A worried young woman calls the police and asks for a wellness check on one of her neighbors and the officers make a shocking discovery.
Wendy Mulholland had been living in the same street for over ten years since her oldest son was born, and she knew practically every one of her neighbors.
Some of them you could set your clock to, like Mr. Jordan who lived next door and left at 6:30 every morning or Missy Dowel who came home around 2 a.m. every day.
Wendy was up for all these comings and goings because she was nursing her third colicky baby, and that was why she noticed that Beatrice Callow hadn’t shown her face on the street for a few days.
Called on a wellness check, two policemen make a shocking discovery | Source: Shutterstock.com
Beatrice was 86 years old, and the kind of woman who would be snapping whips and running armies at 100 if they let her. Every morning at exactly 11:00, Miss Beatrice (that’s what everyone called her) would be seen marching down the street with her cane in hand.
Mind you, Miss Beatrice NEVER leaned on her cane, she used it to emphasize her finer conversation points, and once, she poked a man who’d been harassing Wendy where it hurts.
Reach out to the people around you, make sure they know they are not alone.
The young woman and the older one, on opposite sides of the road of life, had become friendly, but Miss Beatrice always kept her distance, even though Wendy had invited her for tea several times.
Nevertheless, the third time in a row Wendy didn’t see Miss Beatrice walking to the corner store for her fresh rolls, she decided that enough was enough and she called the police.
She explained that her neighbor was in her eighties and lived alone. “Please, could you send over a car to see if she’s ok?” Wendy asked. “I’ve knocked on the door and rang the bell but she doesn’t reply even though I can see through the window that her purse is on the kitchen table.”
Half an hour later, two uniformed officers were at the front door of Miss Beatrice’s house. When there was no reply, they forced her front door and walked in. They walked through the lounge, the dining room, and the kitchen, but there was no sign of Miss Beatrice.
They were about to climb the stairs when they heard a weak moan from the first floor. A quick search of the upstairs rooms led them to the bathroom. The door was open, and inside the officers found poor Miss Beatrice.
She was lying in the bathtub stark naked, and the minute she saw the officers, she immediately tried to cover herself with her hands. “Please…” Miss Beatrice gasped. “Please help me!”
One of the officers immediately called for an ambulance, while the other pulled down a warm-looking bathrobe to drape over the poor lady. “I’m so cold,” whispered Miss Beatrice. “I couldn’t get up, and no one heard me when I screamed.”
“That’s OK, Mrs. Callow, we’re here now, and you’ll be OK!” the second officer told her soothingly.
“Three days I’ve been here,” cried Miss Beatrice. “And it’s all my fault, I left my cell phone on the kitchen table, and I couldn’t scream loud enough…”
“You’re a lucky lady, Mrs. Callow,” said the first officer. “Your neighbor Mrs. Mulholland called the station and said she was worried because she hadn’t seen you in days, so we came on over.”
“Thank God,” wept Miss Beatrice. “Or I’d have died here!” Then the ambulance arrived and the paramedics got her out of her bath and onto a stretcher.
She was taken to the hospital and treated for malnourishment and dehydration. “You can’t live alone,” the doctor scolded Miss Beatrice. “You were just plain lucky this happened during the summer, or you would have been a popsicle by now!”
“I don’t have any family, I’m all alone,” Miss Beatrice said. “And I don’t intend to live with strangers, especially not in a nursing home!”
“How about living with friends?” a sweet voice asked. Miss Beatrice and the doctor were surprised to see Wendy walk into the room carrying a big bunch of sunflowers.
“Hey there Miss Beatrice,” Wendy greeted her. “You’re right in not wanting to live your last days among strangers, but I don’t agree that you’re alone. You have friends, Miss Beatrice, good friends if you give us a chance!”
“Oh,” said Miss Beatrice blushing. “I’m sorry, I’m just so shy, and people think I’m stand-offish…I know I owe you my life. Thank you Wendy!”
“That’s alright, Miss Beatrice,” Wendy smiled. “But I was thinking, while you’re convalescing, why don’t you stay with me and the kids? What do you think? It’s only three days..”
So when Miss Beatrice went home, she went to Wendy’s house, and somehow the three days turned into three months, and the three months into three years.
Miss Beatrice became Wendy’s best friend, and the kids’ honorary grandmother (she spoiled them shamelessly). After a while, Miss Beatrice realized that ‘home’ was right where she was, where she was cherished and loved.
So many people vanish unnoticed, die, move away, and no one thinks about them, where they are, where they have gone. If only we were alert, aware of the people around us, there would be a lot less loneliness in the world.
What can we learn from this story?
Reach out to the people around you, make sure they know they are not alone. Wendy’s concern saved Miss Beatrice because she was willing to get involved.
The people you glimpse on the street are just as real as you, just as lonely, and they need kindness. Wendy knew that Beatrice was alone, so she took responsibility for doing her part.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.