Most nights when I get home from work I phone my 93-year-old Mother. She lives on the east coast so we speak around 10 p.m. her time. Last night she sounded tired, but she chatted away and I only needed to say the odd “really?” and “that’s nice.” She told me she’d gone out for lunch with friends, and what she’d eaten, and was in the middle of describing the bridge game she’d played that evening, when suddenly the phone was silent…
“Hello? Hello Mom?” I shouted. No answer.
My dearly beloved Mr F, thought maybe she’d pressed the mute button, so he advised that I wait a bit. I did, shouting “HELLO,” every few seconds. The phone stayed silent. I called back and got her answering machine with my voice asking the caller to leave a message. Three times. I panicked. Mr F suggested that I phone the retirement home where she lives, and ask them to go check up on her. I managed to find their number, but was too hysterical to speak, so he phoned for me.
“We’re sorry to bother you so late at night. We live in California, and we’re very worried about our mother, Mrs R,” Mr F told the woman who answered the phone. “We were talking to her on the phone, when she stopped in the middle of a sentence. We called back several times, but she doesn’t answer the phone.”
The woman said, “I’ll go check on Mrs R. Wait about 10 minutes, and phone her again,” It was a long 10 minutes. My mother answered the phone. She was O.K. The problem was her cordless phone had run out of charge, and she had no idea what to do.