If you happened to visit Hope Village Senior Living Community for the July 18 car show, you may have encountered 87-year-old Arlene Dana dancing the day away with her friends. But more recently, Dana found herself in a bit of a predicament.
After visiting the Verizon store on 99E and South 13th Avenue, Dana was using her walker to cross the street into the Ace/Safeway parking lot to catch the CAT bus home to Hope Village. But she made the mistake of skipping the ramp and instead trying to lift her walker up onto the curb.
She went down with the walker.
"I think I'm still able to do everything that really my kids tell me I'm not," Dana said, laughing.
Dana said once she falls, she can't get back up on her own, so she simply had to wait. Finally, a young lady arrived, but was unable to get Dana up, so she went to rally help.
Right away, three people came running out of Ace Hardware: co-owner Mike Pitz and employees Ginny and Josh.
The nice folks helped Dana up, brought her into the store, tended to her, and Pitz even put her in his truck and took her home, where someone from Hope Village met her to make sure she was okay.
"It was no big deal at all," Pitz said. "I felt like I was scooping my mom up. My mom's about the same age and I take her around, throw her walker in the back and push her around in it, so it was no different. It was actually a pleasure that day having her. She was just the nicest little old lady you would ever want to meet in your life."
He added, "She's like everybody's grandma on TV."
But while the Ace employees may have considered the gesture no big deal, to Dana, it was huge.
"I could never thank them enough," she said. "It meant the world. I know most people would do it but not be as attentive as they were. And the lady, she gave me such a sweet hug when I left.
"And then, apparently, the Ace Hardware man had just put his mother and father into an assisted living I think the day or week before, so I think he knew kindness," she said. "He knew what it was like to be kind."
Dana too knows what it's like to be kind. Dana has two sons and also a daughter who was born with a lack of oxygen and is severely handicapped. Dana served as her daughter's caregiver for upwards of 60 years until Dana needed to make the move into assisted living.
"Which," Dana said, "I think has made me appreciative of people like this that give of themselves, because I certainly have had to."
Dana assumes she'd find many kind folks in Canby like the Ace Hardware ones who helped her, but called their aid "exceptional." Dana turned out to be just fine after the fall, but next time, she promises to use the ramp.
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