Why Had I Come Home?
February 1998

“Why Had I Come Home?” Ensign, Feb. 1998, 65–66

Why Had I Come Home?

It was a busy morning, and I was especially pleased that I was dropping off the last of my children at preschool on time because I had so many tasks on my to-do list. I felt confident that if I hurried I could do most of my errands before I had to return and pick up my child.

As I headed toward my first stop, I had an overwhelming impression to go home. I couldn’t think of any reason to do so and continued on the errand. While en route to my second stop, I again sensed a strong need to return home. I reordered my list of errands and decided to stop by the market, then drive home and check on the house while dropping off groceries.

As I shopped I again felt an urgency to go home immediately. Suddenly I realized these persistent thoughts were not just some unfounded anxiety but a prompting I should heed immediately. I rushed out of the store with my groceries and sped home, wondering if one of the children had been hurt at school or if the house was on fire. I was relieved as I rounded the street corner to see that the house appeared okay, and my relief was even greater when I listened to our phone messages to find all was well.

Feeling suddenly foolish, I went outside to unload the groceries so I could finish my errands. As I was carrying armloads of groceries into the house, I heard a strange sound I could not identify. I set the groceries down and went back outside, but the sound had stopped. As I was going inside with a second load, I heard a strange, pain-filled sound. I put down the groceries and decided to investigate. The sound seemed to come from down the street, so I headed that way.

Suddenly I realized someone was calling for help! I ran down the street and found Helen, a neighbor in her 90s, lying on her driveway in a puddle of cold water that had formed from a spraying hose she held in her hand. There were insects crawling on her, and I realized with a sinking heart that she had been there quite a while. She was begging for help but couldn’t remember what had happened. I turned off the hose, ran into her house, called 911 for help, then grabbed some towels to dry her off while we waited for help.

When the paramedics arrived, they determined that Helen had suffered a stroke and asked how long ago it had happened. Helen couldn’t remember, but I had an idea that it might have been the moment when I dropped off my son at the preschool and received the first prompting to return home. Nervously I told them the time I thought it might have happened, hoping they would not ask me how I knew. However, they just wrote down the time and transported Helen to the hospital.

It was two weeks before my neighbor was able to return home. She was grateful for my help, but I regretted I had not been more receptive to the strong impressions I had received and come to her aid sooner. I am grateful Heavenly Father was patient with me until I listened and obeyed. Certainly Helen’s call for help was the most important item on my to-do list that day!

  • Debbie Robinson serves as girls’ camp director in the Malaga Cove Ward, Palos Verdes California Stake.