The first time I can remember having a premonition I was 7 years old. We were on a family vacation to Ludington, MI. Every August we spent the month at a rustic cabin on the beach by Lake Michigan. I had hurt my neck jumping off the steps down to the sandy beach badly enough to cut our vacation short. The day before we had attended a rodeo with lots of horses and Native Americans performing. I was already horse crazy and interested in Native American history, so when I told my parents we needed to leave to go back to the cabin they were quite surprised. I kept telling them something bad was going to happen although I didn’t know what. I was so insistent that we left early and drove back to the cabin.
The next day, when I hurt myself, the local doctor said I had subluxed a vertebra in my upper back and I needed to go home by train instead of by car as soon as possible. My dad arranged for my other to ride with me on the train while my brother would drive home with my dad and our babysitter. I insisted that my 11 year-old brother Creighton go with us on the train. Again this was unusual behavior as we were at the stage of sibling rivalry where we didn’t always get along. To keep me quiet they finally agreed to let Creighton come with us on the train. Even I recognized that my behavior was unusual, but I just knew that something was going to happen and Creighton had to be with us instead of in the car.
My mother, Creighton and I had an uneventful train ride home. Our pediatrician allowed me to stay at home with a rigged up traction at the foot of my bed until the displaced vertebra was back in place. Then we got word that my father had been in a head on collision on the drive home. He always insisted we wear a seat belt, which saved his life along with the steering column absorbing much of the crash. He had a couple of broken ribs but that was it. The baby sitter was in the back seat and had a few broken bones but both were going to be fine. The seat where my brother would have been sitting was destroyed, totally smashed in. Most likely Creighton would have been killed instantly if he had been in the car. My anxiety was gone after learning everyone was going to be okay and my vertebra healed quickly. After 3 days in traction I was allowed to graduate to a cervical collar for the next month and told to take it easy.
There were other occasions when I had a feeling of impending doom about my brother. He and I are not biologically related as we were both adopted, but somehow was always had a very strong connection. My parents never did figure out what to make of my premonitions. It was not something they believed was possible. I think they just figured it was a coincidence. Maybe they were right, but I don’t think so.