Friday, September 18, 2009

Finding my grandmother

When my grandmother got older she liked to walk a lot, and apparently walked all over the neighborhood, even stopping in at a store sometimes and buying something. As the years passed, though, she eventually reached a state where she became increasingly confused and frequently became lost. There was also a concern that she might wander onto a major road. My mother tried to look in on her now and then, and then go looking for her if she wasn't there, but my mother had a lot of things to do and couldn't stay with her constantly.

One day after work, probably somewhere around 1980-82 (my grandmother passed on in late '84), I drove home past the street where I live, and almost but not quite to the street where my grandmother lived. I had a feeling, and had had it for some time, that she would be out walking right now. I decided that she would be on this particular street, and turned onto the street and drove down a few houses until I found her sitting on a fence in front of a house, sweating.

She seemed happy to see me and asked if someone had called me. (I believe there was a woman looking out of the house at her, or maybe it was a neighboring house. This may or may not have had anything to do with what my grandmother said. I don't know if the woman had said anything to her.) I said no, and my grandmother looked at me kind of strangely, perhaps wondering how I found her or why I should even be looking.

I helped her into the car, a 1970 Cadillac I had owned for a long time, and took her back to my house. The house was empty for the moment, as my mother was on an errand somewhere. I gave my grandmother a glass of water, which she thanked me for, and my mother came home a little later. She was surprised to see us both there, and I explained what had happened.

My grandmother stayed a few more minutes, perhaps even half an hour, but soon wanted to go back to her own house. She became a little anxious if she stayed away too long, and so my mother took her back.

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