Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lost in the Dark

I almost hesitate to tell this story because I don’t want to sound like I’m blowing my own horn (seen on a bumper sticker: “Tithe if you love Jesus, anyone can blow their horn”). You’ll forgive me, I hope. I fail in so many ways to live up to the Christian ideals in the scripture so I feel somewhat relieved that I did actually follow through and do something right for a change.

At about 9:30 on Memorial Day I was in the living room watching TV, and R was in bed watching a different TV program (sometimes we end up watching the same program on separate TVs). Suddenly I heard voices that weren’t connected with the TV and then he was calling me. I went into the bedroom and he gestured at the back door where there was an old woman. She wanted to know if I new where “so and so” lived. No, I didn’t. I didn’t think too much about it at first because this is not the first time a person has showed up at our door looking for someone (the county road dead ends at our house).

I turned the outside light on for her as she walked back down the driveway and then I went to the kitchen window to wait for the car lights in the driveway to come on so I would know when to turn off the outside light. I waited for a few minutes without seeing any car lights, and then it dawned on me that she was on foot. I thought about this for a moment or two and then raced for the car and took out after her.

I couldn’t find her at first, but then I saw her walking across the churchyard next door. I asked her where she lived and if she would like a ride back home. “Oh yes,” she said, “I would like a ride back home.” Home for her was an apartment at the senior housing complex way the heck on the other side of town. It must have been 4 miles at least from her apartment to my back door. As I was driving her home, I wondered how long she had been wandering all over town. Then I worried that she didn’t really remember where she lived and then what was I going to do with her (the police station closes after 5 pm)? Fortunately, she had remembered correctly, and I saw her safely into her apartment. Now what?

Tuesday morning I went by the Senior Center in downtown, which has various activities for seniors and serves a low-cost lunch. I spoke to the director about her and she promised to call the manager of the senior housing to find out what she could about the woman’s kin to see if someone could check up on her. I just got a call back that the woman was confused because of a medication mix-up and not because of Alzheimer disease. So, the story has a happy ending.

No comments: