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Everyday Heroes

I had dinner with a dear friend last night. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time, so we spent a couple of hours catching up with each other at the restaurant. We talked about our kids, moms, jobs, and the things with which we learn to cope as we age.

Lori has been a teacher for nearly twenty years and worked with mentally disabled people before that. I’m not sure which place provided the training that saved the day, but there was no denying her skills.

We were leaving the building when she heard a child cry out. She immediately zoned in on the problem. An elderly gentleman had fallen in the parking lot and was lying prone on the asphalt while his young granddaughter was near panic trying to figure out what to do.

Lori dropped her to-go box on the sidewalk and rushed to his side. She was crouched next to him and asking him questions before I even registered what was happening. The man was conscious and coherent, but she fired question after question at him to ascertain the situation. She also made a point to talk to his granddaughter and sooth her anxiety, all while determining if the man was seriously injured.

He maintained he was okay. Saying his hip gave out, which happens frequently, his biggest concern was getting up because his granddaughter couldn’t lift him. My friend wrapped an arm around him and said, “I’ve got you. I will help you up.”

She was joined by a strong young man, who had been watching things unfold from his car, before I could get into position on the grandfather’s other side. The kindhearted witness said only, “I’ll help you, too.” Together, they lifted the gentleman to his feet as his granddaughter and I stood ready to catch him if things went south.

He gained his feet easily with his rescuers’ assistance. Thanking them, he mentioned he was embarrassed. Then, leaning heavily on his cane, he walked to his roommate’s car under his own power.

Lori watched him until he was safely buckled into the backseat as the helpful young man melted into the night. Then, reclaiming her leftovers, she picked up our conversation where we’d left off. She acted as though she had done nothing more significant than opening a door for someone.

I was amazed and proud of her compassion and efficiency. She didn’t think twice. Her training kicked in, and she ran with it. I always knew Lori was strong and had a big heart. I just never knew she was heroic. The world is a better place for having everyday heroes like her living among us. Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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