Mere Intuition, Or A Cry For Help?
In September of 2012, I enrolled as a full-time business student at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. At the time, I was sharing a two-bedroom apartment with my grandmother and by November, I became extraordinarily busy with studying for my midterm exams in six subjects. Though the pressure of being so preoccupied on a constant basis became extremely overwhelming, I thankfully never lost sleep, despite feeling borderline incapacitated.
At roughly 3am on a dreary Thursday morning, I was abruptly awoken by the distinguishable sound of apprehensive knocking on the door as well as the faint sound of my grandmother calling out. My initial reaction was that of confusion, as I struggled to decide whether I should answer the door or simply go back to sleep. Since everything had momentarily become quiet once more, I chose the latter, believing the noises were merely imaginary.
I awoke about three hours later and left for school early while my grandmother was still asleep in the adjacent bedroom. When I returned home at around 6pm, my grandmother had a spaghetti dinner prepared for us. She then proceeded to explain her actions the night before. She mentioned that she had a rather intense dream about my great aunt Valerie Davidson, who had recently celebrated her 81st birthday. My grandmother described the dream as being especially vivid, in which she was staying at my great aunt's house and heard her frantically calling out for help. Believing that she was in danger, she immediately sprung from her bed and began banging relentlessly on my great aunt's bedroom door. Still being in a somewhat dormant state and in an overwhelming state of shock, it would appear that she had struggled to differentiate between reality and her subconscious. Upon finally becoming aware of her surroundings, she immediately went back to sleep.
Following the completion of my midterms, we received a call from my great aunt, informing us that she had recently lost her balance and fell over on multiple occasions. Believing these to be a series of minor strokes, we knew she needed our help. About a week before Christmas, we decided to drive from Kingston to my great aunt's house in Whitby in order to clean it. Having the opportunity to visit my great aunt's house after being away for so long was unquestionably one of the best times of my life. We did not suspect, however, that this would be the last time we would visit her house. After New Year's Day, my great aunt's stability issues had become far more severe and she began falling over far more often. After a lengthy hospital visit, the doctors had diagnosed her with a malignant brain tumor and gave her about six weeks to live. She ended up passing away four months later.
The morning of my grandmother's episode has remained largely a topic of our discussions for almost a decade now. Did my grandmother predict my great aunt's terminal illness subconsciously, or did she simply have a disturbing dream involving her only sister and were the following events merely coincidental? One thing is certain: this was not the first time my grandmother had accurately predicted our family members being involved in dangerous scenarios intuitively. One such incident I can vaguely recall occurred in the Spring of 1992.
My brother and I were staying at my paternal grandmother's apartment and the apartment directly above hers had caught fire. The tenant had foolishly fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette and had barely enough time to escape before the fire had spread too far out of control. I remember playing in the guest bedroom when my paternal grandmother frantically rushed us out the door while a Wizard of Oz audio cassette played. We all gathered outside by the rear entrance of the building, and I remember feeling scared as the fire department finally arrived. The upstairs apartment was completely engulfed in flames and we remained outside for around an hour before the fire was extinguished and the fire fighters assured us it was safe to reenter the building.
Just before the fire started, my grandmother was at her house in the adjacent town of Amherstview and was peacefully watching television, when she abruptly began feeling extremely uneasy and an unknown voice in her mind assertively told her that my paternal grandmother, my brother and I were in trouble and that she immediately needed to come over. She heeded the warning and was shocked upon becoming aware of the horrible fire. Prior to my paternal grandmother's passing in October of 2016, we had frequently discussed this incident. Though most would dismiss intuitive warnings as superstitious nonsense, it is undeniable that whenever my grandmother claims to have experienced them, there was always a legitimate reason to acknowledge and respond to the warnings.