A Mother’s Day Tribute

The following story is being shared with you for a multitude of reasons on this Mother’s Day, 2012, about my Mom, JoAnn Novinc:

My mom works in a pharmacy as a pharmacy assistant. Last weekend, she was working and noticed a woman who is elderly standing by the bathroom in the lobby of her employer for a long time. She asked her co-worker if she had helped her. Her co-worker stated that she had not.

My mom went out and talked to the woman to see if she could help her. The woman shared that she was trying to find her husband. The woman stated that her husband had been admitted to the hospital and that she had been driving and driving and could not find the hospital. She stated that she even had to stop for gas because she had been driving for such a long time. My mom asked her where she lived. The woman told my mom the city where she resides. My mom asked the woman if her husband was at hospital that was closer to where they live.  The woman stated no. My mom told the woman that she would help her find her husband.

My mom called the local hospital and was initially told that the woman’s husband was not there. My mom was persistent and asked the hospital employee to please check again. She shared that the man’s wife was in the pharmacy, that she was confused and trying to find her husband. The hospital employee put her on hold for a moment, and when the employee returned to the call, she stated that the woman’s husband was in fact at the local hospital. My mom went out and confirmed with the woman that her husband was in fact at the local hospital and tried to give her directions. The woman did not seem to understand the directions. My mom then asked the woman if she felt comfortable following her to the hospital. The woman stated, yes, thank you.

My mom led her to the local hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, my mom helped the woman inside. My mom stated that the woman was breathing heavily and seemed wobbly on her feet. Once inside, a hospital employee asked who they were trying to find. The employee shared that the hospital was on the verge of contacting the police department because the woman’s husband had called her hours ago to come pick him up. Apparently, the woman’s husband was supposed to be released that day and had called and asked his wife to come pick him up. His wife became lost and could not find her way.

My mom stated that she really needed to go back to work but did not want to leave the woman alone in the lobby. She asked the hospital employee if they could share what floor the woman’s husband was on.   They provided that information to the woman and my mom. My mom took the woman to her husband’s floor.

As soon as the elevator doors opened, the husband was running down the hall towards the woman shouting her name, hugging, kissing her, and stating that he will never let her out of his sight again.  Witnessing their reunion made my mom, the hospital staff, and everyone in general area tear up. The woman had the same first name as my deceased Grandma. My Grandpa often talked to my Grandma is the same manner, which, in and of itself, also had a significant impact on my mom.

My mom discovered that the couple does not have any children. They were all very thankful that my mom helped the woman and thereby reunited the husband and wife. One of the hospital employees called my mom the woman’s guardian angel.

My mom came home from work and shared the story with my husband and me.  I teared up.  The next day, my mom shared the story with my sister, her husband and my nieces.  I teared up again.  The story impacted me.  Who knows what the outcome could have been had my mom not have intervened? Someone could have taken advantage of the woman.  They could have stolen her car or purse. The woman could have ended up in a car accident or worse.   Or maybe, someone else would have helped out.

We need caring, compassionate people who can be counted on as we continue to age in the community. We also really need to have a plan in place before a crisis situation occurs.  Yes, maybe her husband always drove so the wife did not need to.  What happens if, like in this instance, he was unable to drive her?  What would you do if you encountered this situation?  What would you want someone else to do if this happened to you, your family, your friends, neighbors or someone in your community?

I am very proud to be the daughter of my mom.  She is an inspiration to me.  She is the prime example of the type of person that everyone should strive to be.

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom and to you and yours, too!

– Posted by Christy Zeyer

Posted in Blog, Older Adults.