A facebook status sparked my memory of this story.
My dad is not a small man. He's tall and muscular and fast. He's also a "people person." He makes friends quickly and he has an exceptional ability to be completely aware of everything around him. He notices small details, is intuitive, and my mom and I have often said that he would have made a fabulous detective.
My dad's alarm clock is set to go off at 4:30 every single morning. Most mornings he's up before it ever rings, and he's out the door at 5:00. There is very little variation in my dad's morning routine. This is the case now and it was the case then -on the morning he didn't wake up on his own, and his alarm clock didn't go off.
Part of my dad's routine back then was to stop at a specific Circle K on his way into work for his morning paper and soda. He'd arrive at that same Circle K every morning around the same time, -o' dark thirty when most of the world is still soundly sleeping. Every morning it was the same woman working the counter -I forget her name, but I'm sure he hasn't. They'd visit for a minute while she rang him up, then he'd be on his way. This was the way it went for years.
On that morning, the morning that he somehow slept in and the alarm didn't ring, he got to the Circle K a bit late. As he pulled up, police officers were taping off the area and wouldn't let him in the store. They explained that the woman who was working the counter had been shot. Further information revealed that she had been shot in the exact window of time that my dad would have been there had it been a normal day. It turned out her angry and violent ex-boyfriend was the one who shot her and there is just no way my dad would have stood by.
It's one of those, "What ifs" that can leave you cold and shaking a bit, but we're certain that Divine Intervention kept him sleeping and kept his alarm from ringing.