Tawny Nelson is the mother of four beautiful little girls, and for that she feels blessed. But life has been hard since her ex left her and she became a single mother. One one rainy day, bad became worse and she was just stuck.
Nelson’s only mode of transportation was her truck, and “the truck was a mess.” She had a flat tire that she constantly needed to refill with air, the driver-side window motor was dead, and the truck needed a new alternator belt. So she never drove unless she absolutely needed to.
“The other day we desperately needed to go to the store. So we loaded up and drove to the Winn Dixie about 9 blocks away,” she wrote. When they got out of the store, it was already dark, and they were caught in the pouring rain.
She loaded her kids and groceries into the car and then got in the driver’s seat.
“Tried to crank it….nothing. No click. Nothing,” she said. One of her girls had accidentally left a light on, and the car battery was dead.
Unfortunately, her phone had been disconnected, and she had no family she could count on—she was stuck in the pouring rain. She tried to figure out what to do.
She got back out to pop open the hood and make sure the battery hadn’t come loose. That wasn’t it. She asked people passing by if they could help jump the battery, but didn’t even get a response.
“I must have asked more than twenty people in the course of two hours for a jump. They all ignored me,” she wrote. “Not even a no. Just acted like i didn’t exist.”
After hours of desperately seeking aid, the whole family’s nerves were fraying.
“My 5 Year old was melting down. My newborn SCREAMING, my two year old crying she was hungry, and my oldest desperately trying to help.”
“I was bawling and felt like the worst Mom ever.”
Nelson was emotionally exhausted when the most unexpected thing happened. She got a knock on the passenger window, and she saw an elderly man with a cane and bad limp.
He handed her a plate of chicken strips and biscuits from the nearby deli and some bottles of water.
She took it, stunned, and he said:
“Feed those babies and yourself young lady. I have a tow truck on the way and my wife will be here shortly to take y’all home.”
Sure enough, his wife pulled up not long after, and the tow truck arrived, and they were all taken home.
The 74-year-old man’s kindness didn’t end there—the next day, he returned to Nelson’s home with a mechanic who replaced her battery and alternator and fixed her truck window.
“The elderly gentleman then left and did not return. 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,” she wrote.
Then the mechanic told her the older man only wanted one thing as payment: “For me to never give up and keep being an amazing mom.”
Nelson was moved to tears by his compassion.
“I’ve never cried so hard in my life. Things had been absolutely awful. More so than I care to explain,” she said. “And without knowing us or our situation this kind man helped us in ways he will never know.”
“What he did revived my faith when I was falling apart. But he wouldn’t even take a hug. I’ll never be able to thank him. But I certainly hope one day I can do what he did for me for someone else,” she wrote.
She told her story to reporter Frank Somerville of KTVU, who shared it on Facebook by prefacing it with, “I swear I got chills when I read what happened next.”
Somerville was inspired by the story, and he hoped that by sharing it, the elderly gentleman would see Nelson’s gratitude and the impact he had made.
“Someday I’m going to do something like that,” Somerville wrote. “#StayKind#GoOutAndMakeADifferenceToday”