I regularly listen to this podcast, This American Life. Generally I listen while I do my long runs on the weekend, but sometimes I listen while the kids are napping and I am cleaning or attempting to do something domestic. So, mostly while running.
A couple of weeks ago they ran an episode based on coincidences people have experienced. Now, I do believe that coincidences happen, but I have never been one to ascribe some sort of meaning to chance happenings. That being said, I’ll tell you about a really neat coincidence that happened to my family.
My Dad worked for most of his adult life for Union Pacific Railroad, driving trains from one location to the other. He would be gone for a few days at a time, and when my brother and I were children he would bring us back candy after each trip. When my brother, who is 2 years older than me, started high school, Dad took a day job so that he would be home for football and basketball games during our high school years. Trains have always been a big thing in our family – we have train Christmas ornaments, train piggy banks, and train nicknacks of all sorts.
In October of 2004, Dad passed away from cancer. After the graveside portion of the funeral we were walking through the cemetery looking at the graves of our other relations when all of a sudden we heard a loud and distinct train whistle. All of us looked up and smiled, and someone, I can’t remember who, remarked on the train being a sign of some sort.
Like I said, I don’t really believe that it meant anything special, but it was a sort of nice highlight to an other wise depressing day. Most importantly, it lets me look back on that day and smile a little bit.
ETA: My Mom informed my that two train whistles blew during the day. The first was just before the preacher was to pray, and the second as I’ve told above. I don’t remember the first at all!