Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Cosmic Messages

Michele Collins

Many times, I have replayed events that felt like a cosmic message, a warning, of a life-altering event. My only child, Paul, a 26-year-old recent university graduate, was the joy of my life. I was never particularly overprotective, always encouraging him to go out and find his place in the world.

Yet having raised him as a single Mom, I worried about his welfare and safety. Paul and I were close, sharing music, books, and culture. He had a serious interest in music and once shared a song entitled “Black Eyed Dog” by Nick Drake. The lyrics, he explained, were about death.

Paul had close, lifelong friends, all college-bound after high school. He attended college out of state, so reunions during school breaks were met joyfully by the group. I sometimes complained that no sooner had he walked through the door than his friends would arrive to take him off.

A trip to Aspen, Colorado was planned where the other men had gone before, but Paul, being out of state, hadn’t been. I later learned Paul was ambiguous about going. He did share with me that he was troubled about how his friends had changed and felt the need to distance himself.

One morning, I walked past a cemetery and noticed a large headstone. On top in large letters was the name Paul. A chill passed over me, then seemed to pass. Or so I thought.

Having lived out of state, Paul’s driver’s license needed renewal, so I scheduled a DMV appointment for him. He decided to get up from where he had been sitting to retrieve the driver’s manual from the car to refresh for the test. Once he stood up, a woman crashed into the very spot he had been sitting, seriously injuring all sitting there. My son’s words were, “Well, guess it was not my time to die.”

This all happened within a very short period, but my son died in a plane crash with all his friends in 2001 while attempting to land in Aspen. Were those coincidences? I have wondered.

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