Wednesday, October 13, 2010
After a long, beautiful beach hike earlier this week, I returned to my car in the parking lot to find an elderly man with Alzheimer's disease lost and confused. I asked him if he was okay and he said that he was but didn't know where his car was or who brought him there.
Fortunately, a town worker was on patrol and saw which car the man had emerged from. We figured that the people who took him there were walking the beach and had told him to stay put.
It upset me. It was irreponsible and disturbing that he was left behind since he was wandering around and could have fallen, or worse, disappeared.
I learned that his name was Armand and that he thought he was waiting for a man who sold automobiles in Fall River, Massachusetts. He told us to look at the vehicle registration to find out who owned the car. When we did, we learned that it was a rental.
What concerned me was how Armand got on the island in the first place. After waiting with the town worker for more than a half hour, I decided to leave. While I assured Armand that the person he was with would return for him and to just sit tight and wait, the town worker called the police to explain the predicament.
Then that evening as I was waiting for the ferry, I spotted the town worker. He told me that five minutes after I had left, Armand's wife and daughter showed up. They thought he would have fallen on the rocky beach and that it was better for him to wait in the car.
I was happy that Armand was safe. It just made me aware that similar situations must be happening all over the world, every day.
St. Bartholomew (also known as Nathaniel) is the patron saint against neurological disorders. He was born in Galilee in the 1st century. He was a friend of St. Philip the Apostle who introduced him to Jesus.
It is thought that St. Bartholomew wrote a gospel that was lost. He preached in Ethiopia, Asia Minor, India, and Armenia, where he was flayed alive.
His relics are at St. Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church in Rome, Italy and Canterbury Cathedral in England. St. Bartholomew's feast day is Aug. 24.