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.