Several days ago,on my TV, I watched intently the saga of a home-made helium balloon flying through space with the assumption that aboard was a six-year old boy. Happily, he was found safe and sound in his own home. It reminded me of an incident that happened to me on Thursday, October 8th, when a group of people joined together to find "Elvira". Angels are not illusionary images; they are real people who give their efforts and sometimes their lives to help and care for their fellowman.
I voluntarily gave up driving my car on April 30th of this year, and since then have been using the wonderful transport services offered to the elderly in Putnam County, N.Y.; namely, The Para Transit, for a minimum fee. The users must call the previous day by 5:00 pm to schedule an appointment. One of my constant appointments is to attend the Golden Age Senior meetings in Patterson, N.Y. on Thursdays. The driver usually picks me up first at 9:00 am, and then travels about 6 miles to pick up Yolanda and her husband Lenny. However, mistakes will happen......and on the morning of October 8th, when the bus arrived to pick up Yolanda, she noticed I was not on board.
Well.....I was quite irritated when I was not picked up after waiting in the lobby of my building until 9:20 am. I returned to my apartment, and after fuming for some time, I decided to forget about it and bake a cake. As I was removing the cake from the oven, I looked at it and said to myself: " What am I going to do with this cake? I have no room in the freezer. I'll call Kitty."
Kitty is a friend of mine, who lives on the same floor, but at the other end of the building. "Kitty", I said, "I was not picked up for my visit to Golden Age...and I was so angry that I decided to bake a cake. Would you share it with me." Kitty said: "I'd love to, Elvira". "Okay, I'll be right over". Kitty enjoyed eating a slice of the warm cake. (By the way, it was a Carrot Cake.) We enjoyed each others company so much that we did not realize several hours had passed by.
About 3:15 pm, I left Kitty to retun to my apartment. I walked just a short distance, when I saw a group of women about 75 -feet away, waving their arms like distressed chickens and babbling "Oh, my God, she's alright"....."Where have you been?"....."We've been looking for you." ....."The bus company said you did not show-up."....."The police were looking for you."etc. etc. etc. I was flabbergasted by all this attention, and after a million hugs, Joanne (my building Manager) surrounded by the residents she had contacted related the following:
That someone from the Golden Age Center called the police and advised them that Elvira was not present that day at the Center. The police contacted Joanne.....Joanne immediately contacted several residents, and when the policeman arrived, they all proceeded to Elvira's apartment. With the door held open by Joanne and the concerned residents, the policeman entered the apartment. From the Living Room, they heard "She's not here:....then from the Bathroom "Not here".....from the Bedroom "no one here". As the policeman was approaching the door to exit from the apartment, he checked the kichen area......and lo and behold, the mystery was almost solved. The Policeman , with a smile on his face, turned to all those standing in the vicinity of the open door, and said, "She must be okay....she must be around here somewhere...in the building.....see---THE CAKE IS STILL WARM."
Who actually called the Police and why?
When Yolanda returned home about 2:15 pm, after the meeting at the Center, she immediately phoned me at home; and when I did not respond, she immediately contacted the bus company, She was very concerned because, she and I, both had difficulty scheduling the previous day. Later, we learned the bus company had trouble with fallen telephone lines. She asked the bus Manager why they had not picked-up Elvira. She (the bus company Manager) told Yolanda that their driver called to say that it was 9:10 and 'no Elvira'.....that she called me and received no response....so she directed the driver to proceed, pick up Yolanda and Lenny. Yolanda continued and said: "Elvira is 99 years old and I'm very concerned." The bus Manager said: "Yes, I am too. I'll call the Police to investigate. Elvira is one of our prompt riders."
The rest is history. Mystery solved: "THE CAKE IS STILL WARM"