Alice and Pearl

Alice & Pearl

When one of our Little Brothers staff members went to visit her elderly friend, no one came to the door. Though she kept knocking, no one showed up. Worried, Alice called out, “Pearl, are you okay?”

She was greeted by a strange sound—laughter, giggling to be exact.

Always one to keep her house in shipshape order, Pearl was so determined to tidy up the top shelves of her closet that she had tumbled off of her step ladder and into her pile of clothes at the base of her closet. She was unhurt but stuck, wedged in tight. Being unable to get up is no laughing matter, but Pearl took it in stride, seeing the humor in her situation as the two of them struggled to un-wedge her from the closet. When Alice could not lift her, she suggested calling 911. The mood quickly sobered as Pearl worried about cost, about being declared “infirm” and then taken away from her home, but Alice gently persisted. “No one is going to take you anywhere, just out of the closet.” And when Pearl finally gave her permission to call, Alice kept her laughing, joking with the 911 folks that she wanted a strong, handsome State Policeman for the rescue.

“When he got there, he was just what I’d ordered,” Alice joked. “He told Pearl, ‘You just put your arms around my neck,’ and in one swift move he swept her off the ground and onto her feet.”

After that, Pearl realized what a friend she had in Alice, and in Little Brothers. “We were no longer the people who were going to get her locked away in a home,” Alice said, “and that trust opened so many doors for her.” Eventually Alice was able to take her out for ice cream, which meant the world to Pearl. Physically disabled since birth and with a speech impediment that made it extremely hard to communicate, Pearl had not stepped foot out of her home in years.

Maintaining a sense of humor in the face of loss is something we can learn from our elderly friends if we’re willing to listen. And thanks to our dedicated donors, we can listen. Volunteers and donations help us be where we need to be, lending a helping hand and a light-hearted touch.