Small acts of kindness are hard to beat. Kindness invokes a smile, sometimes a tear and always appreciation for the thoughtful act.

That’s happened at our house a lot recently but one act by a group of public servants stands out above all the rest. Three members of the Scottsboro Fire Department working at Station No. 3 came to our aid Monday morning in a have to situation for the Bonner’s. We needed help from trained people.

I knew before I called that Scottsboro fireman care. As a group they are good people serving the citizens of the city in so many ways. They do it with a smile, are polite and show respect. If you happen to be older you would be proud to call these men sons. If you’re younger call them brother.

You see them on the job at fires, automobile accidents, making emergency medical calls and meeting so many other needs. These same guys work hard raising funds to help fight cancer and you will see many involved in other civic activities that benefit the community.

On Monday morning, we needed help to get my father-in-law down the steps out of the house and into the vehicle for a trip to a Birmingham hospital where his heart specialist was waiting. Dell is 91 years old. Just days earlier, after an extended stay in the hospital and rehabilitation, he had made his way up those same steps on a walker with just a little help.

Now, he was experiencing difficulty breathing, lack of strength and his heart was out of rhythm. He couldn’t take more than a couple of steps without gasping for air The heart doctor wanted to see him but believed, knowing his history, that Dell could make the ride by private vehicle much easier than Jayne and I trying to jump through hoops to get an ambulance to travel 120 bumpy miles with him. It would be quicker and a smoother ride.

Thanks to the efforts of three firefighters, Dell’s trip to the automobile was easy. They helped him up with care and concern, got him into a wheelchair we had borrowed and then lifted and slowly rolled him down more than a dozen steps before gently helping him into the car.

Dell, though embarrassed because of his independence, had a grin on his face. Jayne had a tear in her eye because of not only the kind act but the fact that the response had been, “we’re glad to do it. “ I breathed a sigh of relief as another hurdle of what has already been a long road to recovery was cleared and because I knew I couldn’t get him down those steps without real help.

My sigh turned to relief when I got word that Jayne and Dell were at St. Vincent’s Hospital in an examining room waiting for his heart doctor to stop by. The preliminary tests had been run with others ordered. He ended up in MICU but the prognosis remains good for someone his age.

Several weeks ago we lost a young niece to a brain tumor and just last week my sister-in-law passed away after a long illness. As a family, we were showered with love on both occasions. Throw in the caring fireman from Station No. 3 — who said to call them or any firefighter on duty when Dell gets home and needs back in the house — and we’ve been truly blessed by people in recent days.

Kindness makes a big difference. It’s even more impressive when people who have a servant’s heart do it.

God bless you all.

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