Tonight we had a strange experience. We were on our way to go out to dinner when we came to a hault on a very busy street because of a woman in the road. She was quite old, bent over almost in half, and shuffling across the street at a VERY slow pace. Oh, and did I mention she was literally in the middle of traffic? Not at a crosswalk and most definitely not watching for cars. Both sides of traffic were (thankfully) stopped to let her through.
We were pretty concerned, so I hopped out of the car (hey, traffic was stopped anyway, right?) and helped her up to the sidewalk. She was walking towards the mall (completely bent in half, so she was staring at the ground.) but when I asked her if she was going to the mall, she kept saying no. Then she would point towards the mall and say, I am going to that building right there. And then she broke into a few, "Holy spirit of light, be my guide..." rants, and I knew that this woman was pretty confused.
I motioned to Mike to call the police. If you know me, that is pretty much my answer for anything unusual: call 911. So, as Mike called, I walked her over to the TGI Friday's and sat her on a bench. A waitress brought out some water for the woman, and I continued to probe her for information about herself as we waited for the police to arrive.
I asked her who she was. Vivianna.
I asked her if she had children. Jennifer, Jay, and Jonathan.
I asked her what her husband's name was. Larry.
Where is Larry? In the building.
You mean the mall? No. That building right there. (Motions towards the mall.)
Then she broke out into a LONG string of religious jargon. I felt so bad for this woman, so confused, sitting on a bench with a total stranger, drinking whatever this stranger gave her, having NO clue where she was.
The police arrived and they knew her. Apparently she must wander a lot. They immediately asked her where Larry was, and at that moment, as if it were magic, Larry appeared. He was yelling at her for not staying in the car when he was in getting their 'Wendys sandwiches!!!'
The Wendys was across the street from the mall (the busy street she had crossed.) She must have thought she was crossing the parking lot to go to the Wendys. After a moment it became clear that Larry is pretty confused himself.
It was so sad seeing this unfold in front of me. It makes me ill to think that someday I might be as confused as Vivianna. Or worse, that one of my parents will. I know that my grandpa took care of his very confused wife for a long time, and I can't imagine how hard that must have been! I feel so sorry for these people and especially their caretakers. How frustrating it must be to not be able to communicate with someone who was once a completely capable person. UGHHHHHHHH.
Okay, sorry for the downer post but I had to unload this. It was such a wierd, unexpected experience.