How To Become Each Other’s Keeper In Sebastian, Vero Beach

Sebastian and Vero Beach have a lot of wonderful people, and sometimes things happen to remind us that we are each other's keeper.
Sebastian and Vero Beach have a lot of wonderful people, and sometimes things happen to remind us that we are each other's keeper.

SEBASTIAN – Sometimes we need a feel-good story and a reality check to remind us that there are things in life that are more important than becoming busy, or yelling at the snowbirds on U.S. Highway 1 in Sebastian or Vero Beach.

On Friday, I read a post on Facebook by my friend April French. She is one of the singers from Ladies of SOUL, a local group with a huge following in Indian River County and Brevard County. April knew that we are to be each other’s keeper.

After reading her post, I just had to publish this story on Sebastian Daily.

It all started when she was walking into Walgreens to pick up a few items. Right behind her was this little old lady and her dog Murphy, a Yorkshire Terrier. She knew this because Murphy barked at April to get her attention.

“I turned around to say hello and Dottie his human said hi and then complimented me on my dress. I, in turn, did the same,” April wrote. “I then asked if I could pet Murphy. She told me he was 15 and her best friend. Her only friend.”

But something in Dottie’s eyes caught April’s attention. Dottie’s words stuck with April, because the lady said Murphy was her only friend. April asked Dottie if she was okay, and then it happened. Her eyes welled up, and she spoke to April.

“I don’t know why but I think I can tell you. I’m all alone. I lost my daughter on Christmas Eve and my second husband of 35 years passed 6 weeks later. Her first husband died of prostate cancer as did the latter. I really am all alone besides Murphy, she said, and he won’t be around much longer.”

April and Dottie just stood there in the middle of Walgreens and hugged and cried. April listened to this wise old woman’s life story. She fought a courageous battle with breast cancer, and she spoke about her survival of two husbands, and now a third child.

“No parent should survive their children she said. I agreed as I could not even begin to imagine the pain of losing either of my three sons,” said April.

Dottie will be 91-years-old next week and is dreading it because she’ll be all alone. But, she won’t have to.

“We have a date at her favorite restaurant, Ruby Tuesday, which happens to have been my late father’s as well. What I took from this meeting by chance is that nothing happens just by chance. My purpose today was to be right where I was at that specific time. To lend an ear and a shoulder. Sometimes all we really need to do is be still and allow the universe to speak to us. This isn’t about me being a savior. Dottie helped me today. She made me realize that there is always something to be thankful for. I am truly blessed to have my husband, my children. My family and friends … all still among the living,” April said.

Amazing story, and like April said, nothing happens just by chance. One day, some of us may become Dottie and will need a friend.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.