Saturday, February 2, 2008
I love my angels.
I love the way they watch over me and my children.
I love they way they keep us safe.
Even when we have no idea that we are in danger.
Thursday night, they were working overtime.
I came home late, after an evening at a friend’s house. Parking my car in the driveway, I paused a moment to enjoy the quiet. The rain had stopped, but the air was still wet. The clouds parted just enough for me to see two stars. I wondered if they had been the first two stars in the sky that night, the ones that my youngest son baptizes each night, christening them Sam and Twinkle.
The house was still. The bedroom windows were dark and I knew that each of my children must be deep in Dreamland.
Down the street, I heard my neighbor dragging his garbage can to the curb for the morning trash pick-up. It reminded me that I still needed to put out my recycling.
I turned and walked up the steps to the front door. Opening the door, I knew immediately that something was wrong.
The house smelled hot, like skin that’s been in the sun too long.
I glanced quickly at the heat vents and sniffed the air again.
No noise. No smoke. No flames. No excessive heat. Just the smell of summer car hot.
As I headed toward the kitchen, the quiet was replaced by the sound of empty air burning.
Reaching the back of the house, I found darkness that was illuminated only by the hood light over the stove. It shined like a spotlight on the teakettle standing center stage, silently screaming.
The stainless steel skin was no longer shiny, rather it had become pock marked and scarred black. The air was filled with agony.
I rushed over and turned off the licking flame, but the screaming didn’t stop. I reached down to lift the lid and found that it was firmly soldered in place. I turned on the fan and the screaming stopped as the pain was gently lifted and ushered out into the night.
I left the kitchen and made my rounds of the house, checking on each of my children. Deep breathing came from beneath the mound of pillows and blankets in Bub’s room. Ely’s golden blond hair covered her face, stirring slightly with each breath. Ugly Dolls formed a halo around the head of my littlest, watching over him as he slept.
Assured that everyone was safe, I exhaled. I hadn't realized that I had been holding my breath. The air felt good in my lungs. I turned toward my room. I reached over and flipped off the light switch and, as the hallway turned dark, I’m sure I heard a little flutter of wings.
Smiling, I looked up and whispered, “Thank you!”