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Editor, The Beacon:

My husband and I have recently moved to DeLand seeking a good living situation to navigate his roller coaster of dementia. 

It hasn’t been easy, as we know no one in town and haven’t been able to participate in any activities in our community complex. Every day is a challenge, but we take them one at a time.

One afternoon in October, I had a physical-therapy session to attend followed by two errands. 

We decided he would stay home and maybe take a short bike ride. He had been good about doing what he said he’d do, but when I returned he was gone, his bike was gone, but his phone was still here, his personal GPS device was still here, and his identification badge and keys were still here.

I thought he was probably riding around the block and would soon return, but, as it was getting dark, I started to worry.

Then a call came through on his phone, which I’d set beside me. It was the only phone number he could remember. A very kind lady said, “We have Jeff here. Is this his wife? He says he’s lost.”

To make a long story short, he had gotten on our new three-wheeler and rode 7 1/2 miles south, crossing a couple of major busy streets, some long uphill slogs, finally getting off and walking the bike, and ended up at Stavros Pizza and Grill on Graves Avenue in Orange City. 

They fed him and cared for him.

When I got there, the owner and his brother picked up the bike and managed to get it in backward in my Prius and tie the trunk lid down. 

Then the brother- and sister-in-law followed me all the way home, took the bike out of the car, and left it on my porch. They were all so incredibly kind and nurturing, wanting nothing in return, true Christians, and I was so grateful to them.

It’s a story that could have had a much different ending. So this is a big shoutout to Mr. and Mrs. Stavros, their family, staff, and even some diners there that night, and to say thank you for being kind, gracious, and loving to a stranger in need.

I encourage anyone reading this to tell them you saw my thank-you, patronize this establishment and pass on to others the good news of this story.

Let’s remember each other this way during this Christmas season and all year long! (By the way, I have a nice bike lock on that bike, and it is locked in a carport nearby.)

Peggy Toussant

DeLand

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