The Bible reading in church on Sunday was from the Epistle of James. In it he encourages anyone who is ill to inform the church elders so prayers can be said. I was not feeling well enough for Church on Sunday and had to tell a friend who rang in the morning, that I couldn’t give her a lift. She obviously took James seriously and when she got to church asked the congregation for prayers for my recovery. Unfortunately, this caused a certain amount of consternation because when you are prayed for like this, everyone imagines you are, if not actually on the point of death, at least seriously indisposed.
My neighbour, Liz, from two doors away, was at church that morning and heard the prayers. Shocked and concerned , she popped in to see how I was. At that time I was still groggy and could only sip at the bush tea she brought me. However, it seems the prayers of All Saints Church are very powerful and by evening I was almost fully recovered. In fact, having not eaten all day, I was rather hungry and so when Val, my next-door neighbour, rang and invited me to join her in a light meal I left everything at once and walked over to her cottage. As I didn’t intend to stay away long, and was going to be so close by, I left the computer on and the door unlocked ( Actually, I never lock my dogs in the house so in case there is a an emergency like a fire they would be able to escape.)
While I was enjoying a glass of red and a delicious bean bredie, my almost- next-door-neighbour, Liz , came round again to see if I was still in the land of the living. She was horrified to find the state of my home. It was reminiscent of the Marie Celeste: door open, lights on, computer running , dogs hiding in the bedroom and the occupant mysteriously missing.. What could have happened? It was already dark. Perhaps I had suddenly had another attack of illness and gone to find help. Perhaps I had gone outside and collapsed and was lying unconscious somewhere. . She consulted her husband, who was on the Residents committee. He agreed something should be done. Security was informed, nurses were called, the supervisor was phoned, all the staff alerted. Everyone went into action: the house was searched and the grounds scoured, but although I was only a few metres away I was not to be found. Just before Management was about to go to the lengths of informing my next-of-kin, Liz came to check my cottage again, encountered me getting ready for bed and the search was called off.
I was most touched by the concern shown by friends and by staff, but now, to prevent a similar happening, I have given my cell-phone number to Security to keep in the office at the gate and I have also given it to as many people I can think of, so I can be located when next I go missing