A homeless man comes to the rescue of an older man in a wheelchair and his kindness to a stranger transforms his life in a way he never imagined.
Chuck Farlow was an unlucky man, and his grandmother had always told him so. "Chuck," she'd say. "You were born under an upside-down star!" Chuck had always done the right thing, but somehow it all came out wrong.
He decided to become a nurse and started working with older people in a nursing home. He loved the work, and when he was offered a much more lucrative position at a big hospital, he turned it down. "The money is not important," he said. But his wife didn't agree...
Chuck was happy in his job working with the elderly. | Source: Pexels
Right after Chuck refused to move to another job for double the money, his wife, Edith, walked out on him and took his two children with her. "I need more from my life, Chuck!" she said. "And you're not the man to give it to me."
Chuck was devastated. He loved Edith and he'd never pretended to be anything he wasn't so he didn't understand her anger and her disappointment. Above all, he missed his kids so he buried himself in his work.
Stay true to your principles and to yourself.
He worked at the nursing home for another fifteen years, and when he was fifty-five, something terrible happened. When he got to work, there were police cars outside and people taking the old ones away amid much crying and sobbing.
As it turned out, the owner of the nursing home had embezzled all the money, including the employees' pension fund which meant that Chuck wasn't just out of a job, he was out of all the money he'd put by for his retirement over the last thirty years. He had nothing.
That night, he went home and wondered if maybe his wife was right about him. He'd dedicated himself to what he felt was the nobler cause, and look at what it got him!
As he grew older, his wife complained that he didn't earn enough money. | Source: Pexels
"It's that upside-down star," he said to himself. "It's always going to lead me astray."
Chuck had some savings, so for the next 18 months, he managed to keep up with the rent and utilities, then he was out on the streets.
He had never imagined himself in such a quandary. He couldn't find a job, and he couldn't afford a house to live in. "How could this happen to me?" he asked himself.
But Chuck wasn't alone out there. There were many more people on the streets living the same nightmare, living from hand to mouth. Bit by bit, he learned the tricks of living on the streets and he put his nursing skills to good use.
When someone got hurt, they knew they could come to Chuck. He treated cuts and bruises and frostbite and fungus infections -- all the things that living on the streets made common. Somehow he made himself a blessing to the other vagrants.
"Be useful," Chuck told himself. "God uses willing hands!"
Chuck found himself alone and homeless. | Source: Pexels
One evening, Chuck decided to go down to a restaurant in the theater district to take a look at the dumpster. The kitchen staff would always place the leftovers in sealed containers for the homeless, a gesture that had saved him from starvation.
As he approached the dumpster in the alley at the back of the restaurant, he saw a wheelchair parked alongside it. He was very surprised. A wheelchair like that costs a lot of money!
"That's a custom job!" Chuck exclaimed aloud. The wheelchair, which looked fairly new, probably cost a few thousand dollars, and Chuck could probably get a pretty penny for it. Then he remembered Sadie.
Sadie was a homeless woman who suffered from diabetes and was disabled. "I could give that wheelchair to Sadie!" Chuck thought.
Just then, he heard a voice calling out, "Help! Please, help me!" The voice seemed to be coming from inside the dumpster so Chuck lifted the lid and peered inside. There was a man there!
When the homeless needed help, Chuck was always there. | Source: Pexels
Chuck immediately tipped the dumpster over to get the man out and saw that he couldn't move his legs. "Is that your wheelchair?" he asked.
The man nodded. "Yes!" he said. "Thank God you came along! I was attacked by some boys, they took my wallet, and put me in the dumpster..."
"You got off easy," Chuck told him. "There's a lot of muggings around here! You shouldn't have been here on your own!"
The man shrugged. "I know that, but I was tired of feeling trapped at home. I wanted a nice evening for a change," he explained. "So I called an Uber and I came down for dinner and a show. I didn't count on being mugged!"
"A man alone -- especially in a wheelchair -- is a great target," Chuck commented.
Chuck saw a wheelchair by the dumpster. | Source: Shutterstock.com
"Well, my children have no time for me," the man said with some bitterness. "And my so-called friends don't want to hang around since the accident..." He indicated his legs.
Chuck sighed. "Life ain't easy... Mine stopped hanging around after I lost my wife, my job, and my home..." he said.
"You can get a new job, a new house, and marry a new wife," the other man said. "My legs are gone for good."
"What's your name?" Chuck asked the man.
The man smiled and stuck out his hand. It was filthy and smelly from the garbage but Chuck shook it anyway. "I'm Henry Donovan."
"Henry," Chuck said. "I'm Chuck Farlow and I was born under an upside-down star -- and that means that no matter WHAT I do, it's all going to go wrong!"
Chuck shook the man's filthy hand. | Source: Pexels
"Ah!" Henry said. "So what DO you do?"
"I do my best anyway," Chuck explained. "I was a good nurse, so I help out the people on the street with basic health care. Even upside-down, a star can still shine a little light, don't you think? So, how about you tell me where you live and I'll get you home? I'm sure your family is worried about you."
Henry looked upset. "I'm sure they didn't even notice!" he exclaimed. "It's not far. It's about six blocks down. I can go by myself."
"No way!" Chuck said. "What kind of a rescuer would I be to leave you out on the street? Come on."
Chuck helped Henry get home. | Source: Pexels
With Chuck pushing the chair and Henry showing the way, it took the men three-quarters of an hour to get to Henry's house. Instead of the modest apartment building he was expecting, Chuck found himself in front of a huge mansion!
There was a woman in a nurse's uniform at the gate and when she saw Henry, she came running to him. "Oh, Mr. Donovan! Look at the state you're in!" she cried. "This is what happens when you slip out without telling anyone!"
"I'm not a child, Greta!" Henry said angrily. "I'm a responsible adult, a grown man!" Henry started wheeling himself up the ramp to the front door. "Come along," he said to Chuck. "Don't just stand there!"
Chuck followed Henry into the mansion. It was like a dream of luxury, all velvet drapes, and chandeliers! "Wow!" gasped Chuck. "I thought you were poor, but you are living the high life, Henry!"
"Your grandmother would have said I was born under a lucky star," Henry said. "Money came easy -- it's life that's been hard!"
Chuck discovered that Henry lived in a mansion. | Source: Unsplash
"Buddy, don't I know that!" exclaimed Chuck with feeling.
"Listen, Chuck," Henry said. "I want to..."
"You're not going to offer me money, are you?" asked Chuck, offended. "I didn't help you for the money, and you feel like a friend and I don't take money from friends!"
"No," said Henry. "I was going to ask you if you'd BE my friend, but also if you wanted a job! I need someone around who understands me, and who won't treat me like an invalid, and I think that would be you! You can live here, drive me around, and I think on top of everything else, we'd have a great time!"
Thanks to Henry, Chuck got his life back. | Source: Unsplash
Chuck stared at Henry with tears in his eyes. "Do you mean that?" he asked. "Because Henry, I think you just turned that damned star the right side up!"
Chuck became Henry's nurse and his best friend, and with the great salary he earned, he even bought himself a nice little house. But he still continued going down to the shelter every week to help all he could.
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