My Life Story, by Dr. Ann Wigmore
The beginning of my life was meant to take place in America because my father and mother planned to come here when I was about to be born. However, this was not to happen – I was born prematurely and very sickly in Lithuania. My father, who was a very stubborn man, told my mother that since I was a girl, I had not a chance to live and that I should be put in back of the barn for the wolves. This is not uncommon in many European countries.
My grandmother was to live at the homestead after my parents departed for America. Another grandparent also stayed behind. It was customary for the grandparents to move in with the children when they became old or sick. But my grandmother was very active in the field of health. She was a nature doctor. She immediately rescued me and took me into the barn, where she fed me with goat’s milk through an eye dropper, so that I would survive. She kept me there for some time - until my health improved and I was able to move into the house. I stayed up there until I was five years old. My grandfather was an alcoholic. Life was not very pleasant either for my grandmother or me then, so my grandmother moved out and took me to another village until World War I broke out.During the war, life was horrible and dangerous - simply a matter of survival and moving from place to place. At that time, however, my first and greatest interest was to be with sick people. I remember climbing through a window and entering a yard where casualties were brought after the battles. Some of their legs were cut off, some had been shot. I remember that there was a great deal of screaming.Occasionally we had to go to the root cellar in the yard, because it was unsafe to live even in the basement of the house. Three or four different families lived in that cellar. My mother was able, in spite of all the flying bullets and all of the dangers, to get hold of some food in the form of grass and seeds or whatever she could find that was not destroyed. Most of the gardens were trampled over. The food in the house was taken by the soldiers. The only life-giving foods available were grasses and weeds.
Before the soldiers came, there was a great campaign to save foods, because we were told that when the Russians came, everything would be taken in that village. All the horrors were displayed in sketches explaining what would be done to the people if they would not cooperate and leave the village. My grandmother and I stayed behind for quite awhile, but then were forced to flee because there was no food available anywhere in that village. There was a battle, with bombs flying everywhere. We could see the explosions and fires burning all around us. My grandmother finally had us move in the middle of the night from a hollow full of water that would eventually have drowned us all, as we were waist deep in water.
In a remote section of war-torn Europe during the bloody First World War, and with hand encounters between Russian and Germans occupying two solid nightmarish years, I came to know the most wonderful physician in the world - my grandmother. Only the Almighty and nature could have given her the knowledge she bestowed everywhere. Resourceful, kindly, considerate, she was the unnamed leader of the few remaining villagers who huddled waist deep in water in the root cellar of that shell-blasted orchard.
Our hastily gathered provisions were gone and we gnawed bark from the tree roots which had pushed through the walls and chewed ordinary grass and seeds that my grandmother had brought back from her forays into the darkness of the nights. But rising water, drowning two of our little band, made our shelter a morgue, so grandmother led the scurry for life across the open fields as bullets - angry bumblebees - zipped past our ears. Some went down as we, like frightened chickens, dodging around the prostate forms, scattered in all directions.
But today, what I recall most vividly of that terribly drawn-out ordeal, is that grass and seeds brought me, a frail and sickly child, through alive. Yes, grass and seeds can also save people from the ravages of slow starvation leading inevitably to the huge premature death rate that so many countries are experiencing.
We traveled furtively through fields, hiding between bushes and trying to move into areas of safety - however, safety was nowhere to be found. Finally, we came to an empty house and moved into the cellar, where there was a fireplace. We stayed there for several days but then had to move again, and all during the time of moving, we could see the soldiers fighting, riding horses and running about, and the people scattering to different ditches, screaming.
Finally, we settled down in a haunted house where no one had lived since the family had been killed. I remember vividly that in this house my grandmother cared for sick people during the whole year after the war. We were able to get some sheep, customary in primitive countries where people had to make their own clothing in order to keep warm. Luckily, we had a spinning wheel in the house and somehow we were able to get some goats for milk. When we found the food which was stored by the family which had been killed, we were not only able to feed on it but to share with others.
There was a white kid, orphan of a goat the raiders had killed the week before. He was brought to my cousin and me in the cellar of the "haunted" house. Before daylight, I would visit the cave in the swamp where our remaining goat was hidden, get the milk and, with my cousin’s help, feed it to the tiny animal through a nipple made from an old rubber glove. The warring Russians had ruthlessly stripped the valley of all food, driving my grandmother from her home. The approach of biting winter weather frowned upon a starving village and we finally found shelter in this deserted farmhouse. For several days my cousin and I nursed the kid, ignoring the pitiful whimpering of little Whitey, my grandmother’s dog, begging for more milk.
This morning, the cries of the puppy annoyed my cousin who struck the wall near the animal's nose. This slight blow was enough - a crack opened wide as it spread upward, and a moment later I pushed into a well-concealed root cellar, crammed ceiling high with grain, seed, and root vegetables. It seems this precious food had been carefully hidden by people who had since been killed, and my grandmother, as she gathered us in her arms, whispered softly, “You four have saved this village from starvation. We now have enough food until spring.”
My job was to help my grandmother. We had a room full of bunks with sick people and ailing soldiers, battered by the war and left behind. My grandmother knew no enemy; either Russian or German wounded was welcome to be healed with her nurturing grass juices and poultices. Some of the villagers came to help with the soldiers. It was my grandmother’s job to act as a natural doctor. She always knew what to do. No matter what the problem, she always helped the people to get better, just as she had helped me to survive during early childhood. She told me how she used to put me in mud baths and how she would give me certain chlorophyll-rich foods.
She depended upon grasses, which were always available and she would use these on the soldier’s wounds. Before dawn, I was sent into the woods and fields to gather these wild foods. I traveled through fields, swamps and woodlands before daybreak and vividly remember how sleepy I was when my grandmother would wake me up. She would feed me with warm goat’s milk and dress me while my eyes were still closed. I was very young then, perhaps only six or seven years old. Every single day I would go through dangerous pastures and meadows to collect weeds, but I always had an animal with me, a dog, goat or sheep. This was the way I got acquainted with all kinds of wild creatures because I was very fearful at first, until I got in tune with them.
It was instilled in me that if I heard a dog bark or saw an indication that someone was coming, I should immediately flee from the area, as there were many robbers and murderers left after the war. Many times I would run through the woods with the goats, sheep or dog, as they tried to protect me. Occasionally, I would encounter a very dangerous place where farmers' cows and other animals were killed for meat by some robbers. I was in constant danger, yet I had a feeling that this was the greatest contribution I could make to help my grandmother - taking care of the animals.
A cow was given to her, but it had to be sold so that the money could be spent for things that were necessary for the house. All of our foods had to be grown in the small garden. Grandmother would be gone practically all day to take care of sick folk in the village. Our neighbors were very generous with their time and would come to help me for many months when I got sick with malaria and other illnesses, but my grandmother was always cheerful and assured me I would survive. She always told me I had a mission.
When I was able to get back on my feet, my grandmother decided that I should go out to work on a farm to earn money for my trip to America: I was then about nine years old. She always considered my future, and she thought that I should have more experience of being with other people, so she sent me to work on a farm. She felt that I should always be in a good environment.
On that farm, the father had passed on, and the mother took care of it with the help of five unmarried daughters. The oldest one was the director of the farm and the other daughters were under her supervision. I was to receive (in American money) about $12 a month, which was to be saved for coming to America to fulfill my mission.
I was very lonely at first on the big farm away from my grandmother, but I tried to adjust myself to being away, although I would cry way into the night. The work was very hard. The oldest girl planned continuously to sell the farm, because the other girls were not interested in it; they did take care of the animals well. I had to feed the horses, cows, sheep and goats. I used to be in the stables most of the time, taking care of the horses. They had a little colt that was deformed and much smaller than the others. They had planned to sell it, but I begged them to let me care for it and raise it myself, so that later I could sell it and save the money towards my trip to America. I liked to take care of sickly animals and bring them back to health.
I watched the colt grow into a beautiful horse through my love and care, improving and becoming a very useful horse on the farm. One day, I saw a farmer beating a horse, one that was different from all the others, a war horse that had been left behind by the soldiers. The horse was very sickly, so I asked the farmer to sell it to me. I bought it, using some of the money I was saving for my trip, but I was bound to have that horse, and to rescue it when I saw that it was not healthy, as I do for other animals even to this day.
So, when I brought it home, the girls thought it was silly of me to buy this kind of weak, poor-looking horse that would be of no use with the farming. I fed him and tried to ride him, but he bucked and didn’t seem to respond. We tried to put a harness on him and he rejected it. Finally he became cooperative and loving and I was able to ride him without a saddle. Every Sunday I would ride him to the city, a distance of about 13 miles, to visit my grandmother.
By this time my grandmother had returned to the city and I used to see her once a week. Most of the time, I would walk or ride my beautiful horse. I needed to sell the horse but for no other reason than to get money to go to America. I needed to work very hard to earn enough money so that at the age of sixteen I would be able to go to America, as my grandmother had continually insisted. I even went out to various farms to do extra work, especially during the period of harvesting.
I remember on one particular day, we cut the wheat, rye and hay by hand. The oldest girl was the main farmer and I was her assistant. We would bring in the seeds and thrash them by hand. It was a very exciting time when we took the seeds to market, perhaps once a month. We had to go long distances to the city market.
On other special Saturdays we had to take a sauna outdoors for a bath. There would be about three or four women from the village also, for there was a separate time schedule for men and women. I remember running from the house to the sauna without any clothes on and in winter I would roll in the snow. One of the girls was quite playful. She would always make eyes at the boys and try to lure some of the suitors who came to court the older girls (who were supposed to be married first). The younger girls were not allowed to participate in this courting; therefore, she would always run away from the farm but always came back to tell her sisters about the experiences she had had. She even fell in love with one of the farmer’s sons, but could not marry him.
The oldest girl, who was supposed to be married first, was not very pretty, but she was a real farmer type. There was no heat in the house where I lived, except for a wooden stove that was used most of the time only for cooking and baking. A small oven-type settee was in the living room, which we could sit on to warm ourselves during the baking and cooking time, but outside of that the house was very cold. We had to keep warm by being very active, although the invigorating steam bath made us warm on Saturday evening.
As the years went by, I had accumulated nearly enough money to go to America. One day I had to go to the city for my inoculations to enter the States. When I returned, I felt very drowsy, and the girls could not rouse me in the morning - I could not move or speak. Then the excitement really began when they took me for dead. All of the girls started to cry, wondering how they would bury me without my grandmother present. All this time I could hear them talking, crying and carrying on. They had distributed among themselves the scant few clothes that I had prepared for the American trip. I was desperately trying to scream or move, but nothing happened. It was the most frightening thing that I have ever experienced. I was afraid that I would be buried alive, as so many others had been before me. There were no doctors, but the girls searched for my grandmother. Then I heard a commotion - my grandmother coming through the field with her little dog, Whitey.
Whitey had come so often to visit me, and now he came running from about twenty feet toward the house, through the door, jumped right up on my chest and began licking my face. As my grandmother approached, everyone was saying, “She’s dead!”
Grandmother said, “She’s NOT dead - a dog wouldn’t lick a dead person.” My grandmother began to put me into cold water, then hot water, and began to massage me to bring me back to life. Gradually I was able to move, and in a few days to sit up and get my health back.
Just when I was ready for my trip, the value of the mark went down. The situation was very serious for many who sold their property. I remember going thirteen miles to town to see about the money values but it seemed useless to try to get any help - there was nothing to do but start over again. I remember before the devaluation of the money, people were selling their homes for very high prices. But when the value of the mark reached the bottom, people committed suicide and many of them died from starvation. Many families left for the big cities, looking for a way to start again, but the situation seemed to get more and more difficult. Fortunately, my uncle had planned to go with me to America, and he was some help, so we managed to arrive after many delays. It took us over two months before I left for Middleboro, Massachusetts.
I went to the passport office to make arrangements only to find that they had sold our reservations to someone else. We had to borrow money for another passage and buy someone else’s place. My uncle refused to go home until we had secured our tickets, and we rented a little room in that big city to stay in until we had secured passage.
Meanwhile, I was very curious about big city life. I wanted to know how the electric lights worked. I thought it was strange how the city lights burned without oil and lighted the room - they looked like big candles. I took the little light bulb out of the lamp and put my finger inside the socket to see what made it burn. I was knocked out cold on the floor and remained unconscious for a long time! From then on, I began to think, “I must not rush into anything so fast without understanding what it is.” But I was, and still am, a very curious person. I had had no formal schooling, but this did not stop me from doing things. With God’s help, I thought that nothing was impossible.
When we finally reached the boat, I was down to skin and bones. I was very sick on the ship and I was continually gagging and vomiting - unable to eat anything. The only thing I remember eating that was very soothing was an orange - my first one, although I did not eat them later on in life. We were lodged way down below the decks. It was a horrible place, with such a foul smell that it was difficult to stay there, so I stayed on deck most of the time, as the boat rolled and rolled. I asked God to let me be pushed into the ocean, so that I wouldn’t have to go down again into that hole which was my room, because I could not stand the smell of vomit.
Finally we arrived in America, at Ellis Island. There the people looked at me with my very long, golden hair and told me I had attracted some lice and they would have to cut my hair off. I learned later that more than likely they sold my hair to a wig maker! This unnecessary act made me very unhappy because I didn’t want my parents to see me for the first time with a bald head. They would think that I was a sickly person because I was so thin after losing so much weight. I was down to about seventy pounds.
When I arrived my father was disgusted because he had thought he would have someone to work hard for him, which was why he let me come to live in his house. When he saw me, he was more disappointed than ever. Neighbors came to help me, bought me American clothes, and prepared me for the new life in America.
My mother was very humble, never having anything to say or disputing my father’s ideas. Those time were very difficult for me – going from one adjustment to another. From the very beginning, my father and I didn’t get along. He wanted me to settle down and get married because I was about sixteen. I began to work for him in his bakery and candy store, where my job was to deliver the bread. I had to be up before four o'clock in the morning for this. He also had me feed the pigs and cows that he had grazing on the other side of town. I used to bring garbage to the pigs through the town, which I did not like to do.
I was very disappointed in American life because I thought it would be entirely different, as my grandmother had told me that the streets were lined with gold. I did not mind the hard work as much as the very restricted life with my father, which I resented. It was not like the hard life with my grandmother, where there was a lot of love and togetherness - life with my real family was very cold.
I became sick from eating candy and donuts from the bakery and my teeth began to fall out. I became very sad and was sick most of the time. One day I was driving the wagon to deliver bread when one of the horses got scared and began to run, so I pulled on the reins and dropped one. As the horses turned around, they tipped the wagon over and it fell on top of me and began to crush me. Both my legs and an ankle were broken, and I was choking to death until someone came along just in time to lift the wagon off of me.
They took me out and on to the hospital. After a two-week treatment the doctors said that gangrene had set in and my legs would have to be amputated, because there was no way that I could possibly live with the gangrene. I said no, that I wanted to go home. The doctor and the nurses were upset and would not attend me anymore. My parents wouldn’t come to visit me. My body burned with fever and I wanted to die. I didn’t see how I could live without legs.
God will always send someone to help if you just pray and call out. It was my alcoholic uncle who answered my call and helped me through these trying times. He placed me underneath a tree in an area where there was grass, and I kept chewing the grass and weeds like dandelion, purslane and lambsquarter. I wanted some water, but no one would come near me because my father said I was in that condition because I had disobeyed him. It was months before I could even walk with my crushed legs, but they healed. As I got better, I ran away once to a farm, but was discovered and brought back home again because I was not yet eighteen.
My father got very angry at many of my actions, because I didn’t eat what they supplied in the bakery anymore, neither the candy nor the dairy products they sold. He punished me over and over for disobeying him. I knew if I ate the flour and milk or cheese that I would never get well. After nearly a year of abuse from him, I heard him downstairs one night making arrangements to have me taken away and married to a person I did not know who was much older than I was. He was going to get money for forcing me to go with that stranger!
Because of this, I ran away again and my parents were unable to find me. I was eighteen by now and was, for the first time, strictly on my own. I had many jobs, such as child sitting, house cleaning, and restaurant work. While in the restaurant, my legs gave out again completely, and the woman I worked twenty hours a day for got very angry when I had to leave, and didn’t pay me my wages. I walked with an old suitcase for about ten miles with terribly painful legs and then decided to go to Brockton Hospital where I had previously worked. I asked them if I could stay there until my legs healed, and when I was better I would work there again to repay them.
They agreed and when I improved, they put me in a cancer ward to help patients suffering in the most severe stages. This is where I learned what it was to pass on from cancer, and I would go into the bathroom and cry. It was very hard for me to understand why people had to go through so much suffering and pain. This was when my real interest in cancers began, because I didn’t think it was necessary for people to go through such a horrible experience before they died. For a year and a half, I was very joyful in a way because I loved to work with the patients and try to help - but to hear them crying and screaming was almost more than I could bear.
I turned twenty-one and my real struggles were to begin. A friend introduced me to my future husband, who looked like a gentleman, and he wanted to take me out. I was very shy, reluctant, nervous and afraid to go out with this person, for my grandmother had warned me before coming to America never to let any boys take advantage of me.
I did finally consent to go out with him. He used to shower me with gifts of candy. I ate them to be polite, but got migraine headaches. So, I asked him to bring me fruit instead. I was always afraid to take expensive gifts from the opposite sex.
The time came when he really wanted to marry me, and he brought me home to meet his mother. His family lived in Stoughton, where his father was a contractor. His mother, who was very dictatorial, was always finding fault with her husband. When he could get out, he would sit in the barn by the hour, not wanting to come into the house because his wife was always nagging and complaining. There was always some sort of argument in the house. I desperately wanted to adjust to that environment and although it was very difficult, I did everything possible to do so.
I finally married him, and it wasn’t six months before his father died, and my husband bought the house. We had to live there with his mother, who did not feel well - she always argued and was unhappy and turned her nagging and complaining toward me and her son, who then took it out on me. I felt like a whipping boy.
Eleven years passed and I could not get pregnant so I decided to change my diet and eliminate meat and sweets. I became ill and when I went to the doctor, he told me that I was pregnant but because of tumors in my uterus, he didn’t think I could possibly survive the birth. I had great problems during labor, and when I came back home, I was never really well there afterwards, even though I had the joy of my life, my precious child. My headaches were getting better, but I was never really happy there, because of the way I was treated.
I needed to find people who treated me respectfully and lovingly, and joined various church groups and served as chairperson of banquet committees. We had a huge estate with over one hundred acres of land, and I worked very hard and planted a large beautiful garden with every fruit tree and flower available. My little baby girl was always by my side in her cradle, watching the butterflies, clouds and birds as I worked in the garden. This was the only time I was happy, when I was with her.
The baby girl became very sick and my husband gave me a harder time. He was jealous that I could not give him as much attention as before because I needed to care for my daughter, and he was disappointed that the baby was not a boy. Our relationship worsened and my husband became more dictatorial. The more time I gave to our daughter, the more difficult things became between us.
I had very serious blood poisoning in a finger and went to a doctor who operated on me and gave me my first drugs for the pain. As before, I lapsed into a coma. In the mornings, the doctors would pass my bed in the hospital and say, “Well, I don’t think she will live anyway, so we don’t need to do anything.” That went on for awhile and I came out of the coma. Then I began to understand why I had to come to this country and go through so much struggling, unhappiness and sickness - so that I could learn lessons about sickness and be ready to help other people in similar situations. I began to pray for guidance, which I always received.
One early morning I was lying on a couch reading a Bible and asking God what I should do. I asked why I must be in this predicament. Why was it necessary to find solutions for so much sickness and unhappiness? Then a revelation came. It was almost like a voice saying, “Become a minister and build temples.” It was nearly three years before I understood that "temples" meant "holy healthy bodies." I thought, how can I become a minister?
For help, I went to a Methodist minister and asked him what to do. He looked at me and told me I was crazy and that I should forget all about it because I was a woman, and at my age, I could not become a minister. He said I had other obligations – with my husband and my family. I said to myself that I certainly could not forget the revelation that was given to me by God… it was God speaking to me through ideas. I thought there must be some way to fulfill my mission.
Then I got in touch with a woman I read about in a newspaper. I called her up and told her that I wanted to belong to one of her groups. She said that every person who came into her group had to be investigated, so I told her to come and investigate me and see for herself that I was a reliable person. She invited me to join her professional women’s group. At the time, I was a furrier working from my home - I had gone to school for a year to learn the fur business. This woman, I learned later, was studying for the ministry, so she immediately gave me literature that opened a way, a correspondence course from the Unity School of Christianity.
After I had finished the course, I had to go to Missouri and study at the main campus; thereafter, I had to go back for a one month refresher course every year for four years. My husband resented it, but I was determined to continue to the finish to follow God’s request.
As I was away so much, my husband and daughter spent more time together. Finally, he asked me to choose between him and my career. How could I turn down God? He took a shotgun from the closet and told me he would kill me before he let my career come between us. I was not at all upset or fearful and I sat at the kitchen table and looked up at him and said that I would be going back to Missouri. I added I would leave him soon and he could kill me if he wished because I had to follow God’s mission for me. He then laid down his gun and cried like a baby. So then he told me that if I went, I could not come back. I kissed him goodbye, said goodbye to my daughter and proceeded with my plans, hoping that he would come to his senses when I returned.
When I got to school in Missouri I found an article my husband had printed in the hometown paper, saying that I had run away from home, deserting my sixteen year old daughter. He made many other false accusations in it, because he was out of his mind and was determined to ruin my character. I needed him to support me in this holy work, and he was fighting me. I felt pulled in two directions but knew I had to follow God’s plan for me.
I stayed in Missouri to finish that month’s course but then returned and filed for a divorce, as he wished. I signed papers his lawyer wrote turning the entire estate over to him, giving everything away to him, if he would only promise not to have our daughter involved in the court sessions as I wanted to protect her from the pain she and I would feel in hearing lies about me. He broke his promise and brought her to court anyway, and she was exposed to horrible lies about me. I prayed that one day she would know how much I loved her and wanted to protect her from those awful proceedings. He paid the divorce lawyer one thousand dollars.
I was completely without a penny, but borrowed money to go back to school where I had to start from scratch again. I stayed with friends for about a week, and finally stayed alone in a room I found. I continued with the fur work and started a massage business also, to help put me through school.
One day a friend asked me to go help her sister on Cape Cod who was afflicted with cancer and I agreed to go for a few days to take care of her. When I got there, her sister Frances wanted me to stay with her and also help her to study. I wanted to become a Doctor of Divinity, so I helped Frances and studied for the ministry at the same time. After she passed on, I stayed for one and a half years more.
Because of the emotional problems and finding out that I had cancer of the colon, it was a great help for me to be able to stay at a quiet place to gather together my resources for my mission. It was good for me to be alone and I prayed a lot. I was given twenty-five dollars a week by the trustees to care for the estate, and this helped with my schooling and my work in overcoming the cancer problem. I put a great deal of effort into completing the work that I so loved, helping people spiritually, mentally and physically. This effort helped me to survive all of my loneliness for my daughter. My stay on Cape Cod opened a new life for me and afterwards I went to Boston to give classes on spiritual enfoldment and to continue with the help I was giving my body for self-healing.
My first experience on the Cape was to visit some rose gardens. As I sat on a bench, I enjoyed the scene of beautiful roses and gorgeous colors. I looked down and saw some birds. One was struggling and sick; the other was dead. I looked at it, curious to know what had happened. Asking the caretaker what had caused them to become ill, I was horrified to hear that he had just sprayed the roses and this was a consequence of the spraying.
So, I went back to the estate and started a little garden in the yard. The land was sandy, but I took compost from the kitchen and began to enrich the soil. I remembered the neighbors’ gardens close by, where everything was sprayed, but which still had flying insects, and I planted some beans. When they sprouted, I noticed that no bugs came close to those in my garden. I wanted to prove that when the soil was healthy, insects and pests would not touch fruits and vegetables planted there anymore than germs would not touch a healthy body. From this point on, I became interested in organic gardening even more than before.
Work started almost immediately after that in Boston, even though I was still living at the Cape. I was sent to visit a woman suffering from back problem. I kept asking her what I could do about starting a nursing home and she told me of a man who was interested in health care who was retiring. He had been publishing a paper on health, and he might be willing to help me. Finally, I was able to make an appointment to meet him in a hotel on Copley Square. I waited in one hotel for him, while he waited in another. I made another appointment to meet him in the library. We finally met, and he seemed to be very much interested in my persistence and in what I was trying to do. He invited me to come occasionally to Boston to help him with his paper, which I did.
When the time came for me to leave the estate on the Cape I moved to my sister’s in Connecticut, but my brother-in-law did not agree with my ideas about health. I baked on a hot plate and lived on less than twenty-five cents a day for over eight months. I had to live on cooked food there and I became very sick again. I traveled to Boson every week to work on the paper but then decided it was time for me to be on my own. I didn’t have any funds to work with so I borrowed money from my cousin and rented a room on the sixth floor of a building on Cumberland Street.
The colon cancer had returned when I came to Boston from the country. The air was polluted as was the water. There was no place in the city that had good healthy food or even fresh vegetables or fruits. It was important for me to get healthy again, so I went to the Charles River bank for weeds and grasses. This improved my health, which was very bad from eating the cooked baked foods at the Cape and in Connecticut.
I was given the health magazine to publish! One evening I was on my way to my sister’s house in Connecticut. I was very tired and pulled off the road and went to sleep in my car. I was awakened by the morning sun, which shone so brightly in my eyes that this brightness took on a new beginning. Then and there I knew that the Rising Sun Christianity had to be born. It was a new beginning for me and a way to share with others. Since then, I have never stopped working, day and night, for a better world, first physically, because then the mental and emotional self would gain strength in order for the spiritual union with body to take place. I sent a paper on this to thirty-five different countries. I mailed the information on health through sprouting, living food and easy-to-digest nourishment and corresponded with people all over the world.
During my ride to Connecticut, everything seemed to unfold slowly and I began to understand what I was to do. From then on, I was guided daily, step-by-step, toward this ultimate goal, which is now in existence. There was much discouragement. There were problems I was facing for the first time, alone, and I had no funds and no home.
Boston was the place where I felt I must unfold. For nourishment, I went to the vacant lots where I gathered weeds and grasses and used them for food. In doing this, I returned to the source of nourishment which had, in the past, greatly improved my health, although this took considerable time.
During that fall, I was able to work in many areas, mailing out information, studying, working on the magazine, etc. I will still quite tired and had to sleep long hours and this bothered me very much as I felt there was not enough time to do all of the things I had to do. Winter was coming and I was concerned about where I was to obtain the grasses and weeds that I had been gathering from the outdoors to live on. At that time, I asked God again to help and protect me.
One beautiful thing happened regarding sprouting, which I considered a great step toward better nourishment. I adopted a sick monkey from a pet shop. At that time, I was helping ill animals wherever I found them. I had been nourishing myself on dry seeds and fed these to the monkey. I noticed she was having difficulty swallowing or digesting the seeds and discovered it was because she was toothless. I wanted to soften the seeds so I put them between two moist towels and, lo and behold, I was led to re-discover the timeless act of sprouting – the seeds opened and put out little tender shoots or sprouts within several days! These easily digested sprouts from softened seeds led me to explore further and that’s how I came to give the world the benefit of my discovery of sprouting - through the love of a pet.
I gave her some fruit also, but her main diet was soft seed in the form of sprouts. I decided to use the same sprouts myself, and I know the Creator gave me the idea of how to add more nourishment to my body through loving that monkey: “as ye do unto the least of them, ye do unto Me.” I began to grow wheat, buckwheat, rye, timothy grass, cats, etc. There must have been six or seven different grains.
Two of them grew very fast - buckwheat and wheatgrass. I kept giving the buckwheat to the monkey, which she enjoyed, and I also began to use it in my salads. These replaced the weeds I had been using before winter came. I was happy because I now had a replacement for the weeds and grasses and felt well prepared to nurture my body. I continued to grow the different grasses and greens and fed them to my pets, observing which ones they liked best. By that time, I had a raccoon, monkey, two cats and a few other animals which I kept in friends’ homes as I was not allowed to have pets in my room. I enjoyed taking care of sick animals and watching them get healthy.
My observations showed me that every pet preferred to eat the wheatgrass and buckwheat, but especially loved the wheatgrass. The cats not only kept eating the wheatgrass, but would lay about in it, as well!
About this time I began to be curious as to what were the best nutritional elements contained in the wheatgrass. I discovered that after seven days, wheatgrass was more powerful than the previous six days to heal wounds or make me healthier. I was to find out later that on the seventh day, the wheat grass puts out negative ions, which make us feel great. These are the same ions we feel during a shower, or at the beach when the waves are crashing, or after a rain. Before the seventh day, the grass is pulling the negative ions out of anything or anyone around it, and leaves one feeling depleted.
- contributed by Dr. Flora van Orden III
Learn more about Dr. Ann's Raw Living Foods Lifestyle at http://chidiet.com.