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A Remarkable Story

Originally posted 9 June 11


Its 11:35 am

Put on the score to “Cold Case” which is a bit ironic considering how hot the past two days have been here in Michigan.

We broke a record on Tueday with a 94 degree day and while we beat that yesterday with a 96,no record because back in 1933,Detroit had a 100 degree day. And while today is cooler,it looks like it could storm at any minute.

 As far as things here go,nothing really new is poppin’…Lori is doing very well even as the last of her hair continues to fall out. But her wig is still fooling people who still have no idea she is fighting cancer. The customers at her store are glad to see her back and her spirits have been raised by that. Which is good considering her store sent her a lovely letter stating that if she had not returned to work by 10 June,she would be terminated. Good ol Charmless Shoppes,perhaps giving Walmart a serious run for thier money for being the worst place to work. *smh*

Yesterday saw us visiting Lori’s Aunt Jo. She is the one whom I wrote about who fell and broke her hip last summer and just recently fell and broke her other hip and pelvis. For the first time,we heard the whole story.

Aunt Jo is Jo Gehringer,the widow of famed Detroit Tiger Charlie Gehringer. She is 93 now and has lived alone in her home in years since Charlie passed away. She is a very independent spirit and quite a lady. And tough as nails as well,she recovered from last year’s broken hip in 6 weeks and went home…

On 14 May she was puttering around her house when she suddenly felt dizzy and light headed. She went and sat on a kitchen chair for a few minutes. When she felt better she stood up and thats when her ordeal started in ernest. As she stood up,she said she got very dizzy again and before she could back down,she fell instead. The fall broke her other hip and fractured her pelvis. She said she never blacked out but did hit her head.  She laid there for a while and tried to get her bearings. She knew there was no way she could stand up,the pain was too great. As the minutes grew into hours,she thought maybe her neighbor would come by as she often did and see what happened and call for help. But to no avail ,the sun slowly settled down and night came….Aunt Jo said she would try and sleep or sit up for while.

The next day showed up and she knew she had to get some help…she crawled (and that was no easy task,her house is very big) over to try and get the phone. A 30 second walk took hours as she slowly made her way to the phone.

You’re probably thinking,”Why did she just use her cell phone?” Thats because she doesn’t own one,she has a old fashioned rotary phone. And after her last fall,the family did urge her to get Life Alert but she didn’t want to. I think she always felt if something happened at home,she would have help via her neighbor,mailman,pastor or nephew. I don’t think she ever saw the perfect storm coming of when all of those contacts just wouldn’t see her.

As she reached the phone,she was able to use her cane to try and knock the phone down but she just didn’t have the strength to do so. The second day grew longer and longer,she tried yelling out but being down on the ground in a huge house,her voice just didn’t carry well.

She told us she could hear her landscaper cutting her grass and talking to his helper. She decided to crawl back into the kitchen and she made the long trek back as night once again fell.

The 3rd day came finding Jo back in the kitchen,very thirsty. She said that was the hardest thing,she said she never really felt hungry.  As she once laid there,she could hear the phone but she just couldn’t begin to try and crawl back..she hoped that the fact she didn’t answer would arouse someone to check in on her. Her nephew come around quite often and thats who she really expected to check in on her as he doesn’t live that far away. (We live about 30 miles away).

As the 3rd day went on,she managed to open her fridge. Using her cane,she was able to pull down a container of orange juice. But she was too weak to actually lift it high enough to drink out of. She poured capfuls and drank enough to quench her thirst. And that is the 3rd day ended.

The 4th day came and as the sun came up,she was gearing up for another run at the phone when disaster struck..she had soiled herself during the night and her clothes had both become too heavy and also pinned to the floor. This is when she said she started getting very concerned. Because when she had crawled she had broken her skin and had sores on her back and elbows. She tried her best to move out from the affected area but since it was in front of the fridge,she was in a tough spot.

Her regular mailman had noticed her mail was stacking up. Now Aunt Jo loves to read and she gets dozens of magazines every month. And so when he noticed the zines were filling her mailbox,he made a note to see how she was doing. He was aware of the accident of last summer.  But since that happened away from the house and Jo had appeared fine,he didn’t go to the house to check but made a note.

The 4th day came and went as the first 3 days….Aunt Jo flat on her flat/leaning against the cabinet door. The orange juice helped but it being acidic,she said it was starting to burn her tongue. She drank sparingly as she says she just didn’t know if anyone would find her.

As the 4th day ended,her mailman was going to be off the next day but he left a note to his back-up about Jo and asked him to check on her if her mail was still there.

The 5th day. Aunt Jo said that she was very tired by then and begining to lose hope a little. She could hear people outside and just couldn’t believe anyone hadn’t checked on her as they always had,of all times for this to happen…

The relief mailman started making his rounds and when he saw Aunt Jo’s mail was still there,he whipped out his cell and call the police. A few minutes later 2 cruisers showed and the officers appoached the house and while one rang the doorbell,the other walked around and spotted Aunt Jo in the kitchen,he yelled to his partner to “call a bus” and broke in thru the back door. As he comforted Aunt Jo,the ambulance along with fire department came roaring in….her long nightmare had ended.

Needless to say,she has agreed to get a Life Alert bracelet and we are working on her to update her phone system.

Her rehab is going pretty well actually,the doctor is pretty surpised at how fast she is healing at 93. But we are not…after all,its golf season and Aunt Jo loves her golf.

Well thats it for me….stay cool out there….and thanks for reading!

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