Author’s Note: Sadly, this is based on a true story from this past weekend. Standing back at a distance it is kinda funny. Very funny, actually. Up close, knowing those involved, it’s really quite sad. Some of the minor facts and all of the names and addresses have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.
Last Sunday Morning: Approx 2:35 am
A pounding comes from the front door of the house as emergency lights illuminate the early morning hours of quiet, suburban Overland Park, Kansas.
“We’ve had a 911 call saying that a woman is being held here against her will.”
Still groggy from being aroused from a deep slumber the homeowner stands next to yet another policeman as several other Overland Park police officers enter the home and do a quick walk-through checking each closet, bathroom and bedroom as well as the more open areas.
Imagine the confusion of the half-awake homeowner and his family. Imagine the police trying to determine if this is a prank call or a serious incident. Just try to imagine.
Last Sunday Morning: Approx 2:15 am
Awakening from his sleep Bob hears his mother speaking to someone unknown with fear dripping from each syllable. At first greyness clouds the mind. Quickly, however, a lucid realization that his mother is speaking to the local police department’s 911 operator (some twenty miles from Overland Park) comes over him as he leaps to his feet..
“You must help me. I’m at 123 Main Street, Overland Park. There is a strange man in my bed and people in my house I don’t recognize. I’m being held against my will. Hurry!”
Bob hurries to take the business end of the telephone away from his mother and begins to explain as rapidly as he can. But the wheels are already in motion. The address in Overland Park will be visited shortly by eager-to-please policemen as will the address where the phone call was made.
Over The Last Four Years
The mother in question here is close to me. Almost family, really. Two years ago I sold that house at 123 Main St., OP, KS for her and her husband whom I’ve known since 1975. Two years ago they packed up and left their house of forty-four years. The mother and her husband had raised eight children in that home. Forty-four Christmases. Forty-four Easters. Too many birthday parties to count between children, grandchildren and even this extra family member.
During this emotionally transitional time the early signs of Alzheimer’s began to show itself with “mom.” Slowly at first. But today there are days when the disease seems all too comfortable with it’s host. There are days she forgets that I have children. Worse, there are days when she forgets her own children.
And there are days when she is back in that house at 123 Main St. That house was comfortable. That house was home. That house was part of who she is. I guess she’s never really left that house. Not emotionally. And as for the new owners, I can only hope that they are patient, understanding and that one day that house will mean as much to them.