A husband abandoned his wife and their six children. She thought there was nothing good left in the world but an "angel" proved her wrong.
In September 1960, a wife woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in her pocket. Their father was gone.
The five boys were between three months to seven years and their sister was only two years old. The children only knew their father as the terrifying man who lived with them. Every time they heard him drive up to the house they hid under their beds.
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Every week, the man would leave $15 to buy groceries. However, when he walked out this time he left nothing. There would be no more beatings but also no food either.
"If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job." revealed the wife reflectively
All seven members of the family went to every factory, store, and restaurant in our small town. Unfortunately they had no luck.
The kids sat squashed together in the car and stayed as quiet as possible while their mother tried desperately to convince someone to give her work. She was willing to learn any trade to feed her family.
They eventually went to a place a few miles out of town. There was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop called the Big Wheel.
An old lady named Granny owned the place. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning and offered to pay 65 cents an hour if the mother started the same night.
In jubilation, the lonely mother raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. She organized with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night.
However, the meager earnings and tips that the mother earned barely covered all the bills. Half her tips went to pay the babysitter.
Then something amazing happened. On a bleak fall morning, after a long shift at work, the mother got in her car to go home. When she looked in the back seat she was stunned.
Laying on her back seat were fourbrand new tires! There was no note or way to identify who had left the amazing gift.
"Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered." said the mother
The mum was working six nights a week. Christmas was coming and the poor mum had no money for presents for the kids. She found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. She hid them in the basement ready to give them to the kids on Christmas morning.
She worked on Christmas Eve serving her usual customers. At seven o’clock on Christmas morning, she was ready to leave when she noticed her battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.
Inside the boxes, there was everything from a case of little blue jeans in sizes 2-10 to candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes even pudding, cookies, pie filling, and flour. TThere was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning item and another held five toy trucks and a beautiful little doll.
"Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop…" thought the mother with tears rolling down her face.