Friday, December 29, 2017

Man with Flute 2014

On Christmas Eve of this year, I received a phone call from a friend who had invited my mother to Christmas Eve dinner. My mother hadn't been home when they went to pick her up and it was beginning to get dark. Her car and dog were missing as  well.  I knew that, most probably, she had gone out and then gotten lost trying to return home.  She has no short term memory, and her cognitive functions are getting weaker and weaker. I called the sheriff's office and spoke to a deputy, reporting her missing.  After gathering the pertinent information,the deputy went to work, finally issuing an APB for Mom.  Meanwhile, my husband and I gathered our dogs and headed up to Santa Fe(from Corrales where we live) to look for her, knowing we would probably be spending the night there.

By the next day, from credit card receipts which my sister had access to, we were able to track her voyage, from 2:30 in the afternoon in Santa Fe, to the last place she stopped for gas at 4:00 a.m. in Roswell, New Mexico, 200 miles to the south.  In the meantime, a "Silver Alert" had been issued for her describing an 88 year old gray haired Hispanic woman driving a brown Honda CRV with a brown Aussie mix dog in the back(she isn't Hispanic).  The alert scrolled across the bottom of the screen during the late news and then again in the morning.  About 9:00 a.m., as we were getting ready to head back to Albuquerque(60 miles away), we heard a knock at the door.  It was my mother.  She had almost no memory of where she had gone or what she had done, just that she knew not to let the gas run out, and that she had made it back on her own. I took the car and drove it over to a neighbors so that she wouldn't have access to it, and was accused having always wanted to get her car away from her. We have no idea where she went(other than the credit card receipts), or what was calling to her that would cause her to drive for over 19 hours, in the dead of night, refusing to ask for help. 

4 comments:

  1. All I can say is you make great art out of a frightening, sad situation, Holly.

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  2. I took care of my mother all of my adult life. I lived with her the last 10 years of her life as she slowed down mentally. She made up things that were not true and began treating me as the enemy. Advice is to continue to protect your mother any way you can and let the insults run off your back. 88 y.o. seems rather old to still be driving so taking her keys is the right thing to do. My mother lived to 107 years of age and passed in 2008. People told me that I have a special place in heaven - I'm in heaven now. :-)

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