“Had the most wonderful surprise last night…..TOBY CAME HOME!!! :)”
This statement was today’s status for one of my Facebook friends, who is actually one of my cousins. The moment I saw Ann’s Facebook status, a memory rushed over me.
The year is 1975. I was in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana. I booked a flight home one weekend, without telling Mom that I was coming home. A friend picked me up at the Pittsburgh airport and drove me home. Some of my blog readers know my friend; my friend’s name was Sherry Pleacher. It was late evening when Sherry and I arrived at my house. I don’t recall seeing any lights inside the house. All the doors were locked, and I didn’t have a key. I wanted to surprise Mom, so I didn’t knock on the door. Instead, I climbed through a window into the house.
Once inside the house I stood still, listening. I didn’t hear any sounds. I remember thinking that Mom must be in bed, asleep. I tiptoed to the telephone, which hung on the wall in the hallway. I can’t remember how I did it but I dialed some number, which made Mom’s telephone ring. I expected Mom to come downstairs to pick up the telephone when she heard it ring. The telephone rang at least a dozen times. Mom didn’t come downstairs to pick up the telephone. I stood still, listening. Again, I didn’t hear any sounds.
I decided to go upstairs. I tiptoed up the stairs. The stairs were wooden. I remember grimacing as I heard creaking with each step. Once upstairs I tiptoed to my parents’ bedroom. Even with the lights off I could tell that Mom wasn’t in bed. I knew Dad had gone to the cabin that weekend. Could Mom have gone with Dad to the cabin? How disappointing! I flew home to surprise Mom, and it was me who got the surprise! Mom wasn’t home…or was she? As these thoughts were going through my mind, I heard something in another bedroom — my old bedroom. The sound was muffled, as though someone was coughing but holding their hands tightly over their mouth.
I tiptoed to my old bedroom, turned on the light, and saw Mom underneath my bed! We were both so happy to see each other! Mom crawled out from under the bed, as fast she could. We hugged each other tightly. Apparently Mom heard me when I first entered the house through the window. That’s when she crept from her bedroom into my old bedroom and proceeded to crawl underneath the bed.