We’ve all had those days where it feels like the world is against us.
But for Tawny Nelson, it was starting to become a daily sensation. With no family, the single mom had no one to turn to in times of trouble — until a stranger knocked on her window.
When KTVU news anchor Frank Somerville asked people to share inspiring stories with him a few years ago, Tawny sent in what was initially one of the worst nights she’d ever had.
“I am the single mother of four absolutely beautiful little girls,” she wrote. “They are 9, 5, 2, and 6 weeks. And things have been particularly rough since my ex left.”
One night, Tawny took her kids on a trip to the store because they needed food. Although she had a truck, she avoided driving it when she could because of how often it broke down. To her relief, they made it there through the pouring rain, but when they got back in the car, it wouldn’t start. One of her little ones had accidentally left a light on, and the battery was dead.
“My phone was also disconnected,” she said, adding that over the next two hours, she asked multiple people for help. “They all ignored me. Not even a no. Just acted like I didn’t exist.”
At that point, her children were crying and the youngest was screaming. They were tired and wanted to go home. That’s when Tawny began sobbing herself because she felt like a terrible mom.
But then she heard a knock on the passenger window. A 74-year-old man stood there holding water bottles and a plate of food. “Feed those babies and yourself, young lady,” he told her. “I have a tow truck on the way, and my wife will be here shortly to take y’all home.”
The stranger made good on his promise! And the next morning, he stopped by Tawny’s home with a mechanic in tow. After replacing Tawny’s battery, the mechanic also fixed her broken driver’s side window and installed a new alternator belt.
“When I asked what I owed the mechanic and if I could make payments, he smiled, telling me the older man had paid for all of it,” Tawny explained. “He said that the only payment the older man wanted was for me to never give up and keep being an amazing mom.”
Overwhelmed by his kindness in the face of such difficult circumstances, Tawny cried again, harder than she ever had. “I’ll never be able to thank him,” she said. “But I certainly hope one day I can do what he did for me for someone else.”
Tawny hopes her story will spark more acts of kindness like the one she received. After all, we never know when someone might need a helping hand!
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