An attentive daughter is summoned by angels to ensure that her mother is safe at home.
Apr 11, 2012
Mom was in great shape for 76, but still I worried. She’d lived with my brother for years, and I was grateful I could rely on him to watch over her. Knowing he was right there for her put my mind at ease. Then he went on vacation.
“I’m fine,” Mom said when I called her that first day from work. “It’s actually nice having the place all to myself.” No matter how confident and comfortable Mom sounded, I couldn’t stop thinking of all the things that could go wrong. What if she caught a chill? Or got locked out? Or fell?
Then there was her health. What if she forgot to take her blood pressure medicine? Or the insulin for her diabetes?
I dropped by to check on her on my way home. “You’re fussing,” Mom said as I double-checked that the windows were all locked.
“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” I said.
“I’m okay,” Mom said. “Go home and rest.”
I made my rounds throughout the house, alert to anything that might cause Mom a problem. Finally I made sure there was orange juice in the fridge. Mom would need it if she detected a drop in her blood sugar.
“There’s plenty,” she insisted. “You’re worrying too much.”
I bent down to give her a kiss. “All right, Mom,” I said. “I’m working late tomorrow night, but I’ll come by early the next morning.”
“Don’t worry about me,” she said. “I can look after myself.” But I didn’t like Mom having to look after herself. If I couldn’t be there, I wished someone else would be. I said a prayer on the way home: Please send angels to watch over Mom.
The next day at work I was taking a break in an empty conference room, enjoying the peace and quiet.
“Barbara! Go check on your mother!”
I sat straight up in my chair and looked around the empty room. Where had that message come from? It wasn’t a stray thought. Or me just worrying about Mom in general. This was a command from someone else. One I couldn’t ignore.
I ran to my supervisor. “I can’t explain it, but I have a feeling there’s something wrong at my mother’s.”
“Go on,” she said. “It’s all right. I understand.”
As I drove to Mom’s all the things I had ever worried about ran through my mind. Maybe her blood sugar was low. Or she passed out. What if someone had broken into the house? Finally I pulled into her driveway.
The moment I walked into the house I smelled smoke. “Mom!” I called out. “Mom!” I looked in the living room. She wasn’t there. Then I saw the fire on the hallway carpet, near some electrical cords. It was small but getting bigger. I grabbed a sheet and smothered the blaze, stamping on it with my feet.
The fire had just gone out when Mom opened her bedroom door. “What’s the commotion out here?”
“The hall carpet was on fire!” I said. “Did you smell the smoke?”
“No,” she said. “I was taking a nap. What are you doing here, anyway? I thought you weren’t coming until tomorrow.”
I investigated and found the wire that had started the fire. It might have caused serious damage if I hadn’t caught it when I did.
I told Mom about the warning I’d gotten at work. The message I’d heard whispered loud and clear in my ear. I’d asked angels to watch over Mom, and they didn’t let me down. I suppose Mom didn’t have the place completely to herself after all.
“Now will you stop worrying so much?” Mom wanted to know. I supposed I could.
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