I'm not sure I should be sharing this with the board, but after some further thought decided what they hey (some minor details changed or omitted).
My father's father was a train engineer for 40+ years, but he was also an alcoholic (as was my father). I remember when my grandmother died, and he was so drunk that he had no inkling that she was gone until he saw her in the casket, at which point he fell to pieces and tried to hug her. He had gotten cancer already, but her loss probably pushed him into despair, and he followed her a few months later. I was a bit mad at him for making my mom chase him all over town and pick him up from various bars; this had such an effect on me that I vowed never to let a drink slip past my lips, a vow I've now kept for my entire lifetime (aside from my dad letting me sip beer once, which I found vile). As such I didn't go to his funeral (tho now I realized that I should have).
Fast forward 40 years. I end up one day in a session with a boy (7 y/o) named Colin. Now, Colin loved
trains, would spend all his time trying to talk about them and that Thomas the Tank Engine show he loved to watch. He also said some very odd things to me over the time we worked together. I once asked him how long he's been into trains, and he answered "79 years." Another time he said "You owe me, you owe me" in a very serious tone of voice, and later, "Do you remember, Mr. John, do you remember?" I started to suspect around this time; my grandfather died when he was 72: 72+7 = 79. Another teacher noticed him having a conversation with himself once too.
Now I know from my readings to never
to lead the child on and put ideas and false memories into his head, but when I asked Colin to clarify the above statements, he would invariably clam up. Remembering the kinds of things that Tibetans do when they suspect a child is a reincarnate of some lama, I remembered the train set that I inherited from him which was in storage. I got out the big diesel engine and brought it into work. When I brought it out and let him play with it, he was absolutely rapturous
-and I swear the massive grin on his face and the enormous eyes mirrored those of my grandfather when he was running the train set decades ago (tho I could be imagining it or something of course).
I'll also note that I often would think of him, usually when listening to the REM song Driver 8
(which is about trains). And as a BTW, my niece once tried to have a conversation with me when she was 4 about my soulmate (I foolishly didn't try to pump her for information I was so flabbergasted).
So, what do you all think?