THESE DOORS ARE MADE FOR LOCKING: THE BACKSTORY
Back in 2001, the symptoms of Dementia had begun creeping into another stage of manifestation. Mom had already been showing a good bit of restlessness. She hadn’t been taking her evening naps as much. And she would pace for most of the day. But now she had begun pacing at night. Sometimes she would startle me as she began double checking doors and windows. I would call out to her.
“Mom…you better get some sleep. Do you want me to sit with you for a little while?”
“No, honey. you go ahead and get some rest. I’ll be ok. Just checking the door”, she’d reply in a normal tone of voice. I didn’t think anything was wrong. Dealing with a parent with Dementia had still been something new to us.
Still I would stay awake for awhile. But soon I’d shortly fall back to sleep. Next thing I knew I had awoken to a room full of daylight. It was almost 8:00. I routinely get up a little earlier than that. I had noticed that I felt unusually rested. It hadn’t been often that I would get a good night’s sleep. So I slid out of bed and hurried to the bathroom for a quick minute. I then briskly walked toward mom’s room to check on her. –She wasn’t there! An uneasy feeling washed over me.
I called out to her. But I had gotten no reply. I then raced toward the kitchen–still calling her name. Once again, no answer. And that’s when I had noticed….the front door was wide open. It was then that I knew she had wandered out into the neighborhood.
I ran to my sister’s room who was still sleeping and shouted to her that mom had walked out the front door. I didn’t wait for her response because I immediately ran back into my room to put on yesterday’s clothing. I then hopped in my car, cranked up, and started searching up and down the blocks of my neighborhood. I should have deadbolted the front door, I kept telling myself. I just had to find her! Please God, let my mother be ok…