Listening

6 Apr

by Andrea Kelton

When I was in the second and third grades, we lived in a duplex on Detroit’s Greiner Street. A cyclone fence divided our backyard from the alley. Rats infested the neighborhood. I couldn’t help watching rats run along the house and into a hole under our brick front stoop.

I was walking home from my friend’s house one afternoon when I heard a very strong voice in my head telling me to go around the block and use the front door. I NEVER used the front door! My usual route would take me down the alley, through the backyard and in the side door. I couldn’t figure out WHY I should change my routine. But I did.

Upon entering my house, I saw my mother frantically pacing at the dining room window anxiously watching for me to come home my usual way. I joined her at the window, looked outside and saw our swing set entirely covered with rats. The red chrome bars looked like it was wearing a brown fur coat. I stood frozen in disbelief.

Being raised Catholic, I believe in guardian angels. My Guardian Angel spoke to me that summer day. And seven year old Andrea listened. As an adult, I continuously ask for guidance. And I receive lots of messages. But I’ve forgotten how to listen. When will I allow myself to recapture the wisdom of my youth?

 

Andrea Kelton was diagnosed with uveitis in 1974. Today she lives in Chicago and teaches Adult Basic Education at Literacy Chicago. She attends a weekly memoir writing class, “Me, Myself and I” taught by author Beth Finke.

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4 Responses to “Listening”

  1. audreydemmitt April 7, 2014 at 12:40 PM #

    Andrea, such vivid and succinct writing! You captured the story in an efficiency of words, yet effectively made my skin crawl! Now you must try to apply your talent to something a bit more pleasant than rats!! ha ha Well done!

  2. Andrea Kelton April 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM #

    Dear Audrey,
    Thanks for your comment! I have a story posted on January 24, 2014, that’s a little lighter.

  3. barbara goldman April 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM #

    As always, you have such a straight forward, economical style yet manage to capture the feeling you experienced so long ago! I have no trouble imagining your experiences through your thoughtfully prepared words. You don’t take anything for granted, finding meaning in even the most mundane seeming events. I think there’s a lesson there! We are who we become because of what we choose to notice.
    You are gifted girl!!

  4. bethfinke April 27, 2014 at 9:17 AM #

    You mentioned in memoir class the other day that your work is published in Vision Through Words. This rainy Sunday morning gave me a chance to come back to this blog and check it out. What a delight to see (okay, hear!) your writing here. Keep up the good work, Andrea.

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