LOSING LORI #22 – December 26, 2012

I had a blog post all ready for this morning and then this happened:

92 minutes ago, at 3:00 a.m. on the dot, we woke up to knocking on our front door and the doorbell ringing. My hubby scrambled to find a robe and rushed down the stairs while I sat upright in bed listening.

I heard a low voice talking and then my hubs saying, “Come in, come in. You’re freezing.” I threw on my robe to see an elderly man shaking like a leaf, his glasses frozen so he couldn’t see properly. I tossed a blanket in the dryer to warm it and wrapped another around him in the meantime while hubby talked to him.

The man was disoriented and confused, but he was able to tell us his name – ‘Bill Anderson’ (name changed). I Googled it and found one address, but it was not familiar to him. While hubby talked to him and he thawed out, I put on some coffee and phoned the police. Somebody was missing a grandpa and while I consider myself quite a sleuth, something tells me the police have slightly more sophisticated tools than Google. The police had received a call about a man knocking on doors in our neighbourhood.

Slowly, we got bits and pieces of what had happened. He told us that a lady had driven him home – or what he thought was home – and told him to go on inside, then she drove away. He said he went inside the house, but it wasn’t his and nobody was there, so he left and started walking. It’s minus 25 degrees Celcius and he was wearing a dress shirt, a cardigan, dress pants and slippers.

He’d interject now and then that he thought he was losing his mind and/or his memory, and he apologized to us over and over. I asked if he had a wallet to see if he had ID or something with an address on it, or just a clue as to where he should be. He had a wallet but it only had a bank card, some receipts and a bit of cash in it.

He said he was in the process of moving and described a big building with many rooms that had meals and people to take care of you. I asked him if it was called Canyon Meadows because there is a nursing home/residence in the area. He said yes, that was it.

I told Bill that the police were coming to help us figure out where he should be. He was apologetic to be ‘bothering’ everybody. He told us he thought several times how lucky he was that people kept their walks shoveled around here because had he slipped and fallen in the snow, he wouldn’t have gotten up again. He said he was starting to think, “Well, this is the way I’m going to leave this world.” He is 88 years old.

The police arrived and we told them what we knew. Bill apologized to the police for being a bother and relayed his story to them. They asked for his wallet as well, but no clues. They found an address in Inglewood and asked Bill if he lived there. Bill wasn’t sure. When the police asked Bill if it had been a short or long drive in a car, Bill replied, “No, it was a horse and carriage.” Oh dear.

He then remembered that he had his son’s name written in his wallet. There is was on the back of a receipt, just his first name – ‘Steve’ – and they had the same last name, of course. The police found the son’s address (my Google search didn’t find him – drat!) and went to phone him. One officer told Bill, “Your son’s going to come and take care of you.” Bill quipped, “Well, he’s not very good at it.” It was delivered with perfect comedic timing and we all laughed, including Bill.

By this point, our younger son had come downstairs. He and the other officer started talking about the job of a policeman. Our boy was beyond fascinated.

The police had an address for Bill’s son, so I did a Google street view and asked Bill if it looked familiar. He said the houses looked somewhat familiar, but he wasn’t sure. He kept apologizing, so I finally told him I was kind of flattered to have an 88 year old suitor at my door at 3:00 am. He laughed.

Bill’s son, Steve, showed up and was understandably a combination or shocked/relieved/worried/confused. He and his Dad talked on the couch. Steve told us that his Dad has dementia and he’s been waiting impatiently for weeks to get him into the Canyon Meadows facility. He’s moving there on Friday as it turns out.

Steve told us that his Dad had gone to bed at 11:30. Bill then remembered that he’d gotten up to use the bathroom and when he went back to his bed, he started dressing and he had no idea why. I can’t imagine living somewhere between complete lucidity and dementia. He was angry with himself. Steve said he was surprised his Dad could leave the house because their front door is difficult to open and has a very sticky deadbolt.

Bill insisted on getting our names and address before he left. Eventually, he, Steve and the two police officers piled out the front door as we all said Merry Christmas to each other.

I am blessed that I have a husband who opens the door for people in need of help. I am grateful that Bill didn’t slip and fall. I am grateful for the Calgary police, their resources and their kindness. It might sound kind of strange, but I think Bill was our family’s Christmas gift this year.

Addendum: Bill had a plastic bag with his pajamas in it and he forgot it here last night. So, I’m going to drop off my suitor’s PJs later today. *grin*

I’ll just quickly mention that the rumours are true – I did indeed abandon the Chocolate & Vodka Eating Plan from last week. Following that, 2 pounds abandoned my arse.

Wishing you love and everything good,


Pounds lost this week: 2

Total pounds lost: 46