Today started out okay. Glenn had a nine o’clock meeting, so we were out the door by 830pm. I was due to be at the Seniors’ Center for 11am, which gave me lots of time to stop at the grocery store to pick up some agave, and condensed milk.
I decided to stop at Safeway, just outside of Cupertino, where his office is, at Apple. At this point, I was not aware of the looming crisis. I pulled into a shady parking spot, turned off the car, and got out. As always, I turned to press the lock button, and …. no dice. Unless you have the key fob in your pocket or in your purse, the lock button does nothing. This had happened once before, when the battery in the fob needed changing. In that case, the car listened once I had the fob in my hand, and held it up against the lock. So I reached into my purse to pull the recalcitrant fob out, and ….
That is when I realized that I was in trouble. I emptied my purse out onto the drivers’ seat, but my purse hadn’t lied: no fob, no key, and no way of mitigating this disaster. I grabbed my cell phone, and sent Glenn a message: HELP…no keys, stopped at grocery, can t restart car, HELP HELP!
“I will walk over and meet you as soon as my meeting is done. You can take my keys, and get to your shift at the Seniors’ Center.”
At this point, I was about 10 miles from his office. And he’s going to walk over and meet me?
“I’ll meet you part way.”, I offered. “I’m heading down Stevens Creek, so you can let me know when you leave the office, and we’ll meet somewhere in between.”
At the time we left home, I vaguely considered wearing sneakers and socks. That can be pretty uncomfortable in the heat, which I’ve still not adjusted to here. So instead, I chose my newish sandals that are ‘moderately’ comfortable. They are fine for use on a standard day, but I’ve not worn them for a day of extended hiking. They seemed comfy enough as I slipped them on, so off we went.
I headed out at a good pace, thinking that I was well equipped to cover some serious distance. My speed was good, as I was well aware of the clock continuously creeping towards my 11am commitment.
The sun slowly synched up to simmer, as I plodded along the sidewalk. Since I hadn’t anticipated this marathon, I hadn’t slathered on adequate sunscreen, no did I have a sun hat! There were an assortment of large buildings along my route, as well as two highway underpasses. While grateful for the sudden shade, I was conscious of trepidation in the underpasses, since I have previously seen homeless camps perched high up in the crook of these concrete canopies. Though I have tremendous empathy for these poor souls, some of them can approach threateningly, as I have recently read in the local paper!
As my pace began to slow, I began to watch more hopefully for Glenn, thinking that at his pace, he would soon appear. Hoping, wishing, and yes, BEGGING! As my fatigue increased, my missteps increased, and I began to trip over the variances in angles on driveways.
Finally, there he was. I was SO relieved I nearly stumbled with relief. He could clearly see my distress, so said that he’d walk back to the car with me. I clutched his keys, as tears brimmed in my eyes. He took my hand, helping me as best he could, as we retraced my steps. As we neared the lot where the car awaited us, he stepped aside to buy me a bottle of cold water. He easily caught up with me moments later, and I slipped the icy bottle down the front of my blouse. oooooh……that felt good!
We got to the car, and I asked Glenn to drive himself back to work, while I drank as much water as I needed to quench my dusty, dry mouth. I also asked him to figure out how far I had walked, from the grocery store, to where we met up. I was SO tired, and by this time, my head had begun to throb dully.
As we pulled into Apple’s parking lot, he announced the mileage. I had walked a total of five miles, total. For someone with MS, pretty darn amazing, I’d say.