John Schneider Jr. and John Schneider Sr. on Father’s Day 1990
It was 20 years ago today that, while at work in the news room, I got a strange feeling about my 69-year-old father, who was hospitalized in Detroit with what seemed to be a non-life threatening illness. Something told me that I should get to the hospital as soon as possible. After suppressing the urge for a couple of hours, I told my editor, without explaining much, that I had to go. I walked out half-way through a column, and headed east in I-96.
I got to the hospital just as they were discharging my father - not because he was cured, it turned out, but because the doctors had run out of options for treating the effects of a lifetime of heavy smoking.
I took him and mother home, spent a few hours chatting with them, and told my dad I loved him.
"You act like I’m dying or something," he said.
Around midnight my sister phoned to tell me that our father had, indeed, died in his sleep - a week shy of his 70th birthday.
To this day, I remain grateful that I heeded the call and took, what seemed at the time, like an illogical action. Also, the incident convinced me - whether it’s true, or not - that there is more to human existence than we fully understand, and I feel richer for knowing that.