July 6, 2007
Dad Got Home SafeRate this encounter: Kathi Michalek, South 60th Court, Cicero, Illinois, June 1994
My in-laws lived above us in and apartment in Cicero. My father-in-law, Ben, had buried his wife about a year earlier. They had both enjoyed going to bingo on Saturday nights and Ben continued after she had gone.
Ben drove himself to bingo on Saturday nights and my husband always made sure the yard light was on for his dad when he came home around 9:30 PM.
When my father-in-law died in June of 1994, we buried him that week. The following Saturday, no one was inside the house, the front door was locked, and the windows were not open. We had the inside back door open. The outside back door had an automatic closer and was closed but not locked since we could see the door while sitting in the yard.
We were at a picnic table just laughing and talking along with our kids and a few friends. The yard was big and we lived next to a park so they had lots of room to run. We had a cooler with cold drinks so no one had reason to be in and out of the house.
There was a light switch behind the inside door and we had a key holder above it here we hung our keys.
We had been in the yard at least an hour and a half and it was getting dark but no one even thought of turning on the yard light since it was a nice night and we were absorbed in talk.
Then the yard light went on for a second and then went off. The kids were all in sight and no one was in the house. We all looked at each other realizing no one was in the house to turn the switch. We walked along both sides of the house to make sure no one had gotten in and the door was still locked. After checking the outside and making sure the kids were accounted for and all the adults too, we went inside and checked from the inside. The front door was still locked -- no windows were open. So we decided to check the switch to see if maybe something caught it. Well in order to turn it on you have to flip it up, so it didn't slip down to turn on. The odd thing is Ben's car keys were next to the switch and this happened at about 930 PM on the Saturday after his death. My husband said it was his dad letting him know he was home safe.