No Rational Explanation

No Rational Explanation

Over the years I have written quite a bit about the strange occurrences that have cropped up in relation to my father. This morning I went to shoot a campaign endorsement video for my friend Michelle and I ended up with another mind boggling connection. As we were waiting for her pastor to show up, we were chatting and she brought up the Alston family in relation to some campaign event she was telling me about. Harry Alston, who is about my age, was hit by the Boston College men’s basketball team bus on the same evening that my father was hit by a car while crossing the street to go to the Boston College UNC basketball game. I know this because both events were listed in the article that was mostly about my father’s death. I told Michelle about my father, and the connection to Harry’s death. It turns out that shortly after the accident, she had seen Harry’s body covered with a sheet on the side of the road. I then asked if she knew Doug and Darren Parrish. I grew up with them, playing rec-league basketball, etc. A couple of days after my father’s accident, Doug Parrish came by my house to tell me that he was one of the first responders on the scene. There was something comforting about knowing that he had been there. Michelle didn’t recall knowing them, and just then her pastor showed up to film his endorsement so we didn’t continue the conversation.

After her pastor left, we drove over to the Pritchard Street apartments where she had grown up. We walked around the space, planning how to shoot her statement. When we got back to her car, an official city truck was pulling up to take away some furniture. The driver was very friendly and wanted to know what we were shooting. Michelle quickly asked for his vote. The driver – with a bold name tag that read Derrick – asked if she knew Ted Parrish, his grandfather. “Oh yes!” she replied. That’s when it struck me that he might be Doug or Darren Parrish’s son – the men we had just been discussing 20 minutes earlier. “Yeah, my father Doug was a fireman. He retired a couple of years ago,” Derrick confirmed. I hadn’t mentioned Doug or Darren in a very long time, and not 20 minutes after talking about Doug’s presence at my father’s accident, I found myself talking to his son, whom I had never met, in an empty parking lot. I explained my connection and asked him to say hello to his father for me.

I don’t know exactly what the universe was telling me in this moment. I’ll tell you this though, I’d be a fool if I didn’t spend some time trying to listen.

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