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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeHumorThe Papa Files: Gooma’s Phone

The Papa Files: Gooma’s Phone

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A couple of days ago my wife’s older brother, Xray, (who lives way up north where it takes him three hours on a Rider Blower to clear his walks and driveway of snow in winter, and eight hours on a Rider Mower to cut his acres of yard in summer) called her at work to say that he could not get in touch with their ninety-year-old mother. He had called and called, but no answer. My wife called, and it was the same. She texted me that she was leaving work to check on her. Then I tried to call her and my phone informed me that the person I was calling was unavailable.

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Anxious the minutes passed and I thought about when, a few years ago, I had been tasked with finding out why she wasn’t answering her phone. This was just after she stopped driving, but was still getting around walkerless. I was off that day from Exwork, but I had to stop at my wife’s work to get the key, because Gooma is very stingy with her keys. I went in and ran from room to room, expecting to find her collapsed on the floor, but she wasn’t in the house. I searched around outside, but nope. I called my wife and she told me to go home, that they might have to call the police. Just as I got in my front door, my wife called and told me Gooma had finally answered.

It turned out that she had taken the bus up to the community center of her housing development to attend a meeting. And we learned later that she took the bus on a regular basis, to stores and doctor appointments, but no one had ever tried to call her during those other outings. It was after that when we tried to get her to use a cell phone. Over the next eighteen months her four kids each bought her one or more of the Trac kind, and I bought her one, but she would have nothing to do with them. Oh, she seemed very attentive when we explained how to use it, but she would never answer it and never charged it, and certainly never carried it with her. I suggested we GPS-chip her purse, but nothing ever came of that…

Just like when I’ve suggested, for the last two years, Gooma get a disability placard (that little sign you hang from the rear-view mirror) and she could keep it in her purse so that whichever of us is driving her would be able to park close to the entrance. But that never happened. And lately I recommended she get a hardship dismount, what USPS calls it when a mailman-woman-person has to get out of the vehicle and put mail in a box next to the door, so Gooma doesn’t have to walk to the road. My wife told me that her mother wouldn’t even be able to reach around to check such a box now, so all her mail is going to come here. Humm. I suggested we remove her screen door and affix the mailbox directly to the outside of her front door. That way she can simply open the door and there it is, inside her house. I asked my wife, “Can she still open her door?” She told me yes, but her mother would never consent to losing her lockable screen door.

Still, I persisted and finally my wife asked Gooma’s doctor, during their last visit, about such things and she was told that Gooma had to get the paperwork from both the DMV and the Post Office, and bring it back. Well, it seems to me that her doctor should have those forms available in the office. Don’t you think? But I have digressed, and I will probably digress later.

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My wife drove to her mother’s house two days ago, thinking, hoping she had once again accidently turned off her phone, like she did about six months before. But that’s not what happened.

(Continued next week.)

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