The Great Escape

5 02 2011

L-R my sister Alice, Granddaddy, Mama, Mommie (my great-grandmother-see post with her family) nephew Chuck.

As you know, if you read my last post, my mother passed away two weeks ago and we had her funeral last weekend. I was asked to deliver the eulogy during which I told a story. Afterwards,several people approached me to ask if the story was true. It is a true story and I decided to add it as a post to this site. It not only describes Mama to a tee it also shows just how much like her father she was because this sounds like something Grandaddy would have done (see the earlier posts about Granddaddy). I hope enjoy the story.

The Great Escape!

In the wake of my mother’s passing, I thought I’d share this true story about her. Now to really appreciate this story you must visualize this little grey-haired, 86 year-old great-great grandmother. She was a little hunch-backed and about as tall as a mid-day shadow.

Mama and sister Alice. Mama was the only person above the age of 5 who was shorte than Alice.

As her dementia progressed, my mother began to do some rather odd things.  She would throw cat food out into the yard to feed the birds. She would keep her telephone book in the oven and forget where she put it. She would strike out in the middle of the night to walk to church or wander around the yard at 1:00 A.M. looking for her cat. She had reached a point in life where she could no longer be trusted to live on her own so my sisters and I agreed she (and the Wilson community at-large) would be safer in an assisted living home.

A great place was found where she was loved and well cared for and she was able to develop several close friendships. The staff would take her and several of her friends out on field trips to the beach or the museum. And although she grew to love her new home it wasn’t love at first sight. It took a while before she was able to settle in.

As a new resident, and still wanting to return to her old home, she would occasionally try to sneak out along with any visitors she might have. After several failed attempts she began to consider a new tactic.

One evening she noticed the residents occupying the room across the hall from hers were not around. She went in and somehow managed to get the window open. Then, with the agility of a cat on a fence-top, she climbed over an air-conditioning unit and through the open window.

Who'da thunk this little old lady could climb out a window?

She was later discovered at a facility next door sitting on a bench enjoying the scenery and basking in the success of her Houdiniesque escape.

When she was returned to the assisted living facility the staff, finally realizing this was not just another sweet little old lady, was instructed to keep an eye on her. They did manage to stop her in the middle of her second attempted escape. The facility is now equipped with alarms on the windows-courtesy of my mother.

Clockwise from upper left- sisters Alice, Kay, me and sister Cora

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3 responses

6 02 2011
JACKIE GARNER

this sounds loke something you would do in yout twilight years Bill.Always remember who you got it from. I would have loved to have clowned for your Mom.I think we would have hit it off just fine. your friend,Lolli

6 02 2011
Bill Taylor

I always was a little sneak and having observed Mama during her final years I can see exactly where I got it. She too turned out to be a little sneak and I don’t think she learned it from me. No, just as you say-the other way around!

6 02 2011
Bill Taylor

Mama would have loved Lollibells. That would have been a treat to watch!

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