If you're a parent, you've undoubtedly experienced the feeling of eyes boring holes through your head at the store as your little ones wail away.
It happens. That's what babies do. But the last time Tawny Nelson, a single mother of four young children, trudged through that awful experience, the stakes were much higher. It wasn't just embarrassing. Her babies weren't just crying for the sake of it. The five of them were stranded because her car died and she had no one she could call.
Sadly, relying on the kindness of strangers isn't always a fruitful endeavor. Countless people passed by the struggling mother and her daughters with little more to offer than disapproving glances. Just as she was about to give up hope, however, there was a knock on the car window.
These little ones and their mom only had each other.
The kiddos shown here are nine, five, and two years old. Their youngest sister, who is not pictured above, is only six weeks old.
They really needed groceries one day, so Nelson packed up her adorable crew and they headed over to their local Winn-Dixie for some food.
Because the mom was having issues with her truck, they only drove when they absolutely had to. This was obviously a worthy trip, but she worried in the back of her mind that it wouldn't be a happy one.
Sadly, it was like Murphy's Law took over the family's entire night, since everything that could go wrong did. It was pouring outside, the kids were hungry, and much to Nelson's horror, her car was totally dead.
One of the girls had accidentally left a light on inside the car while they were shopping, which drained the battery. Nelson checked under the hood to make sure it wasn't just loose, but that unfortunately wasn't the case.
What really left her feeling stunned was the fact that try as she might, she could not get anyone to help her.
"I must have asked more than 20 people in the course of two hours for a jump. They all ignored me. Not even a no. Just acted like I didn’t exist," she explained to reporter Frank Somerville. By that point, her youngest girls were sobbing because they were confused, tired, and hungry. Her oldest daughter frantically tried to calm them down.
After a while, Nelson just couldn't take it anymore. "I felt like the worst mom ever," she said. She crumpled up in the driver's seat and cried.
But the most amazing thing happened a few minutes later. She heard a knock on the window and saw a man standing in the pouring rain.
When she rolled the window down, he handed her a bag full of chicken and biscuits along with a big bottle of water. "Feed those babies and yourself, young lady," he said. "I have a tow truck on the way and my wife will be here shortly to take y’all home." A few minutes later, the tow truck arrived as promised, as did the man's wife. They made it home safe and sound.
Much to Nelson's surprise, however, the overwhelming kindness didn't stop there.
The next morning, she realized that the man had returned with a mechanic, who quickly got to work replacing the battery and alternator. When the technician was finished, the old man went back home without a word. “The elderly gentleman then left and did not return," she said. "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."
"He said that the only payment the older man wanted was for me to never give up and keep being an amazing mom."
"I’ve never cried so hard in my life," she said. "Things had been absolutely awful. More so than I care to explain. 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.”
Just remember that performing a single act of kindness could change someone's life. If you want to read more of what this incredible mom had to say to the reporter, you can do so here.