City and State Withheld, USA
It’s a very small town, populated by a lot of elderly widows — the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else and there are very few secrets. When a comparatively young woman and her husband moved to town, they were of considerable interest to everyone because they were so very different from the life-long citizens.
Bob was very outgoing and gregarious but his wife, Belle, was more reserved. We learned she’d been medically retired from her job but she never chose to discuss the problem. She did join a church and some local civic organizations, and was faithful and energetic in attendance and participation. She also turned out to be a bit of a con-woman — but in a special, wonderful way.
Belle identified several elderly women who needed occasional help in their homes, shopping, or driving to doctor’s appointments and made herself available. She recognized the pride that kept them from accepting charity and would take only a minimal amount of money from them. Then she would take whatever money she had made during the month and go to City Hall, swear the city clerk to secrecy, and ask to have the money applied to the water/sewage account of a senior citizen who was in financial straits.
I accidently found out that Belle’s retirement pay was the only money she and Bob had coming in and their budget left little room for luxuries. She was in near constant pain because of the injury that forced her into retirement but very rarely did anyone see any evidence of it. They could have used the few dollars Belle earned helping others but she chose not to keep it. And she didn’t want recognition for the good that she had done.
Belle showed me that you need not be rich to share, nor do you need to inflict your problems on anyone else. Despite her limitations, she is a warm, caring, giving woman with the ability to love. She seems to me to be a hero in action and I’d love to tell others what she is doing but it might embarrass her. She must remain unsung and unrecognized, so please don’t reveal my location — “Belle” is still “doing her thing”!!
Available in The Best of HeroicStories, Volume 1.