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To Believe or Not

by Ruth Ann Ruiz
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By Ruth Ann Ruiz

The Post Newspaper Features Editor

“Chicken Brain” is what she called herself growing up. She believed she couldn’t learn. It was easy to believe because she had heard it from adults in her life. She wasn’t doing well in primary school, so her mother took her to see a medium to figure out the problem.

“I remember that day we were in a dark room with my mom, one of my sisters and the medium. The medium told my mom I had brain atrophy, and I wouldn’t be able to learn in school,” shared Eugenia Afanador.

Now with this kind of diagnosis, you would have expected the young child to give up. Instead, she began writing poetry. It was in her poetry that she freely expressed what was going on her mind. 

Eugenia had a lot on her mind, and she determined one day she would write a book. 

Her life in Colombia was filled with family, love, and poverty. Her mother was a widow and Eugenia had been born out of an affair with a member of the community whose identity was kept from Eugenia.

It was in her poverty stricken home that Eugenia dreamed of becoming an American and one day writing her book in English. 

Representatives for Singer Sewing Machines made a call on her mother, who was very adept as a seamstress. This was Eugenia’s first introduction to English-speaking Americans and the seed of her future dreams began to open. 

Coming to America happened when she was a late adolescent. She lived with her mother in an apartment in New York. School had always been challenging and Eugenia arrived in the US without completing high school and not speaking English.

Her first task was to complete high school, which she did. She had to work at learning English as it did not come easy for her. While delving into English, the reality of the household needing more income led her to get a job and contribute to her mother’s expenses. 

Then Mr. Right waltzed into her life and Eugenia was in love. They married and started a family. But Mr. Right   — according to Eugenia — had a gambling habit and was not home much. The small family relocated to Chicago to be near her sister. His gambling continued.

Eugenia decided to find a place for her family where there was no gambling allowed. She discovered Texas. “I remember reading in a book at the library, ‘Texas: Take It or Leave’” Eugenia shared.

She convinced her husband that Texas was the place to be. They landed in Pasadena where he had a job waiting for him. In Texas they added one more daughter to their family. Eugenia continued writing her poetry, allowing herself to freely express whatever was on her mind.

After years of being unhappy in her marriage, the marriage was dissolved, and Eugenia began her path to the second part of her dream. She enrolled in college and worked at Pasadena High School. 

Her determination to complete college regardless of what life threw at her paid off. She graduated and began teaching. But still there was all that was going on inside of her, and she continued to express it through her poetry. 

Finding the love of a man whose love she could enjoy for the rest of her life was a goal she set out to accomplish, and she did. She has been married to Roger Morefield for 18 years.

What was next? Well, it was time to work on a master’s degree and she did. This was all done despite the early diagnosis by the medium in Colombia. 

Contained within her heart and soul were the stories of many past lives that she believes she has lived. These past lives had begun revealing themselves to her while she was just a young child. 

Eugenia was raised in a Roman Catholic home and when she spoke of what was going on in her mind, she was advised by her mother not to indulge in those thoughts. With that advice, she began a little habit of grabbing at her fingers to hold back the sensations of her experiences.

Well, the time had come for Eugenia to realize her childhood dream and take all that she contained within herself and write her book. 

Marlene and Me” was released in September. The book is an autobiography, kind of, sort of. It is more than an average autobiography.

“Marlene and Me” is a mystical journey into both Eugenia’s life as it was known in the present day and the lives, she believes she has lived in the past. 

As she describes her experiences with the spirit world, she is reminded of the time her youngest daughter was recovering from a horrific car accident. “Every night at 1:00pm exactly the two angels’ bells would play,” she shared. 

Eugenia knows that not everyone accepts her belief of past lives, but she does not waiver from her experiences.

Marlene is a Jewish girl in her book who did not survive the Holocaust. Eugenia’s writing is detailed, and a reader can be overwhelmed with the sense that the author was at the scenes as they unfold on the pages. 

Eugenia maintains that she lived once as Marlene and was reborn to her mother in Colombia. 

In her book, she reveals for the world the many different past lives that she believes she has lived. Her writing weaves her past lives in with the present life and she shares with her readers the two spirits who she believes have guided her in all her lives. 

Living in a comfortable home with her husband, who recently retired from his 46 years as a professor of Economics, Eugenia is content with accepting that she is not like everyone else. Though she can tolerate a world where she is not like the others, she is blessed with a husband who also believes in past lives. 

Not everyone will accept that she has lived many lives, but no one can deny she is a brilliant woman, and she does not have brain atrophy. 

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1 comment

Kevin November 3, 2022 - 3:30 pm

Wonderful story and well told!


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