Our city has faced yet another difficult time like the ice storm we had just a few years ago; recovery took many months. Just like back then, I would like to tell you about a special phone call I received shortly after the big storm had hit while many of us lost power. This time, it was about my mother.
It was about five days after the storm had hit; I received an unexpected phone call. Typically, I do not answer the phone unless I know who it is, but that day was different.
When I picked up, there was a sweet lady whose voice I did not recognize. She immediately mentioned she was from the mayors volunteer office. She said, Is your mother all right? Does she need medical attention? Does she have power? While I couldnt believe my ears at the kindness of an unknown stranger reaching out, I finally got ahold of myself to tell her: Oh, my goodness, thank you so much, but my mother is not here – she just passed last October.
As I continued to stumble for words with shock that someone would call out of the blue, I then began to ask her to repeat who she was and she replied: I am one of the many volunteers from the mayors office, and your mother was on our high alert call list. Apparently you had signed her up last year on our Safety Net/Safe Care at Home Program.
We had registered our Mother just last year in case of an emergency. This program is for elderly who may have trouble reaching someone if they have an existing medical condition and would possibly be in danger if left without help in a crisis. I then said, Yes, you are right, I totally forgot about that! Wow, Im totally shocked and amazed that you would call in the midst of the citys crisis. I cannot imagine how many people you must have to yet call – thousands, perhaps? She sweetly said, Oh, no, just around 500 actually. We could possibly have called more, but not everyone is aware to sign up for this program in our city.
I have never written a letter to the editor in all my 50-plus years in Fort Wayne, but this story was well worth my time. I cannot begin to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation for our Citys services. In my latter years I have been continuously amazed at how much we do have to offer, be it in education, the arts, the festivals, the beautiful parks, the safe recreational areas for our children and of course, programs for the elderly. The list goes on.
Lets inspire one another to continue to form that unity through much pain, crisis and joys, because its what we do – and it certainly stands worthy of our attention to say Fort Wayne truly is a wonderful city in which to live.