We sat around the table after dinner, reminiscing. I recalled the time a friend of mine scared my little brother and his friend, who were home alone. Mom and Dad had an invitation out. Before I left for a youth group sing, I wrote down the number where I could be reached. “Call me if you need anything.”
About half an hour into our evening, the phone rang at the home where we met. “That’s for me,” I said as I walked toward the telephone. Sure enough, it was little Bob.
“We’re scared,” he started out. “Mark and I are sitting on the couch with the big black scissor.”
“What are you doing?”
“Telling each other ghost stories.”
“Well, cut it out.”
I continued, my heart touched by the picture of these two youngsters sitting side by side with a big black scissor as their protection. That in itself was frightening.
“Do you want me to come home?”
“Well,” said Bob’s young voice, “I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.”
“I’ll be home in five minutes,” I responded as I pulled out my car keys. I chuckled as I told Jim what had happened and that I was heading home.
I pulled into the driveway and walked into the house to pull two little boys into my arms. I put the big scissor out of the boys’ reach, put my pj’s and long robe on and calmed them with (what else) chocolate cake and ice cream. Suddenly both boys’ eyes widened and they pointed outside. “I heard something,” one said.
“Stay right here,” I demanded. Then I took the big black scissors and went out the front door – a pathetic figure walking past the bushes brandishing this crazy tool of destruction. “Who’s out here?”
I reentered the house and the boys were jumpy. “Up there,” and they pointed to the stairway. Now I was getting scared. I slowly walked up the steps, telling the boys to stay where they were. (Why didn’t I just call the police?) As I walked past my parents’ bedroom, Jim jumped out and grabbed me from behind.
“Do you know how close you got to being stabbed by a big, dull scissor?” I asked. “Don’t you ever scare these boys again. You can scare me (yeah, right–like I’m invincible), but not them. Now YOU calm them down.”
Jim settled the boys and put them to bed.
Memories–this a fond and funny one in retrospect; some are painful; some heartwarming. But all are a part of the fabric of our lives. This one showed me my own God-given protective instinct over those I love. It also taught me something about the value of forgiveness and communication and laughter with a friend who might terrify my little brother but then spend time calming him and helping him feel secure again.
What memories do you carry?
Do they set you free or do they hold you back?