“God Made Me Do It,” She Says
SPANISH EYES by Debra Wimer
(From the Ginger Aldett Fan Club Newsletter; abridged by Adam Parfrey)
The first thing I remember is crying over how tragically short Elvis Presley’s life was, how he was taken so suddenly from all his loved ones -particularly the girl he loved and was to have married Christmas Day 1977.
“Oh Lord, why couldn’t you have at least let him remarry and father another child?”
To my astonishment I heard a soft and kind, yet authoritative voice reply, “Please don’t cry. I know how the world was mourned since I took him August 16, 1977. How would you like to have him back?”
“That would be wonderful, but how could you do it?”
“You doubt the Almighty?”
“But he’s been gone over 13 years!” “I am fully aware of that. Remember, 1 made Adam out of the dust of the ground. I can fashion another body for Elvis which will look exactly like the original...with a few improvements, of course.” “Do you really mean it? We’d do anything to have him back!”
“On one condition."
“You must keep him entirely hidden from the public for a period of one year.”
“That’s a pretty tall order! How am I going to do it?”
“I will help you, don’t worry...but you must promise me that you will do this.”
“Oh yes. Lord, gladly. I have always felt partly responsible for his death. I know I could have helped him had I known him.”
“After this you will know him better than anyone except myself...that is why I have chosen you to take care of him during the year in hiding. He has been out of circulation and is out of shape. It will be your job to prevent him from working as he did before. That was part of what killed him. The strain was just too much for his heart to handle.”
“Thank you, Lord. I won’t let you down.” I sighed, then pointed out, “But you know how determined he is when he wants something. How can I alone convince him to take care of himself?” “I have planned for you to be his manager. You will gently suggest that it would be wise for all concerned if he took care of himself. You have a way with words; you’ll convince him.”
“Lord, I’m afraid I am not worthy of the trust you have placed in me.”
“I have deemed you worthy,” he replied kindly but firmly. “You have nothing to worry about. I will guide you every step of the way.”
“Where will we stay?”
“At his home in Palm Springs. It is currently unoccupied.... He must be treated with utmost courtesy and consideration at all times, or I will take him away again.”
“I understand. Lord, and I will go to the house now.” I went out to my car, finding to my surprise that all my belongings had been mysteriously and thoroughly packed.
As 1 drove God told me, “1 will return him to you halfway to Palm Springs. When you see a warm bright light beside you in your car, you will know I am sending him to you.”
I still didn’t understand why God had chosen me. Why not Ginger or a member of his family? I asked what would happen to the gravesite at Graceland. “Nothing, at least not for a year. It will look as it always has.”
“Why couldn’t we stay at Graceland? Elvis would be more at home there and we’d never leave.”
“I have very good reasons for wanting you to keep him in Palm Springs. It is isolated, and Graceland is constantly overrun by his fans since it was opened. You will need all the privacy you can get.” I hadn’t thought of that! "He is impatient to return.”
“You have him there with you?”
“Yes...or more accurately, his spiritual body. He says he can hardly wait to come back, since he left a lot of unfinished business behind when he died.”
I’ll say he did, I thought...
As I entered a deserted stretch of road, I felt a warm bright light, as warm as the sun, and was told to slow down to 55 mph. 1 thought it was strange that I should maintain that speed but complied — then something compelled me to look at the seat beside me.
I just wasn’t prepared for the sight that met my eyes. He was sitting there in the white suit he had been buried in, the one his father had given him the Christmas of 1976. He had an almost unearthly beauty about him. I wanted to reach out and touch him but was afraid he would disappear.
I also had an irresistible urge to see if he wore shoes, since people were usually buried barefoot. He indeed wore shoes! It was as if the Lord had said, “Say something to him. He’s real, he will respond to you.”
I finally said, “Welcome back.”
His speaking voice was more beautiful than it had ever been. “Thanks. It’s good to be back.” It was incredible that Elvis was really here, really speaking to me! But I wouldn’t believe he was real unless he touched me. At that moment he covered my hand with his. “Do you mind? I’ve missed the human contact of touch.”
“Not at all.” I strove to sound calm yet knew my heart was pounding. His hand felt warm, firm, masculine. “Has God discussed the details of what we’re supposed to do for the next year with you?”
“Thoroughly. I intend to cooperate a hundred percent....” Now that I knew he was real, I could really talk. “My family doesn’t know anything about this; no one does. I was told not to
tell anyone. I will obey, of course, but they were understandably hurt. I could only say I’d have to move to Palm Springs for a year. 1 can’t even contact them to let them know how I am. I’m supposed to isolate myself with you for a year.
“Not that I don’t welcome the prospect — any woman would — but I have a job to do. I intend to do it well, too...and don’t think you’re going to get away with murder just because I’m female. That Southern charm won’t work with me — at least not where it counts.”
“I might prove to be a handful. Do you think you’ll be able to handle being alone with me for a year?”
“I think so. The Lord told me to call on him if I needed help.” "
“You’ll need it, believe me,” he laughed. “That wouldn’t surprise me, but 1 think I’ll enjoy it just the same.”
“I’m sure I will, too.” He brushed the side of a finger along my cheek. Even as I felt a thrill shoot through my entire body, I told myself sternly NOT to become too attached to him. It would only make letting go that much harder on both of us.
“Elvis, I don’t want to say this but feel I must.” “Fire away.”
“I feel it would be best if we stayed just good friends, with no romantic overtones.”
For a moment he looked like you’d just hit him over the head but smiled and said, “I understand, and I respect your decision...but let me tell you right now, it won’t be easy for me to abide by it....”
I have to admit that he tried his level best to get romantically involved with me that year, but I gently reminded him, “As much as I’d love to, I can’t. You already have a fiancee who loves you deeply. You must not break her heart for what could just be a fleeting thing.” He had to agree that I was right and he did love her, although he was very much attracted to me.
He loved Ginger. I knew that all too well, and he fully intended to marry her when the year was up. Finally I could deny my feelings no longer.
Despite my resolve not to, I had fallen deeply, hopelessly in love. What could I do? I could never call him mine, nor could I ever let him guess how I felt. He belonged to Ginger'. If he ever guessed he would likely drop Ginger and stay with me because I knew he also cared for me. I couldn’t risk that; I didn’t want him to break her heart.
How I would ever hide my feelings, I didn’t know — but hide them I must! I finally told God about it. “Lord, I have a big problem.”
“You’re in love with Elvis.”
I sighed. “Yes, despite my resolve not to. What am I to do?”
“For once even I don’t know.” And if even God couldn’t help me, what chance did I have? * * *
I had my chance and blown it. If I could only have known his lips, arms, and body even once — you lose the chance. Still, loving him as I did, I could never give myself in marriage to anyone else. 1 even considered entering a convent but realized that that would be worse than staying around him.
He was now ready to return to show business. When we walked into the STAR offices, everyone who seen him did a double-take. We asked to see the head of the outfit because we had the reincarnation story of the century! We were ushered into a plush office and told to sit down by a fiftyish man in an expensive grey suit.
“I’m Elvis Presley,” Elvis said.
“Let’s not play games,” the man said. “I have no time for jokes.”
“This is no joke,” 1 assured him.
His face turned white. “But how? Elvis Presley died over a decade ago!”
“I’m not really sure. I can hardly believe it myself,” Elvis told him.... “Tell the world that I’m getting married next week — to the girl I was engaged to 12 years ago. It may not be Christmas, but it’s been much too long. This time I’m going to be around to marry her!”
Before a week was out the STAR was all over the world: ELVIS PRESLEY REBORN...REINCARNATED ROCK KING SAYS “I’M GOING TO MARRY MY FIANCEE GINGER ALDEN NEXT WEEK.”
They had been married just two months when Ginger’s doctor told her that she was pregnant, expecting to deliver the baby the following April. She was happy, but Elvis was absolutely ecstatic! After she told him the news he called me and could hardly talk coherently, he was so happy.
Ginger wanted to know what all I’d done with him while we were isolated for a year.
“Nothing to what I wish I’d done,” I quipped. “Oh, Debby, be serious!”
“I am. He was very attracted to me and asked me to have an affair, but I couldn’t do that to you, though. I knew how you loved him and that I’d only spoil what you two had....”
“I can never thank you enough for giving him back to me.”
Ginger just seemed to grow more beautiful as her pregnancy advanced. In the latter stages she really didn’t care to have Elvis see her and I couldn’t blame her — but assured her that she didn’t have a thing to worry about, since to a man the woman they love carrying their child is always beautiful.
Since she had conceived so early, Elvis decided to wait until after the baby was born to resume touring. Incidentally, I had limited him to one show a night and three in a week — and his touring to two weeks a month. He didn’t exactly love the idea but knew it was for his own good.
A nurse came in and asked, “Would you like to see the baby?”
“Yes, very much.” I stood up. “Elvis is still asleep; please don’t wake him. I will wake him when it’s time.” I left the room quietly and made my way to the nursery. The nurse picked up the baby and brought him to the window. He was so beautiful!
He had the beginnings of Elvis’s firm chin, his classic nose and sensuous lips, but Ginger’s brown eyes. 1 saw the adorable baby softness which would gradually mature into a firm chin, tall lithe body, and masculinity comparable only to his father’s. The nurse then asked if I would like to hold him.
“Oh yes!” I had to put a mask and gown on, then she handed the child to me. I smiled and whispered, “Hello, baby Jess. Welcome to the world.” I brought out one tiny, perfectly formed hand; he got a death grip on my index finger. I could hardly believe I was actually holding Elvis’s son, the child who would continue the Presley line!
Elvis came out to where I was waiting. His face looked gray and sad. “What’s wrong?" He didn’t seem to hear; he just sat down and buried his face in his hands. “Elvis, what happened? Is there anything I can do?” I put a gentle hand on his arm. He looked up, eyes clouded with gloom.
“Not unless you have another child for me,” he replied.
“I don’t understand.”
“Remember when Ginger said for you to leave?” He held my hands tightly.
“What did she tell you?” I asked as I gave them a reassuring squeeze.
“That she couldn’t have any more children....”
I knocked on Ginger’s door.
“Come in, Debby....” When I got closer to her 1 could tell that she also had been crying.
“I told Elvis we couldn’t have any more children,” she confessed. “I hated having to tell him that, especially right after Jess’s birth, but I had to, and it breaks my heart, too. Well, anyway the doctor told me that I have what is called an ‘infantile’ or ‘tipped’ uterus. The odds would be at least two billion to one against my having another child full-term and healthy, that I’m more likely to miscarry and have it kill me. Thank God for little Jess. At least we have him.”
“But you said that Elvis wanted at least half a dozen kids.”
“I know, and we still do — but how can we, now?”
“Aren’t there any alternatives?”
“The doctor said the only way for us to have another child is either to adopt or have another woman carry it.” She took my hand. “Deb, I want to ask a favor of you.”
“He said that my tubes and ovaries were healthy, so if there was anyone who wanted to volunteer to carry my baby, she was to contact him and he would make the arrangements.”
1 was certainly taking a gamble, using my body for an experiment that might (or might not) work and if anything went wrong, I could die in the midst of. Also, how was I going to keep it a secret from Elvis? Whatever else he was, he wasn’t dumb.
A few weeks later Ginger called: she was crying. “Oh, Debby, I’ve missed my period!” She didn’t sound happy.
“The doctor said it could kill me. We’ve got to do something. I didn’t mean to have it happen, I swear. I was sure I’d taken my pill...I’m not going to tell him. You’re going to help me get rid of it.”
“You mean — “
“Yes, I mean! I’m going to have an abortion! Thank God Elvis hasn’t noticed yet. This way he’ll never have to know.... We’ll go to an abortion clinic; I made a special Sunday appointment...Debby, you have to come. If you don’t I won’t be able to go through with it. You know how dead set against abortion Elvis is. He feels it’s murder, and ordinarily so would I, but this is a matter of life and death...mine!”
The weekend went off without a hitch. Mrs. Alden was enraptured with seeing her new grandson Jess, and Ginger had the abortion with no complications. Her waistline returned to normal; it was as though the pregnancy had never been. We returned to Graceland Monday morning, and Elvis was none the wiser.
A little later I had to go to the doctor and become implanted with a fertilized egg taken from Ginger a few days before. It was over before I knew it. Now all we could do was wait and see if the egg “took.”
The time for the-next scheduled period came and went, so 1 knew that that meant the experiment was successful — that Elvis and Ginger’s child was now growing inside my body. I called Ginger and told her. She was ecstatic!
I told the doctor how sick 1 was. He said it was somewhat unusual but nothing was really wrong. He claimed it would disappear after the third month. I had to go through another six weeks of morning sickness? Oh lord!
Thank heaven I didn’t have to hide it from Elvis after all. I could openly let him know about my pregnancy — and you may be sure that he could tell I was pregnant. After all, he’d had two children, he knew the signs...and you may be certain that he asked plenty of questions!
“What’s wrong, Deb? Don’t you feel well?” Elvis asked when I barely touched my lunch.
“What makes you think I’m not well?”
“Something has to be wrong when you refuse your favorite foods.”
“Remember when I said I had to be gone all night to secure a business deal for you?” (This had been just over six weeks ago. I had slept with the guy because he reminded me a lot of Elvis; he had been an excellent lover, too, but I hadn’t gotten pregnant even though I hadn’t used birth control — but what Elvis didn’t know wouldn’t hurt us.)
“How could you let him make you pregnant?”
“It’s an occupational hazard in this business if one is female.”
“You mean you really are pregnant?”
“Yes. I estimate between six weeks and two months along. I’m seriously considering giving the baby up for adoption because I could never care for it properly. Being your manager takes all my time.”
Elvis exchanged a meaningful look with Ginger. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” “You better believe it!” she declared...and so it was arranged. I would give the child to them when it was born. Why shouldn’t I? It was theirs anyway. I just carried the child, like a surrogate mother.
I just hoped to God I wouldn’t get some crazy notion about keeping the child, because it wasn’t mine to keep, though it had been a chance to carry the child of the man I loved. Unfortunately, it didn’t belong to us — it belonged to Elvis and Ginger. It had grown inside me but truly belonged to them.
I had to laugh, but not in front of Elvis. He would have been furious if he’d ever learned of how his wife and manger had pulled off this amazing conspiracy! It wouldn’t hurt him to think the child was mine, at least not until it was obvious to everyone (even him) that it wasn’t.
Elvis and Ginger were ecstatic over their new daughter, swearing they would never be able to thank me enough for her, but Ginger and I exchanged a secret smile and look whenever he talked about the baby. Maybe someday we could tell him the truth about the “adopted” child, but in the meantime it was best that he remained ignorant of the facts.
What floored me was that the doctor told me that I could handle any number of pregnancies. Seeing how happy Elvis and Ginger were with their new daughter, I finally decided it wouldn’t be so bad to carry their children for them. Maybe next time we’d suggest to Elvis hiring a woman to carry their children so they could have more. And who would be better suited than !?