Living with an alcoholic and an abusive husband was an unending nightmare. As usual Gary was drunk and angry on top of that. I don't remember now what had triggered the anger, but he was angry as a hornet and was chasing me around the house. I ran to the kitchen where we had a long oval-shaped table. I ran around this table--round and round I went, Gary at my tail, almost catching me. I ran faster and faster. Then he changed his direction to counterclockwise, hoping to trick me and catch me. But, I concentrated on the direction changes he made and changed my directions accordingly. My siblings and I used to do this a lot--chasing one another around a table back home years ago when we were playing. It was fun then; it was child play. But now, with Gary, it was a get-away-or-die situation.

I was out of breath, and I couldn't run anymore. I grabbed a chair and held it up as a buffer to shield him from me. The chair was heavy, and it accidentally fell on his face. This broke his glasses, and a piece of glass cut his face. He was bleeding profusely. While he tended his wound, I took advantage of the lull in the storm, and ran out of the house, got in the truck, and drove off. I had no destination in mind. I just wanted to get away.

In my haste to get away, I left the house without my son Michael. Where was Michael when Gary was chasing me around the table? I didn't remember seeing him anywhere. Now, I was worried sick. My stomach was hurting. My hands were shaking, and I was sweating heavily. If Michael were back at the house, there was no telling what Gary would do to him to get even with me. In the past Gary had spoken threats of what he would do to my son as a way to get back at me. These threats sent chills up my spine and made me realize that I was dealing with someone evil, someone possessed with demons.

Yet, I couldn't go home after what had happened. I knew Gary would kill me. I decided to stop at a phone booth and call the police. By now, the Police were very well acquainted with the abuse situation in our home. Just recently, they were at the house in response to a call from a concerned neighbor. Gary had been drinking and causing problems.

The Police came, three or four of them, with guns drawn and cautiously running for cover behind the mulberry trees--a scene that should be on the TV and movie screens, not in our front yard! They didn't know for sure if the madman in the house was armed. Crouched behind the safety of the mulberry trees, they pointed their guns at our house. I was scared that something would go wrong--that someone would make a wrong move, that the guns would go off, and someone would get killed. Gary didn't have a gun, and the Police didn't shoot, but the scene was frightening especially for a little kid who found himself caught in the middle of an abusive home situation and powerless to do anything about it.

I was carried away with my thoughts and failed to spot a phone booth. I would stop at the next one. I drove the truck slower concentrating on finding a phone booth. I was looking on both sides of the streets and careful not to hit the vehicle in front of me. There were no phone booths. I kept driving and thinking: 'Where are the phone booths when you need them?' I debated whether to turn back or drive on. I decided to drive on. After a while I spotted one up ahead on the left. I slowed the truck and turned in at a parking lot and parked the truck by the phone booth. My hands were shaking as I dug in my purse for coins. I got out of the truck and walked to the phone booth. "Mom, Mom!", a familiar voice was coming from somewhere. Again, "Mom, Mom!" I looked across the street. Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles it was Michael!

But what in the world was Michael doing across the street several miles from our house? I couldn't figure it out at the moment, but I let out a prayer of praise and thanksgiving. What a wonderful Heavenly Father I have. His proper timing--the right time and the right spot for me and Michael to meet--how incredible! How He orchestrates the events in our lives for our good is just phenomenal!

What had happened was while Gary was chasing me around the table, Michael was frightened that he would hurt me as he had done many times in the past. He ran to our church and academy several miles away to let, whoever he found there, know about the danger I was in at home.

I was so happy to have my son with me safe and sound. We hugged each other right there by the phone booth in the middle of downtown Yuma. While this had been just an ordinary day for most people in Yuma, it had been to us a most extraordinary day--a blessed and glorious day. We were basking in the sunshine of God's smile for He had so arranged every little detail of this saga to bring about our safe getaway and our glad reunion.

River to Cross Midi