Lost and Confused

lost

It’s a beautiful cool day, so I’ve kept all the doors open to bring in the fresh air. Earlier while in the back of the house, I heard the doorbell ring. Quickly, I walked around the corner to see who it was.

One of the elderly ladies, Martha, from down the block was standing outside my screen door with her dog leash in one hand and a sweater hanging from a hanger in the other.

“Are you the one who let me borrow this?” she asked. “No ma’am. It wasn’t me.” Confused, she began looking around. “Who could it have been then?” During a cold day last week, someone had seen her out walking her dog without a jacket on. So they ran inside their home and brought her one. Now she was trying to return it.

I love our neighbors.

After she told me her story, I started to point out different homes where ladies my size lived, who possibly could have given her the sweater. One door she had knocked on, and the others she was convinced that it couldn’t have been them because they were on the wrong side of the sidewalk.

She mentioned that she often visits the lady who lives in the last house, so I asked if it could have been her who had given her the sweater. She said no, and was visibly exhausted from all the walking she had done. To help her, I offered to carry it around for her later today and knock on doors until I could find the owner.

It was then that Jill, the lady who lives in the last house (the one she said she often visits) started walking our way. Immediately, seeing the confusion going on in front of my house, she started calling out to Martha.

“Who is that?” Martha asked me. “She’s the woman who lives in the house at the end.”  I told her.

As Jill was getting closer, Martha kept asking, “Who is that?” I repeated my answer.

 “Martha it’s me, Jill. Come on, let’s go.” Jill kindly said.

Martha answered, “Who?” Seeing the sweater in Martha’s hands, Jill commented that she had let her borrow it last week. Looking over at Martha, she realized that she didn’t recognize her.

“I live in the house at the end.” Jill told her. Martha was obviously confused, still having no idea who Jill was, even though we had just talked about her a few moments earlier.

“Come on Martha. Let’s go back to the house. Come on Pugs!” Pugs the dog, began to follow her, but Martha refused to move. “Martha it’s me, Jill. I live in the last house down this way and you live in the last house down that way. You and your dog come visit me all the time.”

At this point, I could see that Martha was slowly starting to remember her. Finally, she nodded and replied, “Oh, yes, yes. Okay.” Now embarrassed over her failing memory, Martha slowly followed Jill to her home.

Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease.

It breaks my heart to watch people go through the process. After having previously worked in an Alzheimer’s facility, these people have and will always have a special place in my heart.

The love and kindness of our neighbors really touched me today. There are still so many wonderful and caring people out in the world, and so many like Martha, who need them.

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22 Responses to Lost and Confused

  1. Sad and lovely. You neighbour is very kind and patient.

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  2. Oh. Oh. I’m so … horrified and pleased, if that makes sense? I am pleased you all took care of her of course. Horrified that this happens to people.

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  3. Such a devastating disease, and a reminder that we all need to take care to be as kind as you and your neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. markbialczak says:

    You and your neighbor are what Martha needs on the block. Unfortunately, she’s on the way toward needing more than your kindness. I hope her family is aware of her slide and will mobilize to keep her life manageable. Yes, Alzheimer’s is scary, Me Who. Every time I can’t come up with the precise word I’m looking for, I think, well … just 57 or …?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glynis Jolly says:

      You’re 57, Mark, and thinking that there’s a remote chance of memory problems? You might want to checked out. I’m 3 years older than you and have short-term memory problems, but that’s due to a stroke I had long ago. I have strategies for getting whatever from my short-term memory to my long-term one.

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree completely. She will need much more help than just what she receives here. I am not sure if her family knows of her failing memory or not, as I’ve never seen her with family. Next time I see her I will certainly ask her about them, to see if they even live here. At 57 you shouldn’t have to worry too much, but I fully understand your concern.

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      • markbialczak says:

        That’s nice of you to ask about her family, Me Who. Get the wheels in motion, at least. … At 57, it’s time to take notice about everything that’s happening to and around you. That’s how I feel about it, anyway.

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  5. To see the fear and terror it sometimes brings to their faces is the most difficult to see. But the kindness on the faces of others…that brings comfort. Even to me.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Yes it is. It’s so hard to watch them go down this path, especially during those fleeting moments when they realize that they’re not ‘all there’ anymore. But, you’re right about the kindness of others. Their kindness shines so much brighter during times like these.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. How very difficult to watch this decline….you are a good neighbour…..

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    • mewhoami says:

      I agree. It is very difficult to watch. I certainly can’t imagine living through it. Thank you. We’re fortunate that our neighborhood is full of good people who look out for one another.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this and the good neighbors you have. My great grandfather developed ALZ and it broke my heart, it’s a very cruel disease.

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    • mewhoami says:

      Same here. We are very fortunate to live around such good people. I’m so sorry to hear about your great grandfather. To see someone, especially a loved one, go through this is such a heartbreaking and helpless experience. But, it sounds like he had a wonderful person there during the process. Just having someone who cares nearby, makes a world of difference in their lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. DailyMusings says:

    So very sad, but so reaffirming of the goodness in people, including you

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    • mewhoami says:

      It is, and it was. The news may show us otherwise, but if we look hard enough we’ll see that there’s still good people all around us. We’re fortunate to live around a few of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. suzjones says:

    Oh this story just pulled at me. My new job is working with the aged in a day respite centre. Most still live in their own homes although one of my ladies has had to move in with her daughter recently due to her memory loss. The other day, I took our group to attend an event that was held outside. This lady was getting quite hot and I had brought along my hat so I gave it to her to put on. She made a great fuss of the hat and posed in it and laughed. She even took out her mirror to look at herself. She had us all laughing. However later, after they had moved inside for morning tea, I found my hat perched on a bush in the garden. I asked her why she had put it there. She replied “Oh someone loaned me that hat and I had no idea who it belonged to so I put it there hoping they would come and get it”. I reminded her that it was mine. She laughed and said “Was it dear? I’m sorry”.
    This is just one story I have collected in just three weeks with these wonderful people.
    The hardest part is seeing these people in their twilight years forgetting things and then getting so upset with themselves because of it. They hate what dementia takes from them as much as those of us around them do.

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