The Six-Year Old Hero
In October, 1926 a terrible accident occurred which changed the lives of the entire Call family. On this particular day the mother, Ann, was in the kitchen preparing dinner. Little Lois, not quite two years old, came in for a drink of water. Her mom was busy and didn’t see her standing on her tiptoes reaching for her cup on the edge of the cupboard. Lois was barely able to reach it, but she did, and she wrapped her little fingers around it and tipped it over.
The hot grease that her mother had poured into the cup only moments earlier spilled onto Lois’ head and ran down her face and neck. Little Lois let out an awful scream, and Ann turned and saw her daughter being burned by the hot grease. The doctor was called and came racing to the house. After examining her he told her parents that he didn’t know if she would live or die.
She lived, but this accident impacted Lois and her brother, Richard, her six-year-old hero, in many ways. Two things in particular stand out:
The doctor asked Richard to donate some skin to his little sister. He was told that it would be painful, but he didn’t hesitate. Throughout her life, Lois was grateful for this gift.
Richard eventually went to medical school where he learned about new advances in plastic surgery. He found a plastic surgeon who agreed to help Lois. Over the next several years, Lois, my mother, had seven plastic surgeries that changed her life.
Sometimes when we perform a kindness for a friend, sibling, or stranger we can see and feel their gratitude. At other times, we will never know whether the one we helped felt grateful or not. Helping our children to give freely of themselves is teaching them service and through this service they feel better about themselves, whether they witness the gratitude of others or not.
By Anne Evans-Cazier, LCSW