It was a number of years ago... the assisted living facility has "misplaced" our mother.
"What do you mean she's missing?"
"Well, she didn't get back to her room after dinner... "
"Dinner?! It's nine o'clock... dinner was five hours ago... Mom has been missing for five hours!?"
"Well, we've looked all over the campus, we've checked everyone's rooms, the stairwells, the elevators... we suspect she may have left the building".
"We'll be right there".
My sister and I drove the 30 minutes to the facility and joined in the search. I drove around the neighbourhood hoping that I would spot her Zebra print jacket that she always wore. The police had been called, and we gave them a recent picture, and sent them out looking for her. After all, she could be anywhere in the city of Chicago.
The police determined based on surveillance footage, that she HAD indeed left the building. I could barely get her to walk to the elevator, but there she was cruising out the front door, and down the street... like a 60-year-old.
Eventually they reviewed the security footage at the grocery store a half mile south of her building, and there she was "sampling" the grapes in the fruit section. But by the time we got there, she was gone. Dang she moves fast for an 80-year old with a walker.
It took a couple more hours... and they finally found her walking through the parking lot of the Greek Orthodox church, now, about a 1/2 mile to the NORTH of her building. She'd walked over a mile. Amazing.
She was fine... she was surprised to see us "What are you doing here?!" she asked. "We're here looking for you... where have you been?" "I've been right here" she said. "No, you haven't... the police just brought you home".
"Oh!?" she said with a quirky smile... she almost seemed amused.
relief. I'd love to be back there, now. Mom's still around... in a more secure facility, and a far away look.