On the most glorious clear Saturday in New York, it was September 11th, 9 years after that fateful horror we suffered in this city. It was 7:30 PM, and I had just returned home from a fun New Jersey barbeque. I was feeling so mellow that I was considering not attending a big birthday bash in Manhattan later in the night. For once in a long time, I just wanted to chill. I decided to follow my instincts and give myself one night without an agenda. So I got cozy and began to enjoy the quiet, choosing to do some writing. It was absolutely delicious to be alone!
My sister called an hour into my solitude. She said that she had just found bargain airline fares to visit my niece in Arizona, who is a recent mom to triplets. I had been longing to finally get to see my tiny niece-ettes, but my trips lately all required that I be in LA and nowhere else for work. This was a great opportunity, and I told her to book us for a few days in November. She said that if she had been unable to reach me this evening, she would have made her plans independent of me so she could lock in the cut-rate airfare. So it was a good thing I followed my instincts to stay home that night.
After we hung up, I continued my quiet solace. The phone rang again. “What’s going on?” I thought. Most Saturday nights, I never get calls because everyone always assumes I’m out. But this night was different. Now it was my girlfriend who lives in Palm Springs. She had been visiting her family in LA for the weekend, and was driving the 2 hours to return home. While in the car, she listened to KFI 640 AM radio, where Tim Conway, Jr. was interviewing film director, James Ronald Whitney with whom I appeared on HBO’s Emmy-award winner, “Telling Nicholas.” The documentary detailed how I guided a family, 9 years ago, to tell their 7-year-old (Nicholas) that his mother died in the World Trade Center bombing. The director described how he summoned the aid of his friend, Dr. Gilda Carle, to counsel the family during their pain. My girlfriend was so startled to hear my name, she almost crashed the car. She’s a new friend, and she had no idea I had done this movie or any other. So she immediately called me.
Being in New York, I wasn’t familiar with this radio station or its host. I Googled the show and called them. The producers put me right through. The host and I were on the phone for about 20 minutes. I explained that because I had lost touch with the director, he never knew that Nicholas and his father reached out to me over the years because they were so touched by the help I gave them during that tumultuous time. I tried to reach the director, but I could not find him because he had moved out of New York. I wanted to tell him that Nicholas had tried to commit suicide several times when he couldn’t find me. Being an older boy now, and adept at using the Internet, he found my website where we were finally able to make the connection. It was great to hear from him, and I told him I had often wondered how he was doing.
I had heard that the director had moved to California, but my attempts to reach him there did not pan out. But as a result of my being on air discussing my role in this 9/11 movie, the radio show gave me the director’s contact information, and I will try to reach him again.
What a night! If I had not observed what I call “the choreography of the gods,” and I had gone to that birthday party against my instincts, I would have missed both these opportunities. The lesson for us all is simple: follow your gut even in the darkness of not understanding why. Our gut always has insight that our conscious mind can only wish it did!! These days, I listen and heed the forces that know better than I.
How about you? How often are you influenced by your gut’s directions??