07 January 2015

images (1)LAYING IT ON THE LINE:   THE BACK STORY

Racing up and down the streets–block by block, I had no idea where I was going.  I knew my mom had been somewhere close.  —But where??!    She couldn’t have gone far.   All I could do was continue to follow my instincts.

Suddenly I brought the car to a screeching halt.  Two young ladies were slowly strolling  up the street on my driver’s side.  I stuck my head out of the window as I blew my horn at them in quick-short successions.

“Excuse me miss!  DId you see an elderly gray haired woman walking around the neighborhood?”

“No sir.  We just stepped out the house.  We ain’t seen nobody.”   I knew that I had frightened them.  I didn’t have time for formalities.

“Ok, thanks!”

I felt gnawing pangs of disappointment and anxieties as I again sped off down the road.   I “blew” the next two stop signs.  Then I took a quick right.  I could hear my heart rapidly beating as I tried to gain control of my erratic breathing.

I kept fighting back all of the dreadful scenarios tap dancing around in my head concerning my mom’s whereabouts.  –What if someone picked her up, I imagined.

Softly, something told me to search toward the main road.   I remembered that our previous home where we had lived many years ago was on that side.   It was at that point, I took out my cell phone.  If I didn’t find her there, I had decided that I would have to call the police.   The only reason I didn’t do it earlier is because it seemed that it would take too much time to dial even three numbers as I didn’t have a moment to spare.

With unabated anticipation,  I turned the corner onto the main road.  It was the usual rush hours at that time of morning–a virtual race track.   Anxious motorists were frantically speeding to work as tardiness was a recurring disease for which there would never be a cure .   As I got closer to the intersection, I noticed everyone had been veering around some obstacle in the middle of the road.   Horns were blaring.  Drivers were throwing up their hands in frustration.

images (2)Then I saw her.    She had fallen down in the middle of the intersection.  She might have been trying to walk back to our old house.   Not sure how long she had been there.   I saw her struggling to lift herself back onto her feet.  But, she couldn’t. Most likely the loud horns and fast cars zooming past her surely frightened her too much to concentrate.

Not one single vehicle bothered to stop and offer assistance.  Couldn’t help but notice the irritated and angry looks on their faces.  This sick old woman lying across the white lines in the street had been preventing them from getting to work on time.   And for that…there would be no patience, no compassion, no mercy.

As I approached her in the car, I blocked traffic in both lanes as it was a two laned one-way street.   Quickly, I threw my car in park, pushed open the door,  and sprang out of the front seat. I ran toward my mom with tears in my eyes and lifted her onto her feet.  She tightly wrapped her arms around my neck and shoulders as I carefully lifted her up and ushered her into our car.   Horns were still blaring.  I didn’t care.  I didn’t even look at all the angry faces anymore.   At that moment, nothing else mattered. I felt relieved.  I had finally found my mom and she was ok…

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