It’s early for most people. 5:30 a.m. But not for Bessie Brooks, who’s heading out her door to help get food to people who need it in Lowndes County, Alabama.
To hear her tell it, though, that’s not early at all. “When I was working, I’d be at my patient’s house by 5 a.m.,” Mrs. Brooks says.
Journalistic standards suggest I call her by her last name, Brooks. My manners suggest otherwise. I respect her by adding Mrs., as I was raised to do by my mother, who spent part of her growing-up years in Lowndes County. Mrs. Brooks is 87, after all. She worked 30 years as a home health worker for the county. The job required her to give personal care: Get them up, bathed, brush their teeth, give them their meds. But Bessie Brooks went beyond that and did whatever needed doing.