by Mo Floyd, Director of Security
Back around 1990 I was sent on a call to check the welfare of two children in a house near Central and Hillside in east Wichita. I arrived at a beautiful old 2-story house and knocked on the door. An elderly lady answered and invited me inside. The lady explained that she was worried about two small children, a boy and a girl, in a bedroom on the 2nd floor of her house and wanted me to check on them. I asked if they were her grandchildren and she told me no. I assumed that the lady had been babysitting the children and the parent(s) had not returned – that would happen several times each year.
The lady led me upstairs and opened the door to a bedroom. To my surprise the room was full of old porcelain dolls! Dozens of them all dressed in fancy dresses and displayed from floor to ceiling. I looked around the room but saw no signs of the two children I was there to check on. I asked the lady where the children were and she told me they were in the closet. I looked into the closet but it was empty. I asked the lady if we were in the right room and she said we were.
I finally confessed to the lady that I didn’t see any children in the closet. She looked in and said they were in the very back of the closet. This was not what I expected and I began to realize that I was dealing with a person with dementia and had to change how I was going to handle the call. I asked the lady how long the children had been in the closet and she said they’d been there for 20 years and that they never grew old. She would let the little girl play with some of her dolls but only certain ones. Sadly, the lady had no relatives I could call and no one who was looking after her so I had to leave her in her house with her two “children” living in the back of her closet.
The next time I got called out there the sweet elderly lady had a small handgun and was shooting at the “children” because they were making too much noise. Once again, not what I expected and I had to change how I handled the call. Now I was dodging bullets and figuring out how to disarm an elderly lady without anyone getting hurt.
Why do I tell you this story? How many of you expected to be coming to class on campus today? How many of you were anticipating having your best season ever in your given sport? How many were looking forward to walking at graduation or getting pinned? Now something unexpected has happened and you have to change your approach.
May I encourage you to look at this whole situation as a life lesson that will benefit you further down the road? If I had everything in my life happen just like I expected it, and never had to adjust to the unexpected, I would not have been able to handle many things that happened to me. Sure, this current state of affairs is not pleasant, not fun or fair, but we can make of it what we want. Make it a time of growth. Determine to make this experience a positive in your life.
Blessings – Mo