9.20.2011

My Grandpa is Cuter Than Yours.





Last week a story came out in the Porterville paper about this sweet man...

Man Reported Missing Found Safe

An 85-year-old man with dementia reported missing before 10 a.m. this morning was found safely at the Porterville Community Center more than three hours later.
Edward Mathias walked away from his house on Grand Avenue at about 9 a.m. and after he did not return family members called the Porterville Police Department.
Because of his age and condition, police immediately began a search. At one time, more than 20 members of the police department were involved and the city utilized a helicopter in its search.
Mathias reportedly walked away from his home wearing a Hawaiian shirt and carrying a ukulele in a case. Mathias is Hawaiian.
A little after 1 p.m., police got a call that a person matching the man’s description was given a ride to the Community Center on Putnam Avenue.

That was the local paper's story.

My poor mom's story had a VERY different tone.

"Robin, I searched up and down Porterville for HOURS. I was so sure that he had fallen somewhere and was roasting in the 100+ degree weather. My phone was ringing off the hook with people that were hearing the news and asking me if I was okay and what they could do to help. Robin.... there was a chopper in the sky looking, EVERY single police man in town was out searching, they put all the drug busts and gang fights on hold to find your grandfather. It was unreal. I was so sick with worry."

My mom also said that after the police found him at the Community Center the police man who dropped him off handed her a business card. My mom figured that it was his card but later when she looked at it she saw that it was the woman who runs the Community Center. My mom called her later and she told her that Grandpa was the life of the party for the few hours that he was there. He was singing and playing his uke and everyone was loving having him there. Can't blame them :)... She invited him to come and spend time with them everyday.

A pretty similar story actually happened to me about three years ago. David, Ashlee (David's sister) and I all went to Maui with Grandpa for a trip. Grandpa was so excited to spend time with his old Hawaiian senior friends and requested that he be taken to the senior center to visit them for a few hours. The three of us had a few things that we wanted to do and knew that Grandpa wouldn't enjoy tagging along so we decided we would drop him off and pick him up later. We had coordinated a time with one of the workers at the senior center and scheduled a time to pick him up. Well we went out and had our fun and came to pick him up a few hours later. When we arrived at the senior center, I remember getting out of the car and wandering around to find him. Usually you can just listen for singing and find him no problem. I happened to run into one of the workers and they had told me that he had just decided to walk home. Umm... are you kidding? So then I start to panic. I get into the car and we start weaving the streets of the neighborhood hoping that we would spot him. I think we did this for about a half hour and then I really start to feel sick. I remember calling his friends and asking them if they knew where he was and they had said that he decided to take a walk. In my head I'm thinking, "WHY WOULD ANYONE LET HIM DO THAT?!" We decided to just drive from the senior center to the house and check every single business in between until we found him. This took at least an hour and a half and then we called the police. We checked the Cannery Mall which is usually his place to visit but there was no sign of him anywhere. I was crying my eyes out. I was so hysterical. I know that I have never been more upset and scared in my life. Just like my mom's mind had assumed the worst, I too was so sure that he had fallen somewhere and that he was helpless lying on the hot ground. We decided to meet up with the police on Front Street which is a really popular shopping street in Lahaina. David and Ashlee decided to take the car and I decided to just start at the top of Front Street and make my way down through every store checking to see if he was inside. I did this for about ten minutes and I got a call from David saying that he and Ashlee found him. Right outside a nice little ice cream shop. :) Best news of my life.

2 comments:

  1. We definitely DO have the cutest gpa ever!

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  2. Hahahaha! O my, your grandpa does seem like the cutest human being on the planet. And I love your mom's "hysterical" searches for him.

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