Saturday, February 14, 2009


I heard the front door open and saw mother dear head down the sidewalk. She'd just been sitting in the chair next to me in the front room, watching television, when she got up without saying a word and made her way through the house and out the door she went.

I thought that she may be headed to the mailbox or to get the newspaper since you can see them from where she was sitting. It would seem that she thought that a sandy spot in the snow along the road was a dead dog. She sees lots of dead animals that aren't there. In fact, she's started to see live animals that aren't there.

As she headed across the street, not stopping at the mailbox, I ran and put on my shoes and coat. Oh, did I mention it is 30˚F here and she's outside without even a jacket?

I caught up to her one door down the street.

Me: Where are you going?

Mom: Oh, around. [She sweeps her hand around, like she's showing something off on The Price Is Right.]

Me: It's cold out here. You need to get inside or you'll freeze.

Mom: Yes, it is cold out here. Brrrrr.

She started to head up the neighbor's driveway.

Me: That's not our house. Come on, we live next door. [I point to our house.]

Mom: That's not our house.

Me: Sure, don't you remember your red car and how the house has blue accents?

Mom: That isn't blue, it's gray.

Me: Okay, our house is the one with the gray accents.

This seemed to satisfy her and we made it up the driveway and into the house.

How easily that she could have died from exposure. Outside in the cold, not knowing how to get home even though it is right in front of her and she's lived here for over 50 years.


Greg said...

Thank God you were there! Imagine if she was living alone with maybe someone coming in to do her meals 3 times a day. Your Mom really does need 24-hour supervision. That's a very scary scenario and I'm glad you were there to hear her go out.

A Single Man said...

How frightening. I'm glad you were there too...but you can't keep an eye on her 24 hrs/day. While I don't pretend to have figured it all out, I am likely also past the point where I can care for my charge...but I just don't want to believe it.

citygirl said...
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citygirl said...

Good thing you were there to chase her down & bring her back. My mom started wandering in the winter also. She would be right outside our house and not be able to figure out where she lived (and like your mom, she lived in the same house for over 40 years). She'd go rapping on the neighbours doors, yelling that the "landlady had locked her out". Landlady?? Or she'd go to the corner store and ask where she lived. They called the police a couple of times (because that's what her "wandering bracelet" instructed the "finders" to do).

I think these wanderings were the last straw. They made us realize that we couldn't let things keep going this way.

I have to confess that I giggled a bit at this part "Mom: Oh, around. [She sweeps her hand around, like she's showing something off on The Price Is Right.]". Totally something my mom would have done.