Last Friday night my mother called me at an unusually late 11:30pm. I could hear them talking but not to me and there is a constant high pitched beeping going on. Then mom finally comes to the phone and says in a panic,” Jackie, I can’t see anything and the house is burning down! My house is on fire! Oh God it’s burning down, I can’t see!” Now I connect that the beeping is the smoke alarm. I started screaming GET OUT OF THERE! I have never felt such panic. She is in the house wimpering and repeating that the whole house is burning down. I am now yelling to get out. Now, Monica is awake and panicking too. We are trying to help over the phone, panicking, getting dressed and calling the fire department. I asked where are you now? “I’m on the front porch!” Well, that’s better but still not good. I yell, Get over to Agnes’ house away from there! Is everybody out? She said yes they were all out. I say a thank you prayer and tell Moni they are all out and that I hear the sirens coming. Then I hear this woman, my mother, say, somebody go in and get my hair brush. WHAT!!!!!!!! Is she MAD!!!!!!!! OMG! She’s lost her mind! A few more words from me as you can imagine. I hung up called my nephew and by the time we got there the fire was out and the firemen were gone. Luckily the considerable structural fire damage was contained to the kitchen and the firemen did not use water and their axes. Another prayer of thanks. But of course the smoke damage was everywhere. I got mom calmed down at her neighbors and Moni talked to my dad, he was ok and talking to another neighbor. My nephew Nolen, arrived and was great with his grandparents as always. He is also an insurance claims adjuster and speaks that lingo. He handled everything. ANOTHER thank you prayer!
My sister was heating some oil for french fries and fell asleep and damn near burned down her mother’s house, to say the least. Needless to say no one was very happy with her. We were there all night cleaning up the mess as best we could.
Mother’s Day we had planned dinner but now the kitchen was a disaster, the stove was out of it and microwave looked like some kind of misshaped monster. My nephew’s wife Aisha, cooked enough food for an army and they lugged it all over on Sunday. I love that girl. It was, despite everything, a wonderful day of family and fun. One more thank you prayer. My 2 year old nephew NJ, who is very enthused about his new skill, saying his blessing before eating, (it’s so funny) insists we do it several times during dinner. I guess it was appropriate for that day.