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Elvis' Reflections on Life And Death

Reflections on Life, Love, Giving, God and Death

This chapter deals primarily with Elvis’ own viewpoint on life, love, giving, God and death as transcribed from Wanda June Hill’s telephone conversations with him over time, and shared from Wanda’s memories, letters and books in addition to a few other sources.
In her letters to me, Wanda wrote of Elvis’ impact on her and her family - her personal close encounter:

“The first time I talked to Elvis by telephone he blanked out my mind completely. I could not remember driving home, going to my sister-in-law’s house which was about four miles away, and drew a total blank on which roads I took, if I stopped at signs or lights or what happened for two hours! I woke up at my sister-in-law’s house and she was not at home. I say that he did it - not the excitement of talking to Elvis Presley. I was not a fan, not that intrigued or anything by him, not familiar with his music, so it was not that....It’s just too strange, but from that moment forward Elvis has more or less controlled our life, influenced it, molded it, guided it, and still does to a great extent. His presence or influence comes in when we least expect it. He just is and it’s always for good. I don’t understand it, but then I don’t care, either. Our lives only got better for knowing him, for having him so involved yet not involved. I can’t explain it - why try?”

Elvis confided a great many things to his friend Wanda. Some were funny, much was sad. All his expressed thoughts to her were laced with goodness and wisdom, and prevailing through these many conversations was trust.

Elvis: “I don’t have any secrets from you, honey - should I have? Is this too personal for you?”
Wanda: “No - its just - that it surprised me is all. Though I don’t know why it should - you’ve also told me other personal things. But I am taping this you know.”
Elvis: “I know - is it so hard to understand that I trust you - with my life, if you will, honey? Is it?”
Wanda: “I guess it is, Elvis. I don’t know what to say now.”
Elvis: “Well, don’t cry! God!”
Wanda: “I’m not - but let’s change the subject....away from your trusting me.”
Elvis: “Oh. I do. I love you, you’re my friend and I do. There’s nothin’ more to say about that.”

Elvis on delivering babies:
“I think it would have been really wonderful. God’s greatest miracle, his greatest! It really is - it would be wonderful to help bring life into the world, to be there at birth and see the soul enter the body - it does you know - with the first breath. God said He breathed the breath of life into mankind. Until we take the first breath we are without a living Spirit - a soul. That’s my belief. We exist - our minds are there - our past memories are present therein, but without that first breath, that first moment of a living force entering our bodies, we are only partly alive. We cannot live without that breath, without a living spirit controlling our physical bodies and generating the life force within us.”

Elvis on abortion:
“Abortion is so misunderstood. I believe women should cherish life - their ability to produce the living bodies that house Spirits - but if they cannot handle the reproductive process, then why force them to do so? I don’t see the reason behind that.”
Wanda: “Well, if it is as you have said, Spirits choose the body they are going to live on Earth in, then if they choose one that is aborted, what happens? Perhaps that is why the moral issue is so strong.”

Elvis: “They’ll have to try again. The same as if one is born dead - like my brother - he chose to die for me - I believe that. I couldn’t have made it through birth had I come first - it would have killed me, as I was weak. He was larger and took the pressure off me. I believe it was his wish, his desire, to let me live this time.”
Wanda: “If that’s so, then that body that was your brother must have had would he know if he had not taken that first breath - become a living Spirit?”
Elvis: “He didn’t, he was born stillbirth - he never breathed - Grandma told me that. He was born blue from lack of oxygen and never changed color, only grew more blue. She said it was as if he was all dried up. He chose not to enter his body. He chose to let it die.”
Wanda: “Then you were born shortly after?”
Elvis: “About thirty minutes or so later.

 (maia's note: In Larry Geller’s second book on Elvis, ‘If I Can Dream’, he states that Vernon Presley said Elvis was the first to be born of two brothers. When his father made this statement, he believed it to be true. However by the time Elvis had the conversation with Wanda given in this chapter in which he discussed his birth, he had found from others who had been present then, that Vernon’s remembrance was not correct. Instead, Jesse had been the first to see the light. This made perfect sense to Elvis, since he had never felt that the astrology chart done previously had really suited him. When his chart was re-done using his new found time of birth, he felt it to be a true reflection of his persona and soul in this lifetime. (See Chapter 14 ‘Numbers, Names and Stars’ for information on Elvis’ astrology chart.) Vernon’s interview in Good Housekeeping in the January 1978 issue, substantiates this new information on Elvis’ birth time. In the 1978 interview, Vernon is quoted as saying:

“My parents were at our house with us, along with two women, one a midwife, who told us it was time to call the doctor. After what seemed to me an eternity , a baby boy was born dead. I was desolate at the loss of our child. But then my father put his hand on my wife’s stomach and announced, ‘Vernon, there’s another baby in here.’” While it may seem odd that Vernon could forget such a traumatic experience, much water had passed under the bridge since that day of struggle and joy in Tupelo. Perhaps Elvis’ father had chosen to let go of certain memories that remained in such a different world than the one in which he presently dwelt.)

Elvis: And I was so small, so I just came right out with a little help and I couldn’t breath well either, so they took us to the hospital and I grew better on the way. I couldn’t nurse, so they fixed a rubber glove to feed me at first - squeezed milk into me - and I was sick - couldn’t take milk - and then Momma and Grandma and this old black lady who lived nearby, fixed a way for Momma to get out her milk and they fed me with a straw, then got an eyedropper to do it.”
Wanda: “It’s a wonder you made it.”
Elvis: “Yeah - it was meant to be. I had to be here. I had to complete my purpose.”
Wanda: “Do you feel you have?”
Elvis: “No - not at all. I-I -no one listens to me.”
Wanda: “Oh - I do.”
Elvis: “I meant others. Sure you do - I appreciate it, but you’re just one of very few. It should have been more - much more. Maybe next time...(end of tape).”

Elvis on Friendship and Love:

“See, it’s like a plant really. A tiny seed begins to grow, putting down roots, just as when you meet someone, talk, begin to know them a little and then as the acquaintance turns toward familiarity the stalk pushes up and begins to leaf out and the friendship is off and growing. As long as there is nothing poisoning it’s roots, it continues to grow and expand and it’s nurtured by the sun, the rain - just as people nurture their friends with care and concern and sharing interests.

“But just when a breach of loyalty, a lie, an argument that is not settled amicably, puts a break in the friendship, a chink in the trust of that person, so it is with a plant when branches....or even a severe break, such as (of) the stalk itself, injures the growth; (so it) soils the developing love in people. But if the foundation is there, the initial trust and concern has become love, then as a plant with good roots can re-grow it’s broken branch or stem, so can people re-build the friendship. And in real love, as a plant grows, reaches maturity, it flowers, puts out new seeds that drop off and start growing, so it is with love. We plant new seeds, we develop new relationships either with other people or we find them in the one person we love above all others. So the world of plants and people is not different. Earth, it’s animal and plant life is tied together making one whole - all a plan of God - we were made of the same ingredients, the same design in patterns of living. It’s just that man is closer to God’s image - more like him than the animal or the plant.”

Elvis and Wanda on friendship:

Wanda: “I haven’t got that many friends - I mean real friends. I know quite a few people, many of them I met because of you, but I don’t say they are friends. They’re-acquaintances.”
Elvis: “I know what you mean - I don’t either. I mean, most of my so-called friends are hired employees doin’ a job for me, you know? I don’t have many people who are actual, true friends, someone I can talk to about things. It’s different - they-they look at me as a-a boss, a person they have to please, or lose their position if they don’t. It’s not easy dealin’ with that all the time - I-I get so I don’t know for sure how to how to act with them. What they expect of me, you know?”
Wanda: “I think so. I couldn’t take it. You have for so long now. I just couldn’t take that kind of pressure. It has to be a strain for you at times, always living with them around you and having to be all things to all people. Isn’t that how you feel at times?”
Elvis: “Yeah - how’d you know? You know honey, you-you understand more than - than just about anybody ‘n yet you aren’t here. You amaze me at times.”
Wanda: “I listen well. And I know you pretty well, too. You’ve been open, and the things you don’t say sometimes are more revealing that what you do say. You know that, don’t you?”
Elvis: “I’ve learned that too. It pays to listen. Yet-yet I feel like you’d understand me ‘n if you didn’t, you wouldn’t harp on me about it. That’s nice to know - it’s nice to have a friend who listens. You-you don’t know how badly I need that at times. Just-jus’ someone to listen - to bounce ideas off of an’ to-to-to let it out, kind of, you know? It’s one thing to remember things, its another to actually talk about them, understand?”

From a 1950’s magazine:

“When asked about any marital plans he (Elvis) replied, ‘ marriage will depend, not so much on my wife’s feelings for me, but on my consideration for her.”

Elvis talking about women to Wanda:

“I love women. The way they make over me, the feelings of warmth and concern I experience with them and just the rush a beautiful female can give me with her smile that’s for me alone. Life would be dull man, dull, without ‘em! I’d like to find a woman who is interested in me, in the things I enjoy doing - certainly. But I realize my life is vastly different than most men’s existence and that makes it difficult for anyone, especially a woman who doesn’t have any idea what this kind of life is like. Sometimes though, I find one who really enjoys the topsy-turvy of it all and we get some laughs out of it. That’s when I enjoy their true friendship the most - when we can share the ups as well as the downs and still get along. It happens, it happens....I’ve learned a hard lesson beginning when I was pretty young - 19 or so, and that is nobody is going to wait around for long unless there is some sharing, something between you that bonds emotionally, be it just the fun, sense of humor, or having something in common to share. So I try to give back something that they need, want, in my relationships - it makes it so much better for both of us and I enjoy knowing that they understand I’m not just using their time for amusement. It’s nicer when I take the time to get to know them, to understand where their head is at and build up a sense of caring, of loving that person. That’s what it’s all about really, loving each other.”

Elvis on sex:

“I feel that if you can’t control sex - the physical impulse for sex - then you can’t control anything in your life. You cannot let your body - it’s desires - rule you. It cannot master your mind, your heart. If you allow it, then all is lost. Sure I have desires...but by damn, I am the master of my body. I am the deciding factor and I rule. The day comes that I can’t, then I’m dead. There is more to life than flexing muscle and I intend to follow a code of honor in my life - that’s important. My self-esteem, my feelings of self-worth and living with my heart and conscience. Life is too short to waste in vain regrets.

In her book, ‘Elvis - Face to Face’, Wand June Hill writes on Elvis’ feelings about fidelity:

“He didn’t feel that it was God’s intended plan for a man to have more than one wife or mate and therefore he intended to make certain before he married that he had picked a marriage partner for life. ‘It is against God and his word to be an adulterer and causes all kinds of suffering both physical and emotional. I’m not gonna be one of those. Priscilla will be able to know that she can count on me. I’ll never let her down.’ His tone was full of conviction. I had never known him to be quite so serious and I believed him. Elvis never lied. Even when he ought to have done so to protect himself, he would tell the truth.”

Quoting Priscilla Presley, from a California local TV show in 1987:

“Elvis was faithful to me during our marriage. I cheated on him. He passed a lie detector test and until he learned of my indiscretions, Elvis never cheated. Only after I left him. Elvis was a loving, sincere man who respected his home and family. His career took him away from us and being so young and naive I thought wrongly that he just didn’t care anymore. Had I known then what I do now about this business, I would have been more patient, more able to help him.”

An accounting in a 1970’s magazine concerning the court hearing for Elvis’ 1 ½ million dollar settlement for his wife, Priscilla (who was the one requesting the divorce):

“Fain (Elvis’ lawyer) then asked if these differences had resulted in an ‘irremediable breakdown’ of the marriage, the legalistic phrase that is used in California’s new divorce law. Elvis said he didn’t understand. ‘Explain that word to me,’ he said. Translated into plainer English, the attorney amended: ‘Has the marriage broken down to the point where you can’t reconstruct it or reconcile?” Again Elvis replied, a little sadly: ‘Yes sir.’ ‘You are satisfied that every effort you could make won’t succeed in restoring the marriage?’ ‘That’s true’, Elvis agreed. Priscilla averted her eyes. Elvis had been in a kidding mood up to this critical point. Sensing Priscilla’s discomfort, he squeezed her hand, smiled at her and added: ‘I don’t like her anyway’. Seconds later, he apologized to his attorney and the court for the joking remark, yet he could not resist another when Fain continued: ‘At any rate, Elvis, I take it you and Priscilla are going to remain friends, even though the marriage isn’t going to be maintained?’ ‘Yes, sir. I hope never to see her again as long as I live.’ Priscilla giggled, and everyone else laughed, too. ‘I’m only kidding, Mr. Fain,’ assured Elvis. Lawyer Fain, who has been through many a tough divorce contest with wealthy and not so wealthy clients, to the court at the closed hearing said: ‘I want to state for the record, rarely have I seen or represented a more genuinely generous and friendly man: warm and an all-sacrificing kind of man.’ Elvis said quietly, ‘Thank you.’

“At the conclusion of the hearing, Elvis put his arm around his wife of six years and kissed her on the cheek. Then arm in arm they left the courtroom, all smiles. ‘She was just beaming, very happy, as happy as she could be,’ said a court observer. ‘He seemed happy too, patted her and held her hand.’....Lawyer Fain: ‘He was most anxious to please his wife and give her what he felt she would be happy with. Now she is.’.....”

In a television interview after Elvis’ death, Priscilla Presley revealed the words Elvis had whispered into her ear when he hugged her in the courtroom that day of the divorce proceedings: ‘for always and ever’. According to the newspapers, only days after the proceedings Elvis was once again hospitalized.

Excerpts from ‘The Promise’, written by Elvis at the time of his divorce, in 1974:

“I promise to be a father to my baby as long as I shall live; to love the Lord thy God with all my heart and soul and body, as best I can; to wish happiness for Priscilla; to hold no malice against no man as long as I live; to sing with the utmost of my ability, and bring happiness from singing and laughter, with love and joy.”

Elvis in 1974 anticipating a visit from his ex-wife, Priscilla:

Wanda: “I hope she’ll come, that you’ll have a wonderful time and if it’s what you want and need, I hope she’ll stay forever.”
Elvis: “That would-would be great. I think I could-could put it all back together then. I’d-I’d have a reason.”
Wanda: “Put it back together? What? Your marriage?”
Elvis: “No, my life, my purpose for being, you know? My existence - I’m not gonna be here much longer if-if I don’t do it soon. I’m fadin’ fast. I know it. I can see the end of the tunnel. I can see the light comin’...”
Wanda: “How - why did you say that?”
Elvis: “It’s true...”
Wanda: “You think your time is about up?”
Elvis: “I got ‘bout maybe three more years or so. I won’t make it to fifty, I know that. This is not a-a joke, or to make you down, just a statement of fact. I don’t think I‘ll live to be much older than forty or so, maybe forty-three, forty-four, but not much more (he died at age forty-two). I can’t, I’m-I’m burnin’ up inside.”
Elvis and Wanda around 1975-76 speaking of his ex-wife, Priscilla:
Elvis: “I mean she made me happy - we had fun, some good times. If it wasn’t for her - hell, who knows what I’d be - turned into? She loved me, Lord she did! And she took care of me - let me tell you this, she tried hard to be a good wife. She did. And she put up with a pack of loud-mouthed, dirty-minded guys layin’ around the house day-in and day-out, and she did it for years. I should have given her more time, tried harder to make her happy. I should have listened, noticed what was happening to her. Instead I was selfish, demanding and unreasonable and expected that little thing to understand and put up with it. Lord, no wonder she left me for the first guy who showed her attention - and that’s what it was, too - attention. Something she wasn’t getting from me, man. It’s a shame - a damn shame!”
Wanda: “You’re too generous in accepting blame - she did plenty of wrong things - and you know it!”
Elvis: “A lot of it was my fault - I know it and I’m man enough to admit it. I was the major party, you know.”
Wanda: “I know - but I also know you and - I know you’ve hidden your hurt.”
Elvis: “Well, there are things I’ve done just as hurtful to her that - maybe she’s hidden.”
Wanda: “You’ll always defend her, won’t you? I guess it is love.”
Elvis: “She was the best thing to ever happen to me - her and the baby. It’s a hell of a thing that one person can be so-so satisfied and then find out that it was all a lie - that the other person was unhappy and dying inside all that time - just putting you on for so long. A hell of a thing. Damn, I was a fool, I guess blind. I really didn’t see it comin’ - even when she told me, I never listened. You know, nine years<$F We believe Elvis is referring to the period of time he knew Priscilla before they got married in this statement.> I knew her - but-but-but I guess we never really did know each other - I mean, really....”
Elvis reflecting on his youthful dreams and wishes:
“I had a need to have a wife - a family, and I wanted kids. God, I had a dream of that - havin’ a sweet, little wife loving me and of us with three children. It was always three and then she’d be expectin’ the fourth. Silly, huh? But it was there - I day dreamed and I’d always picture a little girl with dark brown hair, big blue eyes and real pretty, saucy lookin’ you know. She’d be waiting for me, and the kids were pretty and we’d sing and play - I was just a silly kid dreamin’ of a better future for me. I wanted a church wedding - her dressed in white, a preacher to marry us and God’s blessings. It was the way Momma taught me - she read the Bible to me from the time I was real little and she’d explain it and it’s in there plain - a man’s supposed to keep his girl a virgin until he marries her - he’s suppose to protect her name and keep her pure - it says that. I’m okay on that score. Except for me, I can’t remarry because-because I still feel married - I can’t get rid of that. I just feel it was my fault and so, I can’t be free to really love again.
“My life is different, I accept it as such. I was born to live this way and I could not adjust to any other way of life. I was different from beginning, from birth - and as such, I’m satisfied.”
From a tape in 1973:
Wanda: “So what’s your favorite memory?”
Elvis: “I guess my favorite one now is when Lisa was born - when I first held her, you know? She was so-so tiny-precious and beautiful. I know all babies look beautiful to their parent, but she was-was special. I guess because I realized she was my child - mine to care for and-and it was a special feeling. It was that I realized it wasn’t just me anymore - or Cilla. It was us - and they depended on me. I liked it.”
Elvis in 1970:
“Lisa is growing so much, it’s hard to believe that she is already a big kid, you know, walking and all, going around saying daddy this and daddy that...she calls me Elvis...she can’t say my name right - she says “Alvis” I’ll say, “Honey, I’m your daddy - not “Alvis”, so she’ll say “Okay daddy, All-viss”, (laughs)....Kid’s smart as a whip. They’re-teachin’ her to read and she can print her name and my name. She’s somethin’. Man, I love that kid. I understand what they mean when they say they’re sweet enough to eat. I could just squeeze her to pieces - eat her whole, you know?”

From a different taped conversation:

Wanda: “Alright - how’s the kid?”
Elvis: “Great - just great! She’s comin’ to stay a couple of weeks soon - I can’t wait! God, she’s great - so much fun to have around. And she-she makes my life worth livin’. I wish-I wish - but that’s silly-it can’t be so-so forget it!”
Wanda: “You wish she could stay all the time - I know Elvis, you can admit it - I know.”
Elvis: “Well God I do. I do! But I know she’s better off with Cilla - I mean, I don’t have the time and Lisa’d start feelin’ neglected. I know that. I - just can’t give her the time she’d need - so-so-besides, I’m not-not a good influence to be around - I’m moody...even Linda (his girlfriend) has to step aside at times. A child wouldn’t understand me at all - so-so Cilla is the better choice to raise her. I know that - but it doesn’t make my heart any less empty when she’s gone from me. I-I-oh hell, I’m gonna cry if-if-forgive me, I’m sorry - I can’t help it. It’s just been so long - so long (trying not to cry) I’m such a Gawdamn baby - I’m sorry. It’s just I miss her - I miss them both and there is not a hell of a thing I can do about it other than live with it. And it’s - killin’ me-just killin’ me inside. Sometimes I think I’d be better off dead - then it wouldn’t hurt anymore. But that’s silly - then I sure enough couldn’t be with my baby. Sometimes I wish-I wish I could let it all out and yell and scream but then that’d make ‘em lock me up. God, I love her - she’s so sweet and you know, the thing that gets me most is - when I think of it, which is nearly all the time - she is mine, I mean, really mine, you know? Do you understand me? It’s almost incomprehensible, isn’t it? It makes me have chills - Lordy!”

Elvis on his philosophy for a happy life:
“Someone to love, something to look forward to, and something to do.”

More bits and pieces Elvis spoke or wrote to Wanda June Hill and his other phone friends:

“If people look around in their own circle of living they would find more to do, more ways of helping each other than any congressional committee in a year’s research.”

“People in love they say, always tend to overlook the loved one’s faults, but I think it’s more that they see them and love them too much to let it bother them. That to me, is what love really is - being willing to accept each other for what you and they are, regardless of flaws or inconsistences, loving in spite of, instead of because of another’s ways.”

“You know, if you look into your child’s eyes and they look back at you, you can easily see what trust really is - and it’s scary, because they have such perfect love, without question they have faith - and that’s what we have to have, that kind of faith, when looking into our Father’s eyes. Perfect trust - as a little child. It must be why God gives us children, as a teaching tool. A pity - is that so many parents don’t take the time anymore, to really look into their child’s eyes.”

Elvis’ generosity is legendary, but Wanda offered a personal insight in ‘Elvis: Face To Face’ on the compassionate nature that motivated his giving:

“Elvis donated large sums of money to charities - mainly for the benefit of children, although many stories have come out about his generosity to anyone he happened to hear about or come across who was in need. He simply felt that money was to be shared, if it was to be a blessing. He said, enjoyment is in the giving. At Easter time he visited a school for the blind and a home for exceptional children. I was one of several people who went along...At the school Elvis knelt, letting children feel him. Tears welled in his eyes as a teenage girl hugged him, felt his face and said that she loved him...He grinned like a possum as she ran her hands over his face saying that he must be ‘very handsome’. He replied that he was ‘pretty ordinary’. A small boy felt his face, his arms up and down his body and Elvis let him. A blind child in a wheel chair came up, Elvis leaned over, put his face up to his and whispered into his ear. The child began to shake uncontrollably. Elvis took him up, held him on his lap and sat in the wheel chair while one of his men pushed them about. The child was crazy with delight, Elvis also.

“In reality Elvis was more beautiful than his gifts. When the little blind girl wiped his tears he trembled, caught-his breath and choked back a sob. As she hugged him, he laid his head on hers, closed his eyes a moment and then opened them. They shone with love. His very soul poured out of eyes as blue as the rain-washed sky, in a face soft with tenderness and emotion. The only time I saw eyes look like that were his own again, when he cried for Priscilla.

“When we arrived at the school there had been no people around the outside, but as we left there were several dozen milling about as word had gotten out that Elvis was there. He was mauled, harassed and pulled at all the way out to the car. He was gracious, smiling, and took it all in stride, but his eyes became glassy...Once in the car, he said, ‘This is what I live for, did you see those children? This is what it’s all about. Weren’t they beautiful!’ As he spoke one of his men wiped blood from Elvis’ hand, which had been clawed in the melee of people trying to touch him. It was all worth it to Elvis. He dearly loved bringing smiles to the faces of children; his inconvenience was nothing to him.”

Elvis: “How can one walk outside and look up into the midnight blue heaven, see the magnitude of stars and not know that God is? I find my breath taken away, chills run down my spine and a soaring in my heart every time I view God’s Heaven, a wonder to behold freely.”

Elvis from a taped conversation with Wanda:

“Everyone has their place, their importance to the whole of life, be they dignitaries or working class. One’s position in life does not make one’s value as a human being go up or down, that I believe. So no matter who it is wanting to see me, if they care that much, to try, to wait or whatever, for me, then the least I can to is be hospitable, obliging. After all, my time is no more valuable than theirs. You have to consider where they’re coming from. They want to meet me, shake my hand. some of ‘em want more, you know, in the excitement of the moment, they lose it; but over all, people are great. I’m flattered they care about me, so I try to return the favor, that’s all really.”

Wanda: “What is your greatest fear?”
Elvis: “Well-eh-I’d have to say - my greatest fear - it wouldn’t be to lose everythin’ I have because I could begin again - might take me awhile, but I could get it back. My greatest fear - would have to be to somehow lose the affection, the love of the fans. To somehow fall out of favor with them, be alienated from them. I’d have to say that would be my greatest fear - one I don’t know if I could handle.”
1977 - the year of Elvis’ death, he discusses with Wanda a dream his father recently had:
Elvis: “He said he was walkin’ in the yard at Graceland, ‘n’ looked up to see Momma comin’ up the driveway. She was leadin’ a little goat on a string. She come right up to him, smilin’, he said, an’ handed him the string holdin’ the goat. The next thing I was there with them.”
Wanda: “A goat, like maybe a Capricorn symbol?” (Elvis was a Capricorn)
Elvis: “Maybe - that’s what I thought too, an’ he said she never said anything, just handed him the string, took hold of me, an’ we turned ‘round and walked off leaving him standin’ there with the goat. Now, he was upset with me for goin’ and called to me but we just kept walkin’ out of sight. What upset him most was that when he looked back at the goat an’ the string they’d become a vine that was all tangled up and around itself. He said it was growin’ and weavin’ itself into everything as he watched it....the thing kept growing and he got scared because it got out of hand, nothin’ he could do would stop it - it was takin’ over everything, he said. He woke up then, an’ was cryin’ and callin’ for help but I never came.”
Wanda: “Do you have any idea what it means?”
Elvis: “No - sometimes I dream about ‘bout her comin’ for me, too. Real clear - an’ nice dreams. Maybe he just picked up on it, somethin’ - dun-no.”
Wanda: “Do you dream about being on stage, performing?”
Elvis: “At times - mostly its-it - people - crowds after me, you know (laughs). Hearin’ ‘em callin’ me, my name, you know. Sometimes after a show if I’m there long-long enough to hear ‘em after. I hear it in my head, you know, like-like a roar, an’ their callin’ my name over ‘n’ over ‘til - until I can’t shut it out ‘n’ can’t sleep. It’s bad, but not all the time, just when I’m real tired or-or been out a while.”
Wanda: “What is the one thing you’d really like to do if you could do anything you wanted, without having to ask anyone? Is there anything?”
Elvis: “Yeah, I’d like - this sounds silly, I know, but I’d like to-to go out an’ meet people, just talk an’ spend time doin’ things that don’t mean much to anyone but me, an’ others like me, I guess. But you know. I’d like to be able to just, for instance, go to Lisa’s school, you know, just go an’ be one of the parents. She’d like that. She wanted me to come, then she said, ‘Oh, daddy, it’d be too hard on you, so you don’t have to. I’ll just tell you what the teacher says’. That’s a perceptive kid, huh?”

It seems the greatest souls are tested to the fullest in their initiations of Spirit. Wanda commented on Elvis’ physical suffering in those last months of his life:

“As the end neared in Las Vegas, December, 1976, he stood on stage with his hand hanging down and water dripped off his fingers, making a visible puddle on the floor! I could not believe that - I had never seen anyone sweat that way before...he couldn’t seem to get his breath but there he was working his heart out the best he could. He sat down and was close to us; he was a pale, grey color and his lips were bluish tinted. His eyes were so dull and weak looking...he smiled at us and shook his head as if to say, ‘this is all there is, I’m sorry’. I knew he was as good as gone. I knew I’d never see him again and it was terrible to just sit there and watch him dying. I fully understand why he didn’t tell his people, why he chose to...let them think the worst...he couldn’t stand letting them know the truth, letting them watch him dying. He said he couldn’t bear to see the eyes of the people - to see the way they looked at him. He said, I know I look terrible. I wish I could change things, but I just can’t seem to do it anymore.

“Elvis said one time that his life had been blessed. He had been at the height of happiness, had been loved beyond reason by so many and felt he had every blessing known to God laid at his feet. He was so thankful to have lived and he would have changed only a few things. He felt that under the circumstances he would say he was the luckiest man on Earth. Measured up, the happy times far out-weighed the bad times. If he could be so tolerant, so understanding of his trials and tribulations and have lived through it all, still feeling like that, then how can we sit back and mourn his sorrows? I admire him greatly. His courage - he had it in spades!”

As an example of his remarkable courage and great good humor, in the last months of his life, Elvis joked with Wanda that since he was afraid of the dark, he intended to have a night light put in his coffin!

Elvis in 1977 while in the hospital:

“I saw a cute little baby the other day. A friend of mine came by with his daughter - she’s just about eight months old, got this pure, creamy complexion, jet black hair and big blue eyes. Gonna be a doll when she grows up - a real doll - and I won’t be around....You know, my life’s become one big circle, turning in and out and all around, never ending and no real beginning...everyone’s changed, everybody’s split up, no one’s happy....I only wanted to know everyone was happy, contented. I wanted to sit back and know I helped you know, that I had some thing to do with it - that I was worth something, you know, to someone.”
Wanda: “Oh, you are worth something. For heaven’s sakes, you just don’t know how much you are worth to us. You’ve made our lives worthwhile. Don’t you understand how boring and dull life would be without you?”
Elvis: (he chokes, coughs)
Wanda: “Oh, I choke you to death, huh?”
Elvis: “No-no, it’s just that I got this fluttering in my chest and it-it - sometimes I - when I get up it’s bad....”
Wanda: “What are you going to do when they release you?”
Elvis: “I don’t know - I suppose go back to work. Then just sit around the house and-and wait.”
Wanda: “Stay around the house and wait? What for?”
Elvis: “See what happens. I don’t - really want to talk about it.”
Wanda: “You said you went shopping. What did you buy?”
Elvis: “Oh, a couple of silk shirts. I found one I like....I have it on. It’s real pretty - only trouble is it’s silk and it spots, so I got all these spots on me - where I drool on myself, you know.”
Wanda: “You drool on yourself, huh?”
Elvis: “Yeah (laughs). It’s really pretty. See, what happened was Sylvester (cat) jumped on me when I was drinking coffee and spilled it on me, so I got spots. I guess when it’s washed it’ll come out though. It’s really pretty - blue, you know. I’d like to be buried in it.”
Wanda: “Oh great. Got it all planned, huh?”
Elvis: “Yeah, daddy bought me one-blue but this one is better. It’d go real good with the white suit daddy bought me.”
Wanda: “I don’t think I ever knew anyone who went to such great details to prepare for their funeral.”
Elvis: “Well, I like to take care of things. You know, it’s been a long time that you and I have been friends, you know.”
Wanda: “Yeah - going on fifteen years. It’s really strange how things worked out. This last year it’s been so strange - how events keep leading into other events. Ever since I met you, in fact. Just meeting you - the fact I ever came to California - I never wanted to come here. But the first year - bam! There you were.”
Elvis: “Well, it was God, he brought you to me - you brought others and I brought them too - it was fate. It was God - I needed your friendship, I needed you.”
Wanda: “Well, I don’t know about that, but I needed someone like you - I needed to learn from you, but I don’t know what I ever did for you.”
Elvis: “Well, I never could tell you....I just-just knew the first time I talked to you we’d be friends - it was like meant a lot to me. I-I can’t tell you how much your listening to me, talked to me - and I could never do nothing for you - it meant so much. If there’s anything I can do for you, give you anything, I wish you could tell me now, so-so I could do it while-while I can. Please let me know.”
Wanda: “There isn’t anything - just knowing you has been all we wanted, Elvis, really. That’s more than enough. Just being your friend. You’ve provided the other side of my life - taught me so much, and made it entertaining. I can’t imagine not knowing you, hearing about your life. We all love you, and gosh, it’s been great.”
Elvis: “Thank you, honey. It’s nice to have friends.”
From a taped conversation in1977:
Wanda: “Tell me something, do you think that by your actions on Earth that you are building up space in heaven?”
Elvis: “Yes. I’m gonna have a mansion, not a cottage or house on a hill - I want a mansion. Streets of gold, rainbows for windows, blue sky for ceilings, stars for light....I want a mansion - it says (in the Bible), “in my Father’s house are many mansions”, if it were not true I would have told you. I don’t want just a room in a mansion, I want the whole damn thing.”
Wanda: “You’re not greedy, huh?”
Elvis: “It’s not a matter of greedy, it’s just what I want.”
Wanda: “Rainbows for windows, huh?”
Elvis: “Yeah, nothin’ prettier than goin’ outside after it rains, and seein’ the sky open up and there it is, pulsating - God’s beauty - nothin’ like it. You know in Alaska they have Northern Lights - man, it was pretty - God was so near, and I could have reached up and touched him. I was so excited, my skin prickled, my whole body was excited. I wanted so much to take off into that beautiful sky and be part of it. I really wanted to take off and be part of it.”
Elvis: (discussing his imminent death in the last month of his life) “We never live long - people like me...I’m only here for a short time on this planet, and then I have to go home - go back and start anew. I told you.”
Wanda: “Yeah - but I don’t want to think of it.”
Elvis: “You have to one of these days - might as well adjust - I have.”
Wanda: “You’re different - you’ve always thought that way - I haven’t and it is terrible to think of not having you - not being able to see or talk with you, Elvis - Don’t you understand that?”
Elvis: “I do - But don’t you understand that I want to go home? I want to be with my people again? It’s not home here - I’ve never felt at ease...I need to go back and recharge - I need to have peace....I think I’m going to enjoy the feeling of death. I want to be awake, to feel every sensation. I used to think I’d be better to be asleep, but now I don’t - I want to be alive, every second feeling it...I think death will be a beautiful thing. I look forward to it. I guess I’m very vain - I don’t want to look bad, to lose my voice, and that would be a worse fate. You know, to drag it out, decaying slowly and having to face it every day. I don’t want that. I want it quick, easy...God isn’t going to be that mean to me - he’s going to make it quick, and I’m going to enjoy it. The sensation of my soul leaving this body - pulling away and leaving it all behind, traveling down that white path of light into the love of the Father’s brilliance. Man, it gives me chills just thinkin’ of it. God’s gonna take me quick, you will see - and pleasant - I’ll be at home...with my friends, and whatever happens, it’ll be taken care of - I know it.”

Elvis to a Friend:

“Life isn’t something you are given because it’s owed to you. It’s given because you need to grow, to learn and to expand your soul and Spirit. Life is often treated as just a time of play and expectation when it ought to be one of service to others; a building often sits empty because people can’t picture its potential. And that’s how many people’s view of life is - empty because they don’t see what it could be. When I get to the point where I can’t be helpful, do something for other people in some way, then I don’t want to stay here any longer. I’d like to fulfill my purpose in life, but if I can’t do everything this time, then I know I’ll have another chance. Life is a continuing circle - beginning with birth, ending with death and then beginning again. I believe that - just as I believe in our Heavenly Father and His Kingdom everlasting. To me that is the most important thing we have to learn, God is - He always will be. Learn that and everything else comes easy.”

“Some people are put on this Earth to help carry the load, the strain; some are here just for show, some are here so that others can come and do what they must do. I’m here to bring as much joy, happiness and comfort to the population as I can, and if this causes me some strife, some personal heart aches, it’s alright, because I have the privilege of seeing the happiness and joy I bring others. It evens out - I get the greatest highs, the best memories, and I have the knowledge that I can truly do something for other people, especially when they need it. So I’m happy, I don’t mind. My petty problems are but tiny thorns on the rose, understand?”

“Elvis is still with us. This man who has moved us so deeply, who saw what was inside of us and released it - even when he may not have known the great change he was creating in our society and in ourselves - has touched us in a way which will never stop.” Author unknown

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