I was walking into the nursing home this morning to attend a care plan meeting for my mother. In front of me was a little old lady pushing herself down the middle of the hallway, and through a set of double doors, and I slowed to let her get through them before I began to pass.
Just as I moved left, however, she started digging in her heels and frantically pulling herself along with her feet also, but still not managing to increase her stride. As I moved around her, I gave a cheerful hello. She sized me up, paused, and said, desperately, "I am trying to find a bathroom!"
A brief moment of panic where a myriad of scenarios of me helping her in a bathroom flashed through my mind. 1) Not my job. I don't want to. 2) Aw, man, what if I were in her shoes? 3) I could end up in jail.
I really did not know what to say, and finally settled on "I don't know where the bathroom is." At that point she informed she was just trying to get back to her own room before the floodwaters released. (Oh, thank God.) I asked her if she'd like me to give her a little push, and she all but said "step on it, sister!"
Our nursing home is a series of loop-de-loops and dead ends, and she wasn't really sure where she was. She gave me my first hint: "It's past the beauty shop!"
I gave her a quick spin and began to tear through the same intersection in the opposite direction, when she said, "No, turn right here, I meant to go straight from the other way!"
I hit the brakes, took the corner on two wheels, and raced her to the nursing station in her wing.
As we screeched to a stop, we yelled over each other, in unison: "She needs the restroom!" "I have to pee!"
The nurse understood the severity of the situation, and whisked her off while she thanked me over her shoulder.
I left giggling, and praying that she made it in time. I wish we'd have had time to high-five one another.
It's nice to be someone's guardian angel, every now and then.