It was a few months after the Easter from hell that it happened.
My mother had seriously declined in both sense and sensibility and I was teetering on an emotional tightrope that violently shook each time the phone would ring.
Back then, I had an uncanny awareness; a vague and aching premonitory sense that told me it was her calling.
The steadily glowing red eye on the diabolical caller ID box made me mutter,
“Shit. What now?”
Those days are long gone but they are forever burned into my psyche.
It happened one innocuous Sunday morning in July.
I learned from a neighbor that my mother had waltzed out of the house, stood on the sidewalk out front and began waving at all the cars that passed by.
It was odd, obviously, but for the most part, not too dangerous; that was until a car stopped and the driver rolled down the window.
“Are you okay? Do you need some help?” the driver asked.
“Yes,” my mother replied, “I need to get to a garage because my car won’t start.” she said, pointing to the dark blue Ford Taurus sitting in the driveway.
After riding with my mother for five minutes, it was evident to the woman driving that my mom wasn’t “quite right”.
She turned the car around and headed back towards the house when my mother asked, “Where are you taking me?” I need to get to a garage!”
The woman kindly said, “I’m taking you home.”
She pulled into the driveway and walked my mother to the door and knocked.
My father, who had been in the den reading the Sunday paper, answered the door.
“I’ve brought your wife back. This is your wife, yes?”
“Oh, thank you, yes,” my father said, somewhat perplexed.
At the time, my father was getting as confused as my mother.
I never took notice because of the intense progression of Alzheimer’s in my mother.
To this day, the angel that brought my mother home remains unknown to me.
Just knowing she’d saved my mother from God knows what fate was a note of thanks. But along with bringing back my mother, the angel also dropped the straw that would break the camel’s back.
One month later, my sister and I would move her to a place where wandering was no longer an option and “home” was just another four letter word that she would desperately try to hold onto until the day she died.