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- The store clerk got two boys—one redheaded white boy, one Black boy—to help carry Ben's mom home.
- As the redheaded boy went to the back of the store, the other kid said he thought Louellen was really sick.
- Again, though, the clerk was all nah, she's drunk.
- Still, the kid whispered to Ben that he'd help carry her to the doc if he wanted.
- When they got to the doc, they found out that Louellen wasn't drunk at all—she had a stroke.
- Everything changed from then on. All of a sudden, Ben's mom was in a wheelchair and needed help getting around.
- While she eventually regained her speech, it took a long time and she seemed much older. Ben found himself wishing his mom were drunk that day; it would've been much easier.
- Louellen got a kick out of the fact that everyone thought she was nursing the bottle since she never drank.
- She even wrote a couple poems about her experiences.
- The biggest thing she learned? It was a Black boy who helped her that day, something she reminded Ben of over and over again.
- So often, in fact, that later in life, he wants to help other Black people.
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