A slow-moving blond elderly woman of undetermined age walks through our complex, picking up trash as she goes. I thought she lived near by, because I see her nearly everyday.
Today, I stopped her and asked if I could share something with her that I had bought yesterday at an incredibility great value. She said yes, and when I gave it to her, she assured me she would share it with another woman that doesn’t have much, and doesn’t get around very well. Then she began telling me about the mugging she experienced. Horrified by the details, I stood in awe as this beautiful woman told her story.
Eckie walks a specific pattern that amounts to miles a day to the village grocer’s and back, then through the various complexes in between. She carried a “dummy purse.” She puts what she called “old lady stuff” in it, tissues, partial pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and a change keeper, full of pennies. She did this to protect herself, as if to say, “Take it! Take it quick and leave me alone.” On one of her daily excursions, near the end as she drew closer to her home, a boy, one that had never had a razor to his face, tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned, thinking it was someone she might have known, he grabbed her by the neck and twisted her, flipping her into the air, and down on to the cement, like a country wife would ring a chicken’s neck. He grabbed the purse and ran, leaving her for dead.
Since it was a warm day, she wore a lite short sleeve shirt. All the skin tore from her right arm, leaving her bone exposed, and she couldn’t move. She lay there for what seemed like hours before someone saw her and called the police.
She couldn’t identify the boy.
During her hospitalization, the homicide detectives did not expect her to live through the night. They checked on her continually according to her family, and told them of their amazement that she was alive, wanting to apprehend this vile person that did this to her, expecting that she would not live through the ordeal.
But they didn’t tell Eckie because live she did! However, the Doctor explained to her family that she might completely lose her arm, or for sure would never have use of it. The authorities put her in a nursing home. It was awful. She hated the way the attendants talked down to her like she was a feeble infant! “Are we eating our oatmeal?,” Eckie mocked them. She would reply, “Well I am, if you try, I’m going to throw it at you.” Eckie went on to tell me many things she found disgusting and humiliating in being there.
The Doctor that invented the knee replacement for women happened to be in our town. Hearing of Eckie’s situation, he wanted to try the new procedure on the reconstruction of her arm, however, also told her family that it could just be a cosmetic fix, she would have limited use of it if she could use it at all.
But again, they forgot to tell Eckie, as she raised her arm to the sky and bend her elbow up and down showing me she did indeed have full and complete use of it. In fact, she was back in her own apartment, taking care of herself.