RUTH PARRISH: SPIRITUALIST MEDIUM?
It was Christmas Eve morning in the year 1988 and on the Isle of Angelsey in North Wales Mrs. Attwood was suddenly taken ill and rushed to hospital. In the ambulance with her was a young boy who had similar symptoms, blinding headaches, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, acute pain, but the cause was unknown. The medics caring for her on the way to hospital said that across Angelsey there had been a number of such cases and they suspected viral meningitis. Mrs. Attwood was a very poorly lady when she was eventually admitted to a ward.
The doctors gave Mrs. Attwood three lumbar punctures attempting to gain a better diagnosis so they could treat her symptoms but they remained baffled. There was no rash evident, as is usual with meningitis. Yet still she suffered from the intense and almost unbearable headaches and a severe sensitivity to light. Gradually the strain of fighting this pain overcame Mrs. Attwood and she began to drift into and out of a state of semi-consciousness. Any slight movement brought on the nausea causing her to vomit violently. At this point the physical existence of Mrs. Attwood was in the balance, she was at the very verge of death.
As it was Christmas the hospital had discharged as many patients as it was possible to do and Mrs. Attwood was the only patient on her ward, effectively excluded as she awaited diagnosis. Over her face the nurses had placed a towel to shield her eyes from the light. A constant watch was kept over Mrs. Attwood as her condition remained unstable though she continued to cling on to life.
On the morning of the 26th December, Boxing Day, she woke to hear the sound of someone walking across the hospital ward, the heels click, clicking and gradually getting louder as they approached. Suddenly awake Mrs. Attwood peered beneath the towel covering her eyes to see who was coming in her direction. She saw, standing by the foot of her bed, a smartly dressed woman and behind her an equally well dressed man. She recalls noting that though the clothing was neat, kind of tweedy, it appeared slightly old fashioned in design, rather like the clothes worn in the 1940s movies she enjoyed so much. Both the man and the woman looked to be aged in their late middle years and had friendly faces that seemed to smile at her in a gentle but knowing way, as if they understood.
The lady at the foot of Mrs. Attwood’s bed quickly ran round the side and grasped both of her hands in hers rubbing them together. ‘Now don’t you worry my dear’ she said ‘you will soon be well and I promise you will have a long and happy life’. Then she went on to tell Mrs. Attwood that there were certain important lessons that she must learn and that all people had to understand. These included tolerance and consideration for others, but in her state of fever Mrs. Attwood forgot the rest. She did remember the name that the lady gave her, she said that she was called Ruth Parrish and was a Spiritualist Medium living at Blaenau Ffestiniog. At the time Mrs. Attwood had never heard of Spiritualism and had no idea what a medium was.
Over the next few days Ruth Parrish was constantly at the side of Mrs. Attwood telling her many things about Spiritualism and the spirit people, explaining that she too could see them. Ruth advised that Mrs. Attwood herself could experience the spirit folk and she then saw her own guardian and described in detail this man as being a Chinese Mandarin with the name of Ching.
During the days leading up to New Year Ruth Parrish constantly stayed by the side of Mrs. Attwood encouraging her to get well and telling her that in this life there were many important things that she had to do. Though she was not specific Mrs. Attwood knew that these important things were in some way linked to the lessons that Ruth Parrish had been discussing with her regarding Spiritualism and Mediumship. Soon she began to feel stronger and by New Year’s Day the doctors told her that she would discharged the following morning.
Feeling weak, but much better than she had been, Mrs. Attwood prepared herself to leave the hospital and go home. Her rapid recovery was, she thought, due to the kindness and compassion of Ruth Parrish the lady who had effectively nursed her back to life. As she slowly packed her toiletries away Mrs. Attwood looked round the ward to see Ruth and thank her for all she had done. But the lady was nowhere to be seen, in fact, apart from herself, two nurses and one other elderly patient, the place was empty.
Before leaving the ward Mrs. Attwood stopped at the Sister’s office and asked the staff nurse there where Ruth Parrish was so that she could thank her for the kindness she had shown. The nurse just looked baffled, ‘There is no such person on this ward and, as far as I know, there never has been’. Mrs. Attwood tried to explain that Ruth was a smartly dressed matronly type in a tweedy outfit that had been sitting by her bed every day since she came onto the ward. The staff nurse had no explanation to offer, she herself had been on duty throughout the time on that very ward and had seen no one that fitted the description given by Mrs. Attwood of the lady she called Ruth Parrish. As far as the hospital was concerned there simply was no such person, neither as a patient or staff member.
Mrs. Attwood eventually made a full recovery and found that not only had she become physically stronger she was now an emotionally whole and healthy individual. Something had happened to her during that period in hospital that had changed her from being a rather selfish and bitter person to being one that cares, is compassionate and kind. She has become rather like her mysterious mentor Ruth Parrish, who came to help when she needed it most all those years ago.
FOOTNOTE: Despite extensive enquires in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area Mrs. Attwood could find no record or trace of a Spiritualist Medium by the name of Ruth Parrish. If you have any information that may help in this continuing search please do contact me at Psychic World.