The door was locked. The key was under a rock in the flower bed. It would have been the second, maybe third place I looked for it. The house was clean, and looked like an elderly person lived there. The front entry and living room had doilies on the sofa, and an old Singer treadle sewing machine in the corner. Then we walked into the Den. It was quite different. Photos of football heroes, sports memorabilia, and jerseys hung in frames.
"Hello?! Fire Department!"
A scared voice called from the kitchen "I'm in here."
We walked into the kitchen and found her sitting on the floor. She just couldn't get up.
"Please don't tell my son" she pleaded with us.
"We're not telling anybody anything. How are you? What happened?"
It was a pretty familiar story. She had been walking in the kitchen, without her walker. She had got weak, and sat on the floor rather than fall. She just didn't have the strength to get up. She had 'scooted' on her bottom over to the wall and got the phone and dialed 911.
We gently helped her up to sit in the chair in the living room.
"Are you sure you're not hurt ma'am?"
"No, please don't tell my son. Please. I'm fine, really. I just get down and can't get up. Please don't tell my son."
"We're not telling your son anything ma'am. I just want to make sure your OK."
"I'm fine, just please don't tell my son. He wants to send me to a home anyway. Please don't tell him." pleading
"Ma'am, do you own this house? Is it in you're name?"
"Yes, after my husband died I came to me."
"Then if anybody gets kicked out of this house, it's your son. This is yours. You have the say about who lives here."
"But if he finds out I fell, he'll send me away." Tears came to her eyes, and her voice broke.
"Ma'am, if this is your house, and you don't want to go, that's up to you. He can't make you."
"Really? What if he finds out you were here today? What if the neighbors say something?"
"If anybody asks, you tell them we were here to check your smoke detector, and change the batteries. OK? Any time you need us you call. We'll come out and do whatever we need to do, and never say anything to your son."
She looked up at me and smiled, still scared, but a little more sure. "OK."
I don't know what happened when 'he' got home. I hope she found a bit of comfort in our visit.