An inconvenient adventure

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It all began with a teary phone call from my friend Helen. She was scheduled to go into the hospital and didn’t have anyone to look after Freddy.

No, Freddy isn’t a dog. Freddy is Helen’s husband and was my husband’s best friend. Before I realized it, I spouted the fateful words “I’ll do it!”

Helen had her surgery and when she woke up in the recovery room of the Health Sciences Centre, she found her husband sitting in a wheelchair, at the foot of her bed. Helen remembers exclaiming “What are you doing here?”

Caring for Freddy, the husband of her best friend, Helen, was quite an eventful time for correspondent Freda Glow.

Getting together with Helen to reminisce was fun. My story started with a pratfall I took the night before the operation.

“Do you remember Helen? I tripped in your kitchen and sprained my finger – but I tried to ignore it. So many important things were going on. You were making a list of phone numbers and writing down all the important daily chores that I would have to do. Then you began organizing Freddy’s pills for the week ahead.”

I cared for my own husband for six long years, and I consider myself a pro. However, the difference between Freddy and Syd is that my husband was compliant, and Freddy has a rebellious streak. Sometimes he even sees people that aren’t there. I was hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.

“And it turns out you weren’t disappointed”, Helen said with a smile.

I was completely blind-sided, I confess. The first day started fine. Freddy and I had an early breakfast and then I retired to the bathroom to nurse my swollen finger. Suddenly I heard the front door close with a bang. I ran to the window and saw Freddy hightailing it down the street.

Grabbing my coat and car keys, I rushed out.

When I stopped the car beside Freddy, he hopped in.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“To see Helen,” he replied.

I told him you were still in recovery and to wait until tomorrow. Without any notice, Freddy jumped out. This was a man with a mission, and he was heading straight toward the Seven Oaks hospital on McPhillips Street.

Helen shook her head and chuckled. “Meanwhile I was across town at HSC,” she said.

“I tried to follow him,” I said, “but the motor stalled.”

By the time the car turned over, Freddy had disappeared, but I pushed on. However, no one at Seven Oaks had seen the missing senior. Sick at heart, I headed back to the house and called the police.

I had just put the phone down when it rang. It was a nurse from Health Sciences

Centre asking if someone could pick up Freddy. Wow – what a relief!

“But you didn’t go right away,” Helen interjected.

“I called my son Brian – you remember him,” I said. “He’s the magician that makes a living making

people disappear.”

Brian was amazed by Freddy’s chutzpah and suggested that since our intrepid traveller was in a safe place, I should pop into a clinic to get an X-ray of my hand. I agreed and it wasn’t long before we were on our way again, to claim our wandering Freddy.

“Was that the end of it?” she asked. “No more problems?”

I continued my saga. The following day we visited a clinic in the city of Selkirk. While ‘the boys’ had lunch, I picked up a metal splint for my broken finger. I was told to wear it for six weeks. Freddy became my ‘sous chef’ because you can’t chop veggies while sporting this piece of jewelry.

I asked Helen, who is a Garden City resident, what Freddy told her about his daring and inconvenient adventure.

“He said ‘Sorry’ because he knew we were upset.”

He also told her that when he asked a Good Samaritan for a ride to visit his sick wife in the hospital, the man was only too happy to oblige.

We all know Winnipeggers melt like butter when they hear a sad story or hear of someone in need. This is a wonderful city with great people. Why would you want to live anywhere else?

Freda Glow

Freda Glow
North End community correspondent

Freda Glow is a community correspondent for the North End.

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