Browning/Crew Women 1890s to 1940

Following are transcriptions from letters and journals written by my mother, Patricia Crew Fleming, her mother, Alice Browning Crew, and her grandmother Hallie May Riley Browning. Download Section 1 (7.2 mb), Section 2 (2.8 mb), and Section 3 (11 mb) (pdf format).

BrowningsAmpa“A fascinating human record”:  Me Mum.

I don’t remember one moment in particular when I realized that my parents were different from other parents, but one clue was on March 3, 1964, when they asked for a life reading by Grace Wittenberger, of the Life Reading Research Center of the Religious Research Foundation, Inc, located in Los Angeles (of course).[1]

What my parents found out from the thirty-two-page, single-spaced-report was a little unsettling for a young teenager: that my parents had lived many lives together (at least four described in detail), and that sometimes they lived lives as different genders.  For example, they had been sisters on an island off of Japan in the late fifteenth century/early sixteenth century when my father was in a “feminine expression,” while my mother’s first earth-life was in “masculine expression” in the 1200s B.C. in Egypt; she (he?) had worked as a potter and was “very artistic in nature.”

Grace Wittenberger (through a Dr. John) told my parents that their marriage in this lifetime “had been a very distinct blessing to both [of them]” and that when they came back this time as husband and wife (and not as sisters!) they experienced “a soul level of rejoicing, a recognition of each other and a happiness in renewing the old love bonds.”  The reading also gave my mother a little closure when she found out that she had been the illegitimate daughter of her father, Ampa or Malcolm Crew, and her “real” mother, Alice Browning Crew, in the lifetime just previous to this one in the early 1800s American South.

Malcolm had not been allowed to develop a relationship with his daughter (my mother) in that lifetime so my real Grandmother Alice came back this time “to finish up a certain responsibility with the father carried over from that lifetime.  [So she] simply brought the child back and gave the child TO him, and then her responsibility was discharged.”  This was a neat and tidy answer to my mother’s angst, but not very empathetic to her feelings of guilt and loss (which she had in abundance).

Thus begins her story, which, of course, is mine too.


[1] Information from website: Life readings were soul histories of people who wanted information about their past lives and the purpose of their present life.  The readings increased their understanding of themselves and helped them to know who they were and why they had their own unique life circumstances.  Knowing this enabled them to accept themselves, make constructive changes in their lives, heal or release relationships, more fully pursue their life’s purpose, and find inner peace. <>