This happened a year ago, my journalling app reminded me.
As I was scrolling through the entries I’ve written a year ago, something caught my eye. I did a double take, and I shuddered at it for the second time in my life. Maybe it was nothing much, or maybe it was something I’ve been oblivious about, but I was then convinced that coincidences are a real thing – incidences like these made me think about them seriously.
On this day, a year ago, I went to a public library, unplanned. I browsed through the shelves and casually decided on a book to bring it home. At night, as I flipped through the pages, on the introduction section, I was shocked. It was today’s date imprinted on it, just 36 years ago.
There it wrote, ” On January 13, 1982, a tragedy occurred just outside Washington, D.C. More than six inches of snow fell at Ronald Reagan International. The airport was closed for most of the morning and reopened at noon. Air Florida Flight 90 had already been severely delayed when the captain had to make a choice about whether or not to take off… “. It was about the tragedy where the airplane crashed into the 14th Street Bridge across the Potomac River in Washington, immediately after takeoff in a severe snowstorm.
It obviously got to me; I was a little creeped out, but then I was amazed. Had a hard time deciding on how I was feeling about this coincidence, and then I settled for the latter: amazement. It still amazes me today, how out of all the books, and out of all the days in a year, it happened just right on this day, exactly 36 years ago.
I didn’t take note of the title of the book (still new to journalling at that time), nor could I remember whether I’ve finished reading that book. What stayed with me was the date of the tragedy that struck Washington 37 years ago and took 78 lives with it and the coincidence that happened a year ago.
Maybe coincidences are meant to be reminders in life, a little nudge to attract our attention to somewhere it needs to be, a remembrance of the past, an indication of the future. Or it might be nothing at all.
Tonight we grieve for those who lost their lives to this unfortunate tragedy. It’s the only thing that we could do: to remember.