When Amanda’s husband died, she had to take several jobs to make ends meet and was still struggling. Despite her struggles, she started helping an older man in her neighborhood who didn’t have much. One day, a strange van appeared on her doorstep, much to her surprise.
Amanda’s husband, Mark, died a few years ago from a sudden heart attack. From being a housewife caring for five children, she had to take on several jobs to make ends meet. Unfortunately, she also had to move to a cheaper neighborhood in Pennsylvania where she could afford rent on a modest house.
It wasn’t ideal, especially because her children had to share much. But it was the best she could do for them. Luckily, the eldest ones were teenagers, who understood her struggles and volunteered to watch the younger kids.
Amanda always felt terrible about that. She didn’t want her children to sacrifice their youth for the family, but there was nothing she could do, especially when she had three jobs.
Amanda had three jobs: house cleaner, supermarket cashier, and gas station attendant. | Source: Pexels
In the mornings, she cleaned a house in an affluent neighborhood and worked as a cashier at the supermarket the rest of the afternoon. She had a part-time gig at s gas station’s convenience store at night. Every night, her legs felt like jello when she came home, and most of the kids were already asleep by then. She missed them and wished they could have more time together.
One day, Amanda exited her door with the kids ready for school when they all stopped in shock. “Mom! What’s that?” Mira asked. She saw her daughter’s mouth open and her finger was pointed at something.
Her eldest daughter, Mira, said she would help save money for a car. The kids had been taking the school bus to and from school, but Mira said that a vehicle could be a source of income for them, thanks to delivery apps and such. The young teenager was almost 15 and couldn’t drive independently, but she was working at the local movie theater to help out.
Amanda’s second eldest, Gia, took care of the kids after school. She was 13 and cooked, bathed, and helped them with her homework. Amanda hoped that one day, she could be able to repay all their sacrifices, but for now, this was their life.
At noon, Amanda was walking to the supermarket to start her shift there when she saw an older man staring at the window of the bakery next door. The smell of fresh-baked bread permeated the air, and the most salivating treats were displayed in the window. However, the man merely sighed and started strolling away.
The older man sighed and walked away from the bakery, but Amanda couldn’t let him go like that. | Source: Pexels
Amanda felt awful for some unknown reason and stopped the man. “Hey, sir. I think I’ve seen you before at the store,” she greeted.
“Yes, of course, young lady. You work at the register, right? It’s nice to see you,” the older man tilted his hat at her and started to walk away.
“Wait. Do you need anything? You’re not carrying any bags from the store, and I must admit that I caught you looking at the bakery,” Amanda said, smiling kindly.
“Well, young lady. Honestly, there was a leak in my roof this month, and I had to spend my entire month’s pension on it. I don’t have much money for treats or groceries. But the smell of Paco’s Bakery has always made me stop and stare. There’s nothing like oregano and parmesan bread to make my mouth water,” he said and laughd. “But I don’t know when I’ll be able to buy some of that again. Every month, the prices go up and my money seems to spend itself in a flash.”
Amanda pursed her lips at him and told him to wait. She rushed to Paco’s Bakery and purchased a loaf of the famous oregano and parmesan bread, which the entire neighborhood adored. It was pretty pricey compared to what you could get anywhere else, but it was worth it. She knew that buying it would hurt her finances, but the look on the older man’s face tugged at her heart.
“Here you go,” she chirped, handing him the bag when she exited the bakery.
“I can’t accept this,” he tried to reject, but Amanda insisted.
“Please, let me do something kind for someone today. We should all be kinder to one another,” she continued, giving him the bag. “I’m Amanda, by the way. You can find me at the store in the afternoons. In fact, my shift is about to begin. See you around!”
“Thank you! My name is Hector!” the older man called out, and she waved him goodbye while running to the store because she was a bit late after that encounter. But she spent the rest of the day happy.
In the following days, Amanda, would see Hector daily and brought him something to eat. At night, when she would the next day’s lunch for herself and the children, she would also make something for the older man. He was incredibly bashful about it but accepted it, which made her think that he honestly needed it.
There was a van in her driveway, and they had no idea what was happening. | Source: Pexels
Eventually, they became friends, and he even offered to babysit her kids if she ever needed it, which was a welcomed offer because her eldest teens could use the break. Hector lived close to her house, and it was convenient.
But one day, Amanda exited her door with the kids ready for school when they all stopped in shock. “Mom! What’s that?” Mira asked. She saw her daughter’s mouth open, and her finger was pointed at something.
There was a brand-new van on her driveway. “Oh, it must be a delivery person or something,” she said, urging her kids along as they had to go to the bus stop.
“No, Mom. It’s parked, and it looks new!” Gia interjected, and the other kids were looking at her excitedly.
“I don’t know why it’s there. Maybe a neighbor had nowhere else to park,” Amanda trailed. Looking around, she noticed many vacant parking spaces. It didn’t make sense that someone would park in front of their home. Suddenly, Hector appeared from behind the van.
“Surprise,” he said quietly.
“What?” she asked in confusion.
Hector appeared from behind the van and explained what was going on. | Source: Pexels
“This is yours!” he revealed, smiling this time. The kids cheered in delight and touched the van all over. But Amanda couldn’t believe it still.
“Hector, how did you get the money for something like this?” she asked him, concerned that he had done something crazy.
“Amanda, you have become my friend and welcomed me into your family with no questions. I can never repay that, but I had an old watch stashed away. It belonged to my grandfather who brought it over from Germany after the war. It was worth a pretty penny,” he said, gently patting her shoulder.
“I can’t take this. That money could really help you,” she declined, her face scrunched in concern.
“Mira told me about the car she wanted to buy, and how doing deliveries and such could help your family more than your current many jobs. I had to repay you somehow,” Hector persisted with his grin.
They went back and forth about this for a while until Mira came over with a smile. “Mom, you might be able to quit one or two of your jobs and dedicate more time to this. You could spend more time at home now!”
She accepted the van because her kids deserved to have their mom at home more often. | Source: Pexels
Looking at her daughter’s hopeful face, Amanda realized how much they needed her around more often. She hugged Hector tightly, thanking him for this gesture and all his help, even though she never wanted anything in return.
Soon, Amanda was signing up with delivery apps and later, making decent money. Some of the kids went with her on several deliveries throughout the day, and she was always home for dinner.