The mother was reading in her bedroom. The son was on the lower level of the split ranch home working with his films. It was his birthday. His sister was busy at her job in the deli this Sunday. The birthday cake was completed. All was well.

Sniff sniff. Must be the furnace working thought the mother. It was the first week in November and the heat had just been turned on two days ago for the winter season.

Sniff sniff. Really smells terrible thought the mother. She continued with her reading.

Sniff sniff. Cough cough. Something is wrong. She looked over to the heat vent and saw smoke coming through it. Rushing to the lower level, she was met with smoke filled rooms. Concerned about her son’s safety, she managed to get to his work room and threw open the door. The room was not only filled with smoke but flames as well.

“It’s okay, Mom. I’ve got in under control.”

“Yeah, right!”

They both struggled putting out the flames. She saw that one of his newly purchased very expensive lights was totally destroyed. Things like that never bothered her as long as he was safe. Other than some singed hair, he seemed to be all right.

Years later the mother would remind him (as mother will do) of the incident.

“Yes, and remember it was my birthday and you called me up later to eat cake. I told you I wasn’t very hungry and you really yelled at me. You said you made that cake and after I practically put the whole house on fire, I was going to eat it if you had to stuff it down me.”

The mother didn’t remember that part.