Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Shield

"Just take it!" I begged. "It will make you feel better."

She turned her head with a scowl. Slightly feverish lids still had the will power to clamp down and resist. 

"I want dis," she stated. A different bottle was clenched tightly in her fist and she shoved it towards me.

Probiotics. T'would seem I have created a  monster. Telling her that the probiotics would help her body, has suddenly turned on me, when the antibiotics are now refused. I sighed and quickly tried to turn on a different tactic that would not disallow either formula.  


I jumped and turned towards the front door. I could barely see a dark shadow hunched there. 


Again, the insistent hammering came. I cautiously approached the front door, forgetting all about medicine battles. I flicked on the light on the porch and a man emerged from the darkness. 

"Let me in!" he hollered. 

His eyes were wide and had a wild glint to them. A thousand TV detective shows flashed through my mind, as I hesitated and backed away a step. The door was my defense and protector for myself and my children.

"Let me IN!" he yelled again. "Please!"

He looked over his shoulder and squeezed himself towards the door even more. I took a step forward to see what he was shrinking from and saw a dog. Only then did I hear it's insistent barking and see it lunging back and forth in my front yard. 

Now I was torn again. One side of me wanted to save this poor man being attacked by a vicious animal, but another side of my brain whispered caution. Why was the dog barking? Had this young man been trying to break into someone's home? Had he been up to some mischief and the dog knew and was protecting his space? 

The young man again turned to me and flashed a panicked look.

"Please, let me in," he begged as he pulled on the company logo of his coat trying to make me understand that truly he was in trouble and needed help. 

Hesitant, but unwilling to allow more carnage than necessary, I cracked the door open. With panting breath, the poor soul edged into the protection of my home. He explained that he had just been leaving a customer's house a few doors down, when he heard barking. Turning, he had seen a large black shape racing towards him in the dark of night. Not usually one to be afraid of dogs, this time was different. This dog was vicious in its menace and was aimed straight at him. Without another thought, he ran. Mine was the first house he came to. His eyes still focused on the big, black dog that barked and spun mere meters from us.  

He looked at me and said, "I'm sorry I scared you, but I was in a panic."

I nodded and watched the dog snarl and dance. "I would be afraid too", I thought.

"My name's Nathan," he stated. 

I could still see him trembling through his thick overcoat. A shape in the distance drew our attention though. A man was moving up the street towards us, calling as he came. The dog paused to look at the approaching man, but was not yet willing to release his quarry. 

"I have a dog at home," he stated,  "but it's not vicious like that! It would not chase anyone like that."

The other man reached the dog and talked quietly to it, trying to calm it down. 

"Sorry about that, " he yelled towards us. "Hope he didn't scare you."

The dog had scared Nathan, and me through association plenty, but the tension was diffused. The dog jumped and twisted, but finally allowed itself to be leashed by its owner. Only then did Nathan visibly relax some. We watched the dog get led away, then Nathan turned and apologized once more. 

"I am headed straight to my car and not getting out," he declared. 

With that, he was gone. I closed the front door and turned back to the room. My daughter still waited for her medicine where I had left her. Neither she, nor her sister seemed fazed at all by the explosive outbreak that had rocked the house. I went back to my nurse's duties, but my mind dwelt on the incident long after the house was silent for the night. I felt my singleness and vulnerability close around me.  Life was heavy in my hands. A prayer went out to my guardian angels, as I drifted off to sleep with the night wrapped close around me for a shield.


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