She lived alone
Monday October 07th 2019, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Friends,Life

Well, that was a day.

The phone rang this morning right after I got home from dropping Richard off at work: the next door neighbor, saying the son of the neighbor on our other side had called him wanting to know if any of us had seen his 84-year-old mom this weekend. He and his sister hadn’t been able to reach her.

We had not. This wasn’t unusual; she can’t walk much anymore and is rarely outside. I’d put her recycling bin away for her.

I went off to an event that I was one of the organizers for so I had to be there–but I dithered awhile first, waiting to hear more because somehow this time something felt… I didn’t know, but like I wanted to be there for my neighbor.

There was nothing to know, though, as far as I could tell, so I finally got on my way, and for various reasons I’m glad I did; it went well.

I came back a few hours later and the wife of the man who’d called was getting out of her car and we compared notes a moment. I stepped inside my house and the phone rang: the husband wanted to let me know.

In the few hours I’d been gone, the police had come, had broken in the door, they’d found our elderly neighbor in dire straights and the paramedics had gotten her into an ambulance and away. He figured that that meant she was alive, and we were certainly glad for that.

She’s probably just as happy there wasn’t one more person watching her being wheeled away, but that’s assuming she was in a condition as to be able to notice.

I had contact info for her daughter and texted her a heads-up, figuring she surely already knew but I couldn’t risk that she didn’t. At the very least I could let her know we knew and we cared and we were all here to help.

She answered a bit later and thanked us for looking out for her mom; yes she did know, and her brother was flying out tomorrow.

I offered to go to the hospital to keep her mom company in the meantime, or after, or any time at all and she decided let’s wait till he gets there and talks to her.

She did let me know her mother was not doing well.

Hang in there, Sandy.

And for everybody else who has or is an elderly parent: make sure the neighbors and the kids and the parents all have each other’s phone numbers.

In this case it surely helped save her life.

4 Comments so far
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We watched over a neighbor in NY. We had a code, if we didn’t see a specific light on, he was in trouble. One night, it wasn’t on. I tried his front door. It was locked and we didn’t have a key. So we called the police. They came and thanked us for not trying to break in. They broke in, with permission from the son. Later, he complained to me that he wouldn’t have minded me finding him naked, but did I HAVE to let him be found naked? ( It was a hot night.,) Oh, golly!

Comment by Mary 10.07.19 @ 9:32 pm

When my next door neighbor came and said he needed help because his wife had fallen, I was grateful to have phone numbers for their kids. Turned out she’d cracked her head on the driveway. I called 911, then called the kids.

Comment by Anne 10.07.19 @ 11:25 pm

Scary stuff. Before I moved in with Mom, I made sure to have contact info for her friends and neighbors, but it’s a bit of a relief to be here.

And to be honest, when I lived alone, I sometimes wondered how long it would take before someone noticed if anything happened to me!

Comment by ccr in MA 10.08.19 @ 5:29 am

Yes, such information can prove crucial.

I’m glad you were able to assist, in your own way.

Sending a prayer of gratitude.

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 10.08.19 @ 6:52 am

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