• I thought the worst of it was when the raccoons moved in, but I’ll talk about them in a different post.  I started writing my thoughts about Mom’s phone problems before I started the blog, so this is a bit of back story.

It’s January 25, 2012.  I’ve not been able to phone my mother for about 7 weeks.  7 weeks of not hearing her voice.  7 weeks of wondering if she’s okay.  7 weeks of fearing she’s buried alive (or dead) under a pile of her belongings.  You see, a few weeks before Christmas Mom’s phone line just stopped working.  Her towering piles of stuff keep her from getting in close enough to any wall jacks to see if the phone cord has fallen out.  She wouldn’t dream of calling in a phone repairman…not that they’d get anywhere anyway.  My best guess is a mouse has chewed through the wires in the wall, but I have no way of knowing.

Mom has created a comforting nest around her of treasured belongings, but in doing so, has built a barrier to rival the Great Wall of China and I’m on the outside.  I miss her.  I’d like to be able to call her every Sunday night like I’ve done every week since I moved away from home.  I’d like to give her updates on what her grand-daughters have been up to; discuss birthday party plans; and ask how her doctors’ appointments have been going.

I didn’t realize right away her phone wasn’t working.  I had spoken to her on a Sunday night as usual.  Then I wanted to call her again a few days later to talk about a shared Christmas gift for my sister, Lynn.  No answer.  I figured she was sleeping (her medications make her very sleepy).  A day later I tried again.  No answer.  Maybe she was out shopping, as she frequently does.  By the time the next Sunday rolled around and I STILL hadn’t gotten a hold of her, I began to worry.  Lynn hadn’t heard, and people were starting to wonder.

Since she lives nearby, Lynn went over to Mom’s house.  I’m sure it was with a knot of dread in her stomach.  Her van was in the driveway.  The lights were on.  No one answered the doorbell.  Moms dog started to bark.  The emergency key Lynn had didn’t work in the door.  I guess the locks where changed at some point.  Lynn was able to force the garage door open, and picked her way through a garage crowded with all the molds, tools, concrete, and debris from my deceased fathers statuary business.  She was able to get to the door that lead into the house, but piles as high as her shoulders kept her from going any further.  What effort that must have taken to get even that far.  I’m sure she was afraid she’d run into a raccoon!

Calling out at the top of her lungs finally caught Moms attention.  She was alive and awake!  But somehow didn’t hear the doorbell?  Or maybe was hiding from it, thinking it was a stranger?  Who knows.  Lynn says Mom stood at the top of the stairs and didn’t let Lynn in, but assured her she’s ok and it’s just that the phone is broken.

And it remains so to this day.


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  1. [...] been reading this blog from the beginning, you might be familiar with a series of posts called Case of the Silent Phone.  That’s what’s prompted me to write [...]

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