The games of childhood can bring back wonderful memories. Times gone by in a world that too has changed drastically. It is amazing at times how any of us survived those days, when children ran and played without much supervision at times. Our childhood weekends were spent with our cousins who were most certainly also our best friends. Those days were filled with love, laughter and games of hide and seek, kick the can and tag.
The games provide wonderful memories, yet also moments of protection from guardian angels watching over us. I remember vividly, one such game of hide and seek. I must have been around six years old at the time. We were happily playing in our yard and finding new places in which to hide from my brothers and my cousins as they searched for us. It was a sunny summer day and I remember the excitement as I most certainly found the best spot ever in which to hide. Surely no one would ever find me.
As my cousin started counting we took flight to our destinations. Excitedly I ran as fast as I could around the side of the house and into our back yard. Under the tree sat our tent trailer and I was headed straight for it and close on my heels behind me was my twin brother whom I grabbed and asked for his help with my hiding spot.
Quickly I climbed up on the front of the trailer, lifted open the door to the ice chest and raced inside. I knew this would be the best spot that no one would find me in. As I lowered myself in the ice box, I saw my older cousin Donald look my way as I climbed in. Donald must have been ten or eleven at the time. As I slipped inside, my twin brother quickly shut the lid behind me as he then raced off to find his perfect spot to hide.
Excitedly I sat in that dark, hot ice box outside listening to my brothers and my cousins run around it looking for me. No one could ever find me! I won! I listened as they gave up searching for me one by one and the game ended.
Minutes passed away as I pushed up on the lid to get out and revel in my victory. My enthusiasm quickly vanished as fear flooded over me, the door would not open! I was trapped! Anxiously I began pounding on the lid, sweat dripping down me as I sat crying and alone in the dark, trapped and unable to leave. No one heard me and they had all gone off to play something else. I was left behind and alone in that ice box as fear washed over me of being trapped inside. How soon I regretted this choice to hide in as I could hear my playmates running around playing something else, yet realizing none of them could hear my cries. Sobbing, I sunk into my resting place certain I would never escape.
After what seemed hours, yet in reality was only about twenty minutes, to my surprise, the lid opened and I saw Donald’s face staring down at me as he reached to lift me out. Overcome with relief and joy, I grabbed a hold of his hand and climbed our as fast as I could. I was soaking wet with sweat and tears yet so overcome with emotion I could only cry.
Apparently my mother had begun asking everyone where I was. My mom had noticed that I was missing and began looking for me. When she asked my cousin Don if he had seen me, he said that the last place he had seen me was awhile ago climbing in the trailer. He ran and lifted open the door to the ice box and found me crying in the dark box.
The ice box had a latch on the door that prevented me from opening it on the inside. That ice box latch was removed that night, never to be used again.
This event has altered my life forever. I am certain beyond any doubt in Guardian Angels and the daily involvement in our lives. I am forever indebted and grateful to my cousin for him being there for me. I am also claustrophobic as a result of that hot dark ice box.