Man leaves wife with 6 kids and 75 cents, few months latter she looks into her car

Life can be harsh and difficult at times. Everyone experiences challenging times sooner or later. And at these trying times, love is frequently the one thing that can give us courage and comfort.

Small deeds of kindness, whether from friends, relatives, or a complete stranger, can work lovely little miracles.

This narrative exemplifies it. Though it is difficult to say for sure, I have a strong feeling that this story is true. In any case, what matters most is the message, which is something we can all take away.

I had only 75 cents in my pocket when I woke up one morning in September 1960 with six starving babies. Their dad had passed away. Their sister was two, while the boys varied in age from three months to seven years. Their father has never been anything more than a source of anxiety for them.


They would flee to hide under their mattresses at the sound of his tires crunching on the gravel road.

He was able to set aside $15 every week for groceries. There would be no more beatings, but there also wouldn’t be any food, since he had made the decision to go.

I was definitely unaware of any welfare system that was in place in southern Indiana at the time. After giving the kids a thorough cleaning till they were in pristine condition, I put on my finest homemade dress, packed the kids into the dilapidated 1951 Chevy, and set off to look for work.

In our small town, the seven of us visited every factory, shop, and restaurant. Not successful.

While I tried to persuade anybody who would listen that I was willing to learn anything or do anything at all, the kids stayed packed inside the car and tried to be quiet. I needed to be employed.

Still no luck. The last location we visited was an abandoned Root Beer Barrel drive-in that was turned into a truck stop a few distance outside of town. The Big Wheel was the name of it.

The home was owned by an elderly woman called Granny, who occasionally looked out of the window at all those children. It was eleven at night till seven in the morning, the graveyard shift, and she needed someone. I could start that night, and she paid sixty-five cents an hour. I hurried home and gave a call to the adolescent girl who watched people’s babies down the street.

I convinced her to spend a dollar a night sleeping on my sofa. The kids would be asleep when she arrived, even if she was still in her jammies. We worked out an agreement since she thought this was a good arrangement.

During our prayer time that evening, the children and I expressed our gratitude to God for getting Mommy a job. I therefore began with the Big Wheel.

I would wake the babysitter up in the mornings and give her one dollar of my gratuity, which was exactly half of what I made on average each night. As the weeks passed, my modest pay became more and more difficult to pay for heating.

The ancient Chevy’s tires started leaking and had the substance of penny balloons. Before I could leave for work each morning and go home, I had to re-inflate them.

When I dragged myself to the car one gloomy October morning to head home, I discovered four tires in the back seat. brand-new tires All that was left were those stunning, brand-new tires. There was no sound. Had angels settled down in Indiana? I pondered.

I struck a bargain with the nearby service station. I would tidy his office in return for him fitting the new tires. I seem to recall that I took much longer to scrub his floor than he did to do the tires.

Even though I was working six evenings a week now rather than five, it wasn’t enough. I knew there wouldn’t be any money left over for the kids’ presents come Christmastime.

I started fixing and painting some old toys after finding a can of red paint. Then, to ensure that Santa would have something to present on Christmas morning, they were hidden in the basement. Another concern was clothes. The boys’ pants were getting too damaged to fix, so I was stitching patches on top of patches.

The regular patrons of the Big Wheel were sipping coffee on Christmas Eve. These were Joe, a state trooper, and the truck drivers Les, Frank, and Jim.

After their performance at the Legion, a few musicians were staying around and playing pinball with nickels. The regulars just talked and hung out until the early hours of the morning, when they departed to make it home before the sun rose.

To my surprise, my old, beat-up Chevy was completely packed with boxes of all kinds and shapes when it was time for me to leave at seven on Christmas morning. With haste, I unlocked the driver’s side door, scampered inside, and knelt down in front of the rear seat.

I reached back and removed the top box’s lid. There was an entire case of tiny blue jeans in sizes 2–10 inside! I opened a second package and found shirts to match the pants inside. I then had a quick look inside a few more boxes. There were bags of groceries, chocolates, almonds, and bananas.

There was canned potatoes and vegetables, and a huge ham to bake. There was pie filling, pudding, Jell-O, cookies, and flour. There was a whole bag full of cleaning and laundry products. One lovely small doll and five toy trucks were also present.

I was crying with thankfulness as I drove back through deserted streets as the sun slowly rose on the most incredible Christmas Day of my life. I will always cherish the happiness on my children’s faces that wonderful morning.

Yes, that December long ago in Indiana did really contain angels. And they all congregated at the truck stop in Big Wheel.


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