This morning’s drive into work was a bit different. While I have seen some wonderful scenery both God-made and man-made, this morning it was an opportunity to serve.

I was almost to work driving along the fast, busy four lane divided highway road and I noticed and passed an older man strolling along the side of the road. As I approached, he lifted up his hand to wave while I drove by. It wasn’t abnormal but it also wasn’t normal either. The industrial area is not conducive to people walking along the road. I watched him in my rearview mirror and he would repeatedly lift his hand and wave at each passing vehicle. It was at that point that my heart tugged at me to turn around (and we all know that it was the Holy Spirit telling me to be obedient and “love my neighbor”).

I hit the next U-turn opportunity and headed back to him. I rolled down my passenger window as I rolled up and asked him if he needed anything. He just smiled and said no and continued his stroll. I was unsafely and partially blocking traffic (no cars were coming…..yet) so I pulled all the way over, shut off my car and exited the car to walk with him. I asked him again if he needed any help and that people usually don’t wander along this industrial road. It was at that point I noticed a name tag pinned to the front of his shirt. It was one of those metal dog-type name tags and it had his name, the word Alzheimers and a phone number on it. Because my father-in-law is suffering from the same disease, I knew that he probably shouldn’t have been out wandering the streets in an industrial area. I introduced myself to “Blaine” and told him that we should find one of his family members or friends. He was cooperative but seemed very incoherent.

I was pulling out my cellphone to call the number on the tag when a Louisville Metro Police Department officer pulled up. I walked Blaine over to the officer who had gotten out of his car and introduced him. I then informed the officer of Blaine’s situation and what I knew. The officer took over from there and insisted Blaine wait in the front seat of his car while the officer could locate one of Blaine’s family members.

The public service message of this is:

If you have a friend or family member that has Alzheimers, get them a metal ID tag like Blaine had. Put their name on it and their Alzheimers condition along with a contact number of someone who is always available. It is a simple, great idea and allowed me to understand Blaine’s situation and help him when he couldn’t help himself.

Do it now because that simple act could save their lives and return them back to your family.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net

One Comment

  1. Mom says:

    Glad to see that you have been blessed with the gift of “Mercy”.