Sometimes when you least expect it, a bolt of lightning strikes. When it does you react quickly with a smile and a word, “hi” if you are meeting someone. Once the greeting is over you know you need to smile and begin to understand why you felt an unwanted, shocking strike. It is a time for you to cope regardless of what the moment brought to you.
Yesterday, we arranged to have lunch with our neighbor from where we previously lived. We were neighbors for six years and the last time we saw them was a year ago in front of our house. That day they each came over to bid us a pleasant good-bye. We often chatted with them in our yard or their’s and rarely did we go into each other’s homes to have a formal time with each other. Even though we chatted under the mango trees or during a time when we helped each other we did get to know a fair amount about each other.
As I climbed out of the car my eye quickly stopped at the wife and then on to the husband followed by the strike of lightning. During the next moment, I found it difficult to say “hi” and pull me together to act normal. The husband‘s Parkinson’s worsened leaving his left-hand shake unmercifully. His wife looked haggard and worn. She appeared as though she was ten years older than she is.
Without too much delay she began to talk about herself and why her shabby appearance was due to her muddled mind. We accompanied them as they walked into the house. The husband still is of sound mind although his physical appearance showed that he had lost weight; the weight that had been lost by an erratic diet. later he mentioned that there wasn’t food in the house and that we needed to go out. I felt bad and wanted to shop and make food for them. Yet he would never allow anyone to give them anything. This is something I learned during our six years we were neighbors.
Over the next two hours, we listened as they each told us about her problems. She was crestfallen and tired and conscious of what she felt. She explained at lunch that the man across the table was not her husband, he was a replacement, one that she was not as comfortable as with her real husband. He asked her for the keys she carried but she would not release them and we knew that she wouldn’t give them to him because she felt this new person might take the car or lock her out of the house. She kept thinking her purse was missing and then back at the house she stopped us to look at the man in the tree. Her purse was in her bedroom as it always is. Back at their house after lunch, she said that there was a man in the tree. There was no man.
As we drove away, we worried about both of them. We tried to ask them for any information about their son but didn’t get any. The next day we located him and explained to him what we saw and understood. We felt it was very important for him to go to them and see the sad state each of his parents was in. At night, the wife gets very upset, goes to the front yard and screams for help for someone to call the police to protect her. On the other hand, she has been a threat to her husband’s peace and he feels the same as her in calling the police.
Their son will be with them tonight and try to decide what must be done. Unfortunately, both his parents need professional evaluations during a stay in a hospital. There are many tales within the bolt of lightning and they must be sorted out by a professional. I hope there peace comes to them and strength given to the son to make it happen for them.