FROM THE PUBLISHER >>Time of year bringing out best in folks
“As I exited the car, I locked the door, only to realize that the keys I had in my hand were not mine, but the key to the first neighbor’s home. It was cold, windy and raining and it was Christmas night. The only choice I had was to call a locksmith.
“After Sylvia Smith of Smith Wrecker in Cabot unlocked the door, I reached for my purse to write her a check. When I asked her how much I owed her, she replied, ‘This is what you owe me.... a Christmas hug....Merry Christmas!’
“I appreciate so much that she came out on such a nasty night, but to leave her family on Christmas and then be so kind deserves some special recognition.” “I had received so many reports of sad news over Christmas weekend that Sylvia Smith’s kindness on Christmas Day was especially sweet,” Mrs. Frederick said. “I work at Metropolitan National Bank in Cabot and received a call on Saturday, as my family sat down for our Christmas meal together, that (teller) Jim Garison had been killed in the robbery at our Colony West branch.”
Mrs. Frederick’s neighbors help each other all the time. “My neighbors are wonderful about taking care of my dog, getting my mail and even taking care of my lawn when I am out of town,” Mrs. Frederick continued. “My next door neighbor had been gone for five days and the other neighbor had left for a one week trip to California. “As far as the goodness of other people, I could go on and on. I was widowed at the age of 37 with three children still at home. My husband died from a malignant brain tumor at the age of 40.
“He was 6’2” tall, a strong, active, healthy man until the cancer struck. He only lived 4 1/2 months after his diagnosis. During that 4 1/2 months, he and all three of our children celebrated their birthdays. Jim turned 40, our oldest son turned 19, our daughter turned 12, and our youngest son turned 8. “Jim passed away in February 1987. During his battle with cancer and after his death and the years since then, we have experienced the tremendous, overwhelming outpouring of love and support from friends, family, neighbors and our church.
“One of the most generous acts of kindness came just a few years ago from our newly elected mayor of Cabot. Eddie Joe Williams and his family have been friends of my family for about 15 years. “About seven years ago, I came home from work on my lunch hour and discovered water pouring down my driveway. I opened the front door to discover that a water hose to my washing machine had burst. “Water was approximately six inches deep throughout my house. My oldest son was stationed elsewhere in the Navy, my youngest was in college at ASU in Jonesboro and my daughter was married, so I had the task of dealing with the mess by myself...or so I thought.
“Eddie Joe and I attended church together at McArthur Assembly of God in Jacksonville. When he heard of my plight, he came over and offered to help. “Eddie spent not just hours but days turning into weeks, cleaning, painting, and carpeting my house. I had homeowners insurance that covered part of the work, but Eddie out of sheer kindness did more than the insurance would cover. He solicited help from other church members and together they did an amazing job on refurbishing my home.
“I hesitate to name those who helped Eddie Joe with the work, because there were so many that I know I would miss someone, but I have always wanted a way to express my deep appreciation for the goodness of my friends and family over the years. “Perhaps this is the way. Thank you!”