My Goldilocks Moment

by Diana Sears McDaniel.


As I was in the parking lot of my mother’s nursing home removing Mother’s Day gifts from the back of the truck, a small group walked casually in my direction. I wondered why the woman was following the man instead of walking by his side but didn’t really give it much thought. I was too busy congratulating myself on finding the gorgeous, deep golden yellow potted iris that would find a home in Mom’s garden after the blooms faded.Smiles and nods – good children to good children – as is usual in such settings. We were all enjoying some sun and fresh air between thunder storms on this Spring day.

Then they turned to head to their car and I did a classic double take. The third member of the party was a large black bear! It was easily 7 feet of glossy black fur and wicked claws just out for a stroll on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I’m afraid I goggled. Possibly, I reeled. If I knew for sure what plotzing was, I might own up to that. I know there was a naughty word bouncing around in my brain but I managed to keep it contained.The man had the head and the woman was holding the tail so that they made a small circus parade across the lot. When they carefully loaded the bear in the back seat, I saw that it was only the pelt so had no width which explains why I didn’t see it until they turned.

No words managed to struggle out of my open mouth before they waved and disappeared around the corner, so I will never know important things. Like where did the bear come from and why was it at a nursing home.

Did grandma bag it just before her collapse? Was it a family friend who came to visit for Mother’s Day? Do these people take a bear skin with them everywhere for religious reasons? Or, were the kids tired of waiting for their inheritance and thought Mama might finally cash it in if she woke up to find a bear in bed with her?

I scurried as fast as I could to the entrance of the home, fumbled at the door lock button, flung open the door and prepared to hear the tale. However, disappointment and frustration was my lot.

There was no excited buzz among the residents or staff as I crossed the lobby. No gaping mouths in the hallway as I made my way to the room at the back. Mother hadn’t seen it so it hadn’t been touring the facility. I was afraid to ask at the desk in case I was having some sort of episode. I did get one of ‘those’ looks from Mom when I asked her if she’d seen the bear.

So, you tell me. Do I need medication or is there a perfectly reasonable explanation for meeting a bear in a nursing home?

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