Everyday hero: Madison’s Story

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, they also come in all job types.Years ago before starting on this journey of sharing stories, I was a nurse working some three hours from home. I’d go to a hotel, check in, rush to the prison where I’d do a 12 hour shift, drive an hour and a half back to the hotel, sleep a few hours, and do it again. I’d work 36 of the 72 hour span of time from Friday evening to Monday morning.

I made really good money there, but as someone that had always lived paycheck to paycheck I pretty much still had that mentality. Get paid, pay all the bills do that cycle, then get groceries whatever was left went to gas and frivolities. I didn’t think to keep a ‘stash’ in my car,
These are important things to know, because I had reconnected with the original boyfriend. The first date, the one that got away, the one that scarred me beyond recognition for his harshly worded sixteen year old rantings. It took a long time I could trust any guy again, much less before I was willing to talk to him.

We flash forward to my being a nurse at around the age of 29 or 30. I was overweight and not very ok with how I looked. I had very little self confidence (I have both of those problems still). So when he reached out through the internet I latched onto a friendship. I lived in a town where I knew shockingly few people, and I worked in a town on the other side of the state at a prison, where I wanted to know even less.

Our reunited friendship would last two weeks. The first week after we spent it together, I took him home, and left him at his mother’s. (He’d just gotten back from the army, and was having to relearn how to be a non military person). I did my hours that weekend, and he called on my way home, I took a slight detour and picked him up. Another week we would spend together.
We didn’t kiss, I thought I was helping him to look for a job in the area, he thought he had a prime idiot for the taking. By the time I had to go back to work on Friday he’d pretty much integrated himself into my life.

He dislocated his jaw on the Thursday before I had to rush back to work. We went to three hospitals before he gave up, he needed it put back in place but because he didn’t have insurance (now I realize he likely had it but refused to use it, or his army story was bogus but I digress) so the hospitals were very short sighted. One wanted to give him 50mg of dipenhydramine. That’s benadryl, and while it is sometimes used a low grade muscle relaxer, it was more of a ‘here we’ll give you a placebo shot and you’ll go away.”

Unfortunately he was smart enough to ask a question they had to answer. “What’s that in laymen’s terms?” When he was told Benadryl he left AMA. A tank of gas later, and we are headed back to my apartment, and I’m filling my tank up after traversing most of the Arkansas landscape.

Looking back I can see I was much more than just helping him out, I was going that one step further and allowing myself to be taken in. And that’s where we get to the real hero of the story. This friend went with me to work that weekend. I’d go to work, and he’d stay at the hotel with my laptop, the tv, the air, and the pool. He’d chill out all weekend, eating the food I’d bought for the weekend in the room, and then we’d hang out for a few hours before I passed out.

This happened Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday Morning. I drive back from work, and I realized I’m precariously low on gasoline. I pull into the station and look in my wallet, the damn tie dyed card is missing. I have a total of 3 dollars in my wallet, so all 3 goes into the tank, it was less than a gallon of gas that day. As I get back to my hotel room I search all over for the card, but the sour feeling that settled when I had 3 dollars grew worse, when I realized my ‘friend’ was no where to be seen.

I take a very deep breath, and I log into my laptop to check the online balance. My worst fears were answered I was not only completely wiped at the bank, I was overdrawn by nearly 200 dollars, and that was before the late fees started rolling in.

It was still too early to call the bank, I was stuck at the hotel, but my check out time was 10am. I had no way to get gasoline to get home and I was looking at the change I pulled out from under the seats in my car. (he’d also taken every piece of food from my room).

I’d worked 12 hours the night before, and now I was trying to figure out how I was going to get home much less handle all the money he’d stolen from me. I went to the front desk, eyes still puffy from crying, tears threatening to fall if I so much as spoke. I went to the restaurant where Alice* was working as a server that day. She took one look at my face, Brad* the chef came out of the kitchen and his six foot something frame towered over me, he hugged me tight and said “Donchyou worry a thing, I got you.” And true to his words, he fed me like I’d never need to eat again.

Then Brianne* came around from the front desk sat down with me and put her arm around my shoulder, the whole store came boiling up. She listened intently and the phone rang at the desk, so when she ran to get it Alice sat with me again.
These are two women I’d talked to briefly each week, and we’d become friendly but I am not sure at that moment we were even facebook friends. While at the desk Brianne called her police officer husband so he could take my statement, and before he left they gave me 20 dollars to get me home, offering more if I needed it.

They have four kids at home, maybe five. They aren’t hurting for money most days, because they do numerous jobs, and are raising their kids the right way. But they are not loaded. 20 bucks likely meant an extra tank of gas, or extra milk.

I gave my story to Brianne’s husband, and then I went back to my room to call the bank. They were wonderful and helped me to get my thoughts in order. I had to get to north east arkansas and file another police report with my hometown (and the town the card was issued from) and I had to press charges. I’d already started that with the first police station.

It took a few days but I got back all the money he stole, I pressed charges and as far as I was concerned all was right with the world. It will never be the same as it was.. I will never be the same. I find it hard to trust most men, but I did not lose my trust in people, even though a person is who hurt me. Four very great individuals help keep me together on a completely horrible day.

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Everyday Hero: Kelly

Sometimes help comes from the proper channels, but not always in the way you’d think.  Take Kelly’s story.

When I was 19, my child was taken away by CPS because of the situation I was in. For three years I was in a very controlling and abusive relationship with the father. I finally saw a way out and I took it. I ran away. Disappeared for 4 months. Nobody knew where I was. I lived on the streets, and did some things that I am less than proud of to get by. I wanted to die. One night some people said they would help me, and ended up leaving me stranded at a store in the middle of nowhere. I was about 10 miles back to town. I was nearly arrested. I explained to the officer everything that had been happening. She didn’t arrest me though. She came back later that night, in her personal vehicle. She took me to a shelter, where they took me in. Helped me get back on my feet. I am so thankful to that officer. I don’t know what would have happened to me or where I’d be now if she hadn’t helped me that night.

Everyday Hero Friday: Small Acts Can Mean So Much

Welcome Back!

Today’s little blurb into the world of the Every Day Hero is especially touching, because as you read it you realize how much someone can do for someone by doing something that a lot of us would never think to do, but that didn’t cost them much at all.

In today’s world we are too busy, we are too stressed, and beyond that we are too afraid of our fellow men and women.  How many people out there would open their house to a homeless person to use the phone, hell anyone to use the phone, much less a shower, the couch, some food.  We are good people as a whole, but we need to be more like this person below.

I used to work at a fast food restaurant in Houston, TX. There is a high homeless population in Houston, to the point that people just see them as background. I worked early mornings, and I used to buy a breakfast sandwich or coffee for whoever was around that day. I didn’t have much to spend, but I did what I could. I would let some of the guys come to my house to take a shower, do laundry, eat dinner, and just spend an evening being ‘normal’. We would watch some TV, play games, listen to music, whatever. I always hated when they had to leave, that I couldn’t do more to help. Later, one of the guys told me that I was why he was still alive. I never realized how much impact so little could have.

Everyday Heroes

Welcome home.

Sit back, relax, pull up a chair.  Let me tell you a story. This story is about a man named Chris and a girl named Friday.  I was surfing through the lands of Facebook when my friend Friday called upon me to look at this single solitary idea.

This idea was to tell stories where people had helped you no matter how small, no matter how infinitesimal they felt the contribution was, that people had helped you and it had changed your life.  This could be as small as buying you a cup of coffee when you were cold, or giving you a dime when you were down.

Some stories will be immense, a couch when you were homeless can mean the difference between staying on the street in the snow and finding a job to keep you going.   Also it was a place to tell stories of where you have helped someone, and again it didn’t seem like much at the time, but can mean the world to someone else.  That free burger you bought in line at McDonald’s that made you feel a little warm inside, or that day you bought the guy in front of you in line his last five bucks in groceries instead of letting him have them put it back.

The point of this page is to feel good, to make you feel good, to make the people you help feel good by helping.  It’s a random act of kindness sort of day.

The page will be updated bi-weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.  If you have a story, feel free to comment, or email herofriday0001@gmail.com

Everyday Hero: Racheal’s Story.

Sometimes through no fault of your own, you end up somewhere you never meant to be.  It is in these times that the kindness of strangers may just be your salvation.  Our first story is not much more than a blurb of information, but it shows just how great people can be.  And today with the faith in humanity falling to the wayside so often, we need more stories like this.  That’s why we’re here.

A couple of years ago, I decided to go to Fargo, ND. Terrible idea, it’s freaking cold up there lol. In November, there was a sudden change, and I found myself stranded up there. No money, food, place to stay anything. The manager of the apartment complex we were living in let me stay on a couch in the lobby for a week and gave me food. One of the neighbors gave me coffee and cigarettes, and took me out on my birthday. Someone else, put a $20 in my backpack one night while I was sleeping. I put an ad on Craigslist asking for help. A stranger anonymously bought me a ticket home, and left $10 at the bus station for me to pick up. That ticket was $200. And it meant the world to me. That person can never truly know how much that ticket meant to me to be able to get back home.

People helping others through small acts of kindness