To celebrate the squeaky-clean beginning of yet another year, I'm going to regale you with the tale of our New Year's Eve of a few year's past . . .
It's a heart-stopper.
Really . . .
We had spent the evening, much like millions of other people, happily celebrating with friends.
Eating wonderful food that someone else prepared. (My personal favourite.)
Playing games: Charades. Word scramble. Card contests.
Sometime shortly after midnight, we senior citizens called it a successful, wonderful night and left for our respective homes.
Husby and I were safely in bed by 2:00 AM.
All was well.
All was not to remain well.
Just as we were both deeply asleep, someone pounded on our front door.
In my half-awakened state, it sounded frantic to me.
“Grant! Something's wrong!” I screamed, leaping from bed and switching on lights as I sped down the hall.
Mentally, as I ran, I tallied where my kids and grandkids were. Who had stayed in for the evening and who might still be out.
One family, I knew, had taken their little girls to a friends' party. They could conceivably still be out.
What's wrong? What's wrong?
I reached the front door, heart racing and breathing heavily.
I peeked out.
I opened the door. The front step was echoingly empty.
I stepped out and peered around.
The night was quiet.
The street deserted.
I came back inside and shut the door.
Then I peeked out again.
What on earth . . .?
By this time, Husby was also up.
Doing a circuit of the windows and doors.
We looked at each other.
Did another circuit.
Still no one.
Puzzled, I headed back to bed while Husby locked up again.
He soon joined me and almost immediately dropped back to sleep.
For the next two hours, heart still racing, my mind spun through every terrible, horrible thing that could ever befall a family that then numbered twenty-five.
It was a long night.
We survived it.
I mention it because I know you were worried.
None of the terrible, awful things happened.
And I know that, because this crazy mom/grandma phoned everyone as soon as it was light the next morning.
Two facts remain.
- Someone pounded on our door that night. The reasons remain obscure.
- Somewhere in our bed remains my heart, scared out of me the moment someone did said pounding.
Happy New Year.