Slowly snowflakes slide out of the smooth clouds. 9-year old Joanie watched from her penthouse window, on the 92nd floor of the Roosevelt Towers condos. She was sure she was watching the first snowflakes. She curled up in the window seat and enjoyed seeing the flakes before millions of people below, on Parliament Ave.
Mary was busy whirling cake mix in the mixer, for Joanie’s brother’s 16th birthday.
“I’m cold” Joanie called to the cook.
“Well, put that throw around you” Mary said, “I’m not going to stop this cooking right now to fiddle with that thermometer.”
Joanie pulled the throw around her legs and went on with her snow watching. The sun began to set and it looked like it was going to be in the colors of the pinks. There was purple, some plum, now magenta. It was changing quickly. More clouds were coming in and more snowflakes were falling.
Joanie’s brother, Carl, had a birthday on January 1st. How lucky, to have your birthday be New Year’s Day. He always said it was a pain in the neck, but Joanie couldn’t see how. Every time he was asked when his birthday was, he got a lot of attention because people said “You were born on New Year’s Day!!!”
As Joanie turned back to the window, she thought the sun was in an odd place. It seemed to be higher in the sky, not going down at all, but at her eye level. It should have been so bright that she couldn’t look at it, but she could. As she looked into the light, she realized it wasn’t the sun, but something else, suspended in air and she heard a voice come from it.
“Joanie, you’re going to have to pay attention” it said.
“Why?” Joanie asked.
“Because what I’m going to tell you is very important.”
“O.K.” Joanie said.
The voice from the light went on, “Go and tell Mary that as soon as she finishes mixing the cake, she should call her son. He’s not feeling well. He’s going to be alright if she calls him very soon.”
“O.K.” Joanie said, sitting still, waiting to hear more. She was so excited about the light in front of her.
“Go ahead Joanie and tell Mary” the angel said. For that’s what it was.
Joanie jumped up off the window seat, but turned back to keep her eyes on the bright light.
“Stop that jumping!” Mary shouted from the kitchen.
“I know, but there’s someone here.” Said Mary as the light seemed to shoo her away and the voice repeated, “Go ahead Joanie, go tell Mary.” She tore herself away from the big window and ran into the kitchen.
“Stop that running in the house.” Mary said, as she stopped the cake mixer, “What’s the matter with you today…jumping, running…”
“Mary!” Joanie put both her hands up to stop Mary talking and to give her very important message, “you must call your son, Leroy. He is not well and you must call him.”
“What are you…?” Mary started.
Joanie was ready for her, “An angel. An angel came to me at the window and told me that you have to call your son, that he is not well, but he will be O.K. if you call right away.”
“O.K., O.K. chil’” Mary said.
Mary knew God, Jesus was a friend of hers and she knew He spoke to His children in a lot of ways. She reached into her apron pocket and pulled out her cell phone, flipping it open in one fell swoop. Automatically, she pressed the number for her only child, Leroy, who had just turned 51. As she waited for him to pick up, she thought about how proud she was of him, that he had gone to college and had a great business and didn’t have to work for other people like her and his dad.
“Yes, Momma, how are ya’?” Leroy answered.
“I’m good. Wondering what this little chil’, Joanie is talking about…”
“Oh” Leroy groaned, “Oh my, what was that?”
“What is it son?” Mary asked. Joanie jumped up and down with glee, “the angel said he would be O.K. Don’t worry Mary.”
“A real sharp pain in my chest” Leroy said.
“Oh my God! Are you home?”
“Yes” he moaned.
“I’m calling 911 to send an ambulance over there. Stay on the phone; I’m going to use the house phone.”
“I’m sure it’s O.K. Momma” Leroy groaned.
“No, I have another Word. If you can move, get some of that aspirin out of the medicine cabinet and put it under your tongue.”
“O.K.” he answered. “But I’m still able to stand.”
“Praise God, just do as I said.” “Hello” Mary now switched over to the house phone and told the 911 operator what was happening and Leroy’s address.
Before Joanie knew it, she was in her winter gear, being pulled down the halls of Roosevelt Towers behind Mary towards the elevators.
“Since no one’s home, you’ll have to come with me” Mary, the family cook, said to her.
“Are we going to the hospital?” asked Joanie.
“We’ll go to the apartment first and see how he is and if the ambulance has got there.”
“The angel said he’ll be alright, Mary.”
“I believe you chil’. I believe you.” Mary said even though she had a worried tone in her voice.
By the time they got to Leroy’s apartment, the ambulance had him inside and was starting up their sirens to drive away.
“How exciting” Mary thought.
The policeman standing there knew Mary, “He’s O.K. Miss Mary. They’re taking him to Holy Cross.”
“Thank you Sam. I’ll follow.”
Much later at the hospital, in Leroy’s hospital room, he was snug and safe, tucked in. He had had a mild heart attack, but he was resting well. Mary’s husband and Leroy’s dad, John, had come and everyone was calm. Through the hospital room window looking out to the hallway, Joanie saw her Mom and Dad rushing to the room.
“Hi darling” Daddy picked her up and they both hugged her. Then they hugged Mary and asked about Leroy.
Joanie tugged at their coats, anxious to tell them all about her adventure and about the angel of Parliament Ave. that came to save Leroy.
Copyright © 2008 Carroll Ayo Durodola