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When is the Right Time

Updated on June 7, 2010

Pic from taberandrew from flickr

These phones are not good for  the elderly if they fall they can not reach the phone
These phones are not good for the elderly if they fall they can not reach the phone

Courage and Determination when Needed



"Ooh" Brenda moaned, in pain. Droplets of perspiration fell from her face as she dragged herself closer to the wall phone. Tears blurred her eyes, then stretching up she swore. 'What a useless bloody phone.' She couldn't reach it.

Frustrated and trying not to panic, as thoughts of Brian raced through her head. Just what he warned her could happen. He could gloat now. No! He wouldn't, he would be concerned, she assured herself. This accident would prove Brian and Ella to be right. Now she'd have to go into one of those old people's homes.

She'd managed by herself for the past four years since Jack died. With salt and peppered hair, she still didn't look seventy-five. And she had a few wrinkles; sure... they didn't stop her caring for herself though.

All this had happened because she wanted to hang those dam kitchen curtains, she thought. If she hadn't been up on that chair.

Her vision became blurred. Somehow she had to get help. Wiping at the perspiration she picked up the poker and edged herself towards the front door. Once there she propped herself up and used the poker to lever the catch on the fly screen door. At last it gave way, allowing her to crawl painfully out onto the front step.

'She's coming round doctor.'

He thanked the nurse and moved to her bedside. 'Hello,' he smiled to reassure her. 'Because you had a nasty fall, you are in hospital. You've badly sprained your ankle and there's lots of bruising, but with rest you'll be as good as new. The nurse will make sure you are comfortable and I'll see you again later.' The doctor smiled at the nurse and left.

You are very lucky and your family is worried about you.'

'I know.' Brenda looked around the sterile room wondering if this is what she had to look forward too. 'I don't want to be a nuisance'

'You're not!' the nurse cut in. 'Although, I have to warn you, that your son is very worried about you.'

'He wants to put me in a home because he says I'm too old to live alone. This will make him more determined.'

She straightened the sheets. 'I can sympathize with you because I put my mum in a home. Because she couldn't walk so we had no choice. It wasn't an easy decision though. Don't worry things will work out for you? Anyway you have visitors now, so I'll come back.'

'Mum, Are you all right?' Brian asked, taking her small wrinkled hand in his large brown ones.

'Yes love. You can't get rid of me that easy.' She smiled tentatively. 'I'm sorry if I worried you.'

'That doesn't matter as long as you're all right. Although, you have a woman, out walking her dog to thank. If she hadn't heard you groan and call the ambulance. Heaven knows how long you'd have lain out there in that hot sun.

'I'm sorry.' She lay there thinking for a moment, and then she looked into her sons eyes. Her determination showed, oozing from every facial wrinkle. 'If you think this will change my mind. You're wrong.' She looked at Brian's wife. 'It could happen to you Ella while Brian is at work.'

Ella could see how easily Brenda had turned her accident to her own advantage. She laughed. You're right. And yes, it could happen to anyone at anytime. Mum, we both love you and just want what's best for you. So I suppose.'

Brenda cut her short. 'There's no suppose about it. I'm staying in my own home until I can't manage by myself. Then and only then will I move.'

Brian laughed and kissed his mum. 'Okay I give in.' Not to be outdone he added, 'Not before I've had another phone installed.'

'You'll get no argument from me there.'

Home on crutches now, Brenda had time to think about her situation. There were so many memories in this home. They had built it together, moving into one room soon after their wedding. Gradually, adding more rooms as they could afford it. She had made the entire curtains for the house then, just like the new ones when she fell. Somehow she had to make Brian understand why she didn't want to leave her home. She ran her hand over the polished jarrah table, which Brian made at woodwork. Each room had its own memories, and Brian was born in this very room.

She went into the sitting room. She spent so many nights here relaxing with the lights off, so as not to attract the insects. Looking out onto the street, where she could watch all the traffic going up and down, as she listened to the radio. It was the closest thing to have people around her.

She heard the back door creak, sitting there motionless. There was a noise coming from the kitchen, drawers opening and shutting. What, could she do? Slowly, she edged forward, leaning over she picked up her walking stick, which had been given to her this morning.

Brenda moved carefully, and as quietly as she could in her condition. She stood up and moved behind the door, leaning, heavily on her stick. The intruder was in the passage, the footsteps were coming closer. Now, entering the room just past where she was hiding.

In as strong a voice as she could muster she said, "Stay right where you are! If you move, I won't hesitate to use this," with that she prodded him in the back with her walking stick.

"I won't." came the muffled reply. "Please don't shoot."

She quickly dialed 000. Later, after the police and the curious neighbors had left, ready to do battle she confronted Brian.

"It's okay, Mum. This time, you won," he laughed.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      soundadvice, thanks for commenting

    • SoundAdvice profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Great ending to a well-developed story! :)

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Ethel thanks for that.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Ha. Great tale

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks for that. Its what can happen to oldies like myself only fiction though

    • cgull8m profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      Nice story Eileen. Cheers :)


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