It came unexpected.
I had forgotten and it took me a moment.
The phone rang at a little after seven last night. Joe and I each looked at each other, who's going to answer. Given that we run an international business, work calls come throughout the day. I'd not been feeling well, Joe was tired, proximity won out. The phone was closest to me so I picked it up. Thank Heavens.
A little voice said,"Hello?"
I figured it was a wrong number, "Hello?"
"Is this the big man in the wheelchair?"
"Is this a joke," I thought but did not say, instead I said, "Yes."
"You may not remember me from the other day."
Immediately I remembered. An elderly woman with a walker, an elderly woman with an abusive assistant, an elderly woman with a note from me in her purse. "I believe I do remember you. From Valuemart, you were with ..." I didn't know how to describe.
"The mean woman, yes, that was me."
"Are you OK?" I asked concerned and she started to cry, "It's been so long since anyone really worried about me, but I'm fine now, really."
We talked for about a half an hour. She had come home from shopping and when her aide had gone home, she pulled out my note and read it. She said that it really openned her eyes. She knew the aide was mean and hurtful but she hadn't thought it was a crime, she hadn't even thought of the police as a resource. She said she wasn't sure why I wanted her to call the police rather than the company that she uses to employ companion helpers, but she kept the idea in her mind.
After one particularly bad day, she waited until she was sure her 'help' was gone and she called the police.
Two police officers arrived and, "at first they just thought that I was just an old woman with petty complaints."
"They didn't believe you?"
"Not until I showed them." There was a long pause, my heart caught in my throat and tears rushed to my eyes. There exists only one form of proof that's almost irrefutable."
"The bruises on my arm."
"Oh my ..."
We talked a bit and she said that she'd arranged for her daughter to come for a few days. Apparently her daughter doesn't like to be bothered with this sort of thing, but she will come and help her address the issue with the 'help agency' interview new staff.
"The police are going to want to talk to you. They said it helps to have an independant witness to her behaviour. That's why I'm calling you, I gave them your number."
"Do you know what's happened to your ..."
"The police said that she will be picked up and questioned. She will not ever be coming back here."
"Thankyou for letting me know."
I could hear her smiling down the line, "I was going to thank you for the same thing.