It was a bleak, rainy night, the day before Hurricane Irma was scheduled to hit Columbus, but what could have been a tragic evening instead ended in a happy reunion before the big storm arrived.
Kennedee Reese, a local construction worker, was heading out for a bite to eat with a friend. They pulled into the restaurant, ordered and waited for their food to arrive.
“We were sitting in our cars, and then we saw this elderly woman walking, in the rain,” Reese said. She was carrying a load of mail in her purse and had more letters in her hands. She looked scared and confused.
“She walked up to us and kept asking to use a phone. She said she needed to get home to her mom. We asked her, ‘Look, come in the car, get out of the rain. Let us find out what we can do to get you home.’ I just wanted her to be comfortable,” Reese said.
Eventually, the woman got out of the car and tried to show Reese where she lived. Reese began to suspect that the woman probably had some memory problems, so she tried her best to figure out where she needed to go.
“I wasn’t familiar with the area, and I drove for about fifteen to twenty minutes when I ended up around the Lakebottom area. She kept saying she needed to get to her mom’s.”
Then Reese remembered the mail. She asked to see one of the letters and read the address on the front.
While on her way, she saw a police car, driving slowly with its lights on. “They looked like they were looking for someone, so I flagged him down,” Reese said. “All I knew was that I wasn’t going home until I got her home. She seemed pretty scared.”
Reese, her friend, and the police officer drove to the address they had found on the letter. When they got there, Reese said they found the entire block outside searching for the woman.
“Everyone thanked me and thanked me, and it really touched my heart. I’m grateful God placed me where I was,” Reese said.
The woman’s family members requested that her name and photo not be shared online, but said they were very thankful to Reese for helping get their relative back home.
“I was just thinking it could have been my grandmother. How things are today, anything could haw happened to her, someone could have hit her,” Reese said. “I want people to understand that you never know what someone’s going through, and just a little help can do a lot for someone. My grandma always told me that.”
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE