Several years ago we had the opportunity of working for a woman named Mildred Bevis. Mrs. Bevis was a retired school nurse from the Lauderdale County School system and if I remember correctly she was at Wilson School at one time. A very sweet and caring lady who was a pleasure to work for.
Upon getting things set up and figuring out where to start I saw her husband in the den watching the television. Staring kind of blank faced at the screen with little to none expression on his face. He hadn’t noticed us being there which was kind of unusual in the fact that when both husband and wife are there they both say their hellos and most of the time ask a few questions. I just figured he wasn’t all that friendly so we started in the room we were doing and began prepping it.
It wasn’t long and Mr. Bevis walked by and noticed us being there. He still had that kind of blank look on his face and his wife must have noticed him standing there and she went on to explain what we were doing. He said ok and went back to his chair. Soon after, he got my attention and wanted to show me something. I figured it was something in another room he wanted me to repair or paint but upon arriving in the bedroom he showed me a box. He lifted the lid and it contained two purple heart medals. He went on to explain how and why he received them in World War 2. I was in awe and didn’t really know what to say except thank you Mr. Bevis. He smiled and went back to his chair and I went back to work. 5 minutes later, the same scene repeated itself. Shortly after that, again, I was lead to the bedroom and he showed me his medals. My thoughts were confirmed now by Mrs. Bevis that her husband Royal had Alzheimer's. She apologized for him and I told her no need to apologize. I was happy to oblige him even if he didn’t remember it.
I would have liked to have known Mr. Bevis before the Alzheimer’s and just sat and listened to his stories. I’m sure they would have been filled with information and insight as to how the war was when he was there. But, I’m glad I did get to meet and hear a few things from a true war hero. A man, that although he didn’t remember showing me his medals 5 minutes before, but remembered with pride how he got them. They both have passed on now but I’ll always remember both of them.