseen woman but was shaking so bad, I could not stand up. Theresa walked a little closer and said to anyone, “who is Madeline?” Me and another woman both raised our hands. She asked “And she is showing me the number 3?” I said “That’s me; my daughter was 3 when she died.” Theresa walked right up to me, camera man trailing and said “and the necklace you wear, she is showing me something on the necklace.”
It was under my shirt and I pulled it out and said it is a butterfly also.” Theresa said there is something more specific on the necklace” I said “Yes her initials are engraved on the back.”

Then Theresa said “what about her hair? She is showing me her hair”
I said “It was dark?”
She said “No she is showing me a locket of her hair. Do you have a locket of her hair?” Yes in a shadow box on my mantle.

Next, Theresa was rubbing her stomach, chest area and said “She’s showing me an infection, in her stomach? Lungs?” I said lungs.

Theresa said “She is showing me that she is swinging on a swing set, playing. She was unable to move for some time and now she wants you to know she is playing.” I said she was in a coma for 11 days.

“She is showing me a manmade body of water.” At this point Theresa got very flustered and on the verge of tears. She was pacing back and forth and kept repeating “It was crazy, there was no current. It was almost like drowning in a bucket, something as senseless as that?”

I said “It was a pool and they don’t have currents either”

Theresa slapped her head, like duh.

Next she blurted out “What’s with the book? There is a book memorializing her life?” I almost died at this point and said “Yes. I am writing a book about her!” Theresa said well she is acknowledging your work.

Next she said “You called her Maddie didn’t you?” and I said yes and Theresa looked right at me and said well she just climbed up on your lap and gave you a hug and said “I’m my Mommy’s Maddie!” Again I almost died as I had a chill run from my toes to my head.

Then Theresa said “and she just jumped up and gave me a hug to thank me for talking to you. She is showing me on that swing set again. She really wants to let you know she is playing and having a ball.”

“She is showing me some drawings or writings now. Did you find something she drew after she passed and put it in a box?” I told her yes I found some papers that Shannon made Madison write her scribble; Shannon was trying to teach Madison how to write. When I found the papers I couldn’t look at them and put them in a box. I still don’t know where the box is.

“Now she is showing me a pretty dress and turning around so I see dirt on the back of the dress. Like she was a girlie, girl and a tomboy. She would put on pretty dresses and then go outside and play in the dirt.” Yes this is her.

“She is showing me a park. Like you have a tribute to her in a park, and her name is somewhere in park??” I said yes. We have a Miles for Madison walk in Tyler park each year, and just, just, just received information to have her name engraved on a bench there. The info is on my fridge at home.

Next she said “She is showing me a princess bathing suit.” I said “That is what she died in.” Theresa said no she is showing me that couldn’t find it. After Madison died I wanted to see the Ariel bathing suit and my mom admitted to throwing it out and I was a little upset.
Theresa said, “She wants to acknowledge that you were upset about the bathing suit, but it doesn’t matter. There she is on those swings again.”

Theresa stood quietly for a minute and said “Who is Lila? Libby? Liddy?”
I said “Linny”
She said “Who is she?”
I said “the babysitter”

Everyone in the audience, including Theresa got very flustered and loud and Theresa kept pacing back and forth. So I said “No. No they loved each other.” Theresa stayed quiet a minute and then came over to me and gave me a hug before moving on to someone else.

I’d say the whole night she read about 20 people and Madison’s was by far the longest. It felt like it went on for 15 minutes but I’m not sure.

Jill prayed for my wife and I last night. A lot of you did. I asked God yesterday that if this was of Him, that is will be done.

I believe it was Jax last night. I believe he made it through all of those other loved ones passed on and up to Caputo first. He knows what it means for my wife and I to hear from him. He knows how much we need it.

I have to believe. Without belief there’s no hope, and that green light at the end of Daisy’s dock fades to darkness. I lived in darkness enough over the past year. I need that light.