I can tell you, with no trepidation or uncertainty, that Paranormal Georgia Investigations is a family.
We charter members started investigating together five years ago. It was in January, 2008, that we all gathered in a restaurant for a meet and greet with a different paranormal group we had been recruited to join. I didn’t know any of these people and was, quite frankly, feeling my “advanced” age of 36. My youngest child was a mere eight months old, the baby weight was hanging on for dear life, mascara and other bits of makeup were but a dream (so was sleep), and the crows were starting to mark up the corners of my eyes each and every night.
Among this rag-tag group of truthseekers was this incredibly spunky college student in her early-early-early 20s. I looked at her (Stefanie) and thought, Oh, what a sweet baby! Yes, I thought that. After 13 years of marriage, three kids, and four jobs I had become an unbearable, sleep-deprived cynic. My husband couldn’t fathom why I would want to join a group that would stay up most nights when all I wanted was sleep. And when I came home to tell him most of the group was made up of college students he rolled his eyes. I’m sure we both thought this would be short-lived.
Our second-ever investigation was at a local salon housed in an old, historic home and we were all excited. This was our first “real” investigation, with clients and everything. No more training because we were on the job! I can remember piling into my car at 1AM, barely awake and yet trying to stay warm so that when our team went back in, we weren’t big human Popsicles. Stefanie’s energy was exuberant and I felt awful for fighting the need to doze off, but I wanted to listen to her, talk to her, and get to know her. I discovered that this ball of energy wasn’t the naive young-un about whom I had made incorrect assumptions. This was a woman who knew who she was, what she was about, and what she wanted out of life. To say that Stefanie is creative, busy, or smart is an understatement. She is a wife, mother, daughter, artist, multiple-business-woman, and ghost hunter. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of her depth.
It’s because of Stefanie I started texting. YES! Stefanie brought me kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I had an iPhone, just a month old, and one day it made a funny noise. A texting noise. And just like that, I became a texting monster. I would joke to my husband that it was because of my ghost hunting friends that I was finally hip.
For the last five years, through thick and thin, ghosts and scary clients, births, marriages, deaths, conferences, and founding Paranormal Georgia Investigations that I realize Stefanie Jones is more than just a friend. Her ideas about the paranormal have shaped many of my own theories and beliefs. Her drive to make PGI an incredibly professional, well-oiled machine has kept me on my toes. I know I make a poor director when compared to her, but it’s because of her work and dedication that all of you see the amazing organization we have become. I hope to carry on where she has left off.
Stefanie, thank you for everything. Thank you for your hard work, your constant questioning, your dedication, and your love and friendship. When I started this journey five years ago, I had hoped simply to quell my fears and anxieties. Not only did I do that, but I gained a family in the process. As you move forward with your life and to new adventures, I’ll miss you at investigations, but I’ll see you at the coffee shop!