I met Dorothy in school. She came from a large family which welcomed school friends for sleep overs. We were in Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls together. School years came and went and we soon found ourselves receiving our diplomas. We attended Chenier’s Business College together. I moved to Houston and she stayed in Kountze and married. We kept in touch and would see each other from time to time. She and her husband purchased a home close to my parents. Later Dorthy and Gary welcomed two kids and the family unit was complete.
Dorothy and her family had been important to my family for years.
I remember the time my Uncle J.D. suffered a fatal heart attack. It was late at night when the doctor called my parents and urged them to come to Galveston quickly if they wanted to see Uncle J. D. again. A call to Mrs. Erwin (Dorothy’s mom) meant that I had a place to stay and would be cared for if need be. I would make school that day but my thoughts were ever with my dear Uncle. While standing in the Erwin’s kitchen I learned he had passed. I wept and Mrs. Erwin comforted me.
I remember the time my Mom died and Dorothy and Gary attended the funeral and stood with me at the grave side. It was August, hot and sticky but their friendship and support was there from church to the grave.
I still lived in Houston and worried about my now widowed dad. Dorothy promised to call him every night and contact me – just to give me peace of mind. She did so for months. Daddy looked forward to her phone calls. She proved to be a sterling friend.
Less than a year after Mama passed Daddy suffered a stroke. I rushed to Beaumont from Houston. I did not even think to make sure I had money. Once I arrived at Daddy’s bedside I realized I had not a penny on me. I called Dorothy who arrived with $40. It would help me purchase food and gas up for the trip back to Houston. She was a friend yet again.
In this world of selfish, me first concepts such a friend is rare indeed.
I learned late last year Dorothy’s home was in peril. It would be condemned if she did not replace the roof. Of course such an undertaking is expensive and she is like most of us – not exactly well off.
She works in Tyler but planned to return to the home she and Gary have owned for years and retire. I was very concerned when I learned the city of Kountze had given her a very short time frame to get the home repaired or it would be gone. I could not stand this so I did what any friend should do – I tried to help. I got one monkey off her back when I obtained a roof installation permit from the city which gives her friends and the concerned public time to donate to the roof fund.
If 100 people donate $100 the roof will be replaced and repairs needed to the home may proceed as Dorothy can put money earmarked for rent – to better use.
Gary is a veteran. He served this country and did so with honor. A veteran should not be homeless. We should help.
The Bible says in Galations 6:2 to bear one another’s burdens. It says in Deuteronomy 15: 7,8 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren within any or the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother. but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need whatever he needs.”
Dorothy and her family have proven their worth time and again. It is time we help those who have been such a help to so many. I know there are a few of you out there with deep pockets. You could never spend the money you have. I have been to Howard Hughes grave and it looks just like all the others. You can not take it with you as Howard who died forty years ago this April learned.
Dorothy and Gary are a stellar couple. The community has benefited because they lived among us.
Let us appreciate those who appreciate us.