Monday, November 29, 2010

The Story of Andrew

It was our typical night getting home from a 4-day cation at his mom's house for Thanksgiving.  Our bellies full and car packed with goodies.  TL wanted to set the Christmas tree up before leaving for work the next morning, and I was eager to get the laundry started.

As we were setting the tree on it's stand and getting ready to rinse, the brand new hose holder snapped and started spraying water everywhere (including on us).  In fatigued frustration, TL threw the hose holder in the car and decided he was taking it back to OSH (at that very moment).

A bit frustrated myself, I stripped out of my wet jeans and started a load of laundry.  It was already so dark and our house was a mess.  It's been really cold in Northern California, so I turned on the fireplace.

TL was gone for a while.  OSH is only a freeway stop away - but I figured he had some issues with the return of the hose holder.

A few minutes later my phone rang.  OSH had taken back the hose holder and he had a new one.

So what took him so long?  "I picked up a kid," he said.

What do you mean you picked up a kid?

He was 19 - but didn't look a day over 15.  His name was Andrew.  Glasses, short & skinny, brown hair, pale skin.  He graduated from a local high school last year.  He was adopted & his father had recently had a massive stroke and was placed in a home.  His dad was all he had.  No other family - and now, no home.

He's been sleeping in his car and receiving some help from a local Church.  He's been applying for all types of jobs - even considering the military.

The home his dad was placed in will only let Andrew stay for a 2 day maximum per week.  That leaves 5 days of his old Explorer and occasionally the Church getting by as home.

So, when he asked the (somewhat) irritable TL if he had any work he needed to get done for some extra money - TL said no.  But, he took a moment to talk to him.

Andrew didn't ask for money - he asked for work to make some money... because he was hungry. Starving.

When TL said no about needing work but asked if there was anything he could do - Andrew politely asked if he had any extra snacks in his car.

Sigh.  Snacks.  Imagine working up the courage to ask a stranger for a snack.

So, TL opened the passenger door of our car and told Andrew to get in.  He turned on the heater full blast and took him to McDonalds.  Andrew said he would just love 2 cheeseburgers and a milkshake -  Andrew was radiantly appreciative.  TL supersized the entire meal and threw in a 50 dollar gift card to McDonalds.

Andrew fought back tears when TL handed him the gift card.  "Are you sure?".  "Yes."

They chatted on the drive back to the Church and TL said he inhaled the food.  He was starving. (breaks my heart).

Andrew was polite, overly appreciative, and extremely grateful.  If this was some kid playing a prank, TL said he should win an Academy Award.

After TL got home, we talked for an hour about Andrew.  Then, we got in our car and drove around for an hour looking for him near the Church.  (The Church doors were now locked with the lights on, so we hope they let him stay there for the night).  We found quite a few explorers, but he may have gone into a store to keep warm.

Although we didn't find him, we kept a new sheet set, a pillow, a blanket and a grocery bag of snacks and water in our trunk.  We're keeping an eye out for him.

Andrew provided a powerful reminder for us.  TL was at the right place, right time - and we are grateful for that. Andrew has made me look at things differently this year.

We're going out tonight to look for him again.

34 comments:

~Jamie Kubeczka~ said...

This is so sad to hear... I am glad ya'll were able to help him and I am sure he is very appreciative. It's amazing such small things to us mean big things to others.

Michaela said...

This story almost made me cry!

You are so kind :)

Nicole Marie said...

this is amazing tracy. you and tim have the biggest hearts.

Adorably Distracted... said...

omg that just made me fill up with tears!!! you guys are good people!

Katie said...

What a heartbreaking story. I really hope everything works out for Andrew in the end. And what a nice guy TL is to take him to McD's. :-)
Please update us if you find him! If he's here in EG, let me know - I'd love to help him out too.

Northern Girl with a Southern Heart said...

TL reminds me of my dad, who is the most incredible man I know. Reminds us to keep our lives in perspective and that our little things are no where near compared to some peoples lives. God Bless you both!

Jess said...

Bless your alls hearts!! That is really sweet of you and this gave me chills. And to think your day/events started off wild and then BOOM you are grounded......
God Bless you all! I looove reading your blog! You always have thee biggest heart!

mixed girl said...

Wow! My eyes got watering just reading your post and thinking about that poor boy! How kind are you guys to do that. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. Hope you guys are able to locate him. Good luck! Keep us posted please!

Kara said...

You and your husband are such warm hearted people. I am always so touched by your stories and it provides a great reminder to leave your heart and ears open. Breaks my heart for this guy that he has to spend life like this at such a young age and I PRAY he can find his footing and get on his feet.

Southern Princess said...

Such a wonderful post, and bless you and TL for being such kind hearted individuals. With the holiday season here we really need to think about what someone else's wish list might be....food, water, shelter. I hope you find him and he is able to benefit from you as much as you can from him. xoxo

Mrs. Potts said...

This is the most beautiful thing I've read in such a long time. God bless you both for your kind hearts and generous spirit.

Jules said...

This story breaks my heart and really puts things into perspective. You and TL are both amazing for reaching out to help. My thoughts and prayers are going out to Andrew and hoping that everything will work out.

{av} said...

What an incredible story--it's such a good way to put things in perspective this holiday season. God definitely places people in our lives for a reason--and it sounds like this young man came into your life so that you could help him through this rough patch :) what courage--and what heart! xo

d.a.r. said...

This made me cry. You two have the biggest hearts!

Simone said...

Oh my, what a story. You two are good people Tracy, I hope you are able to maybe help him some more - good for you for trying xx

Allison said...

Okay, so I really got the chills reading this! This was definitely not what I was expecting to read, but it doesn't surprise me. You and TL are so amazing, and always thinking of others. It must have meant so much to Andrew, to have someone like TL actually care about him - so many people probably walked by without giving him a second glance.
I loved reading every second of this story (though it also made me emotional) - and I'm so impressed by how selfless and thoughtful you and your hubs are, girl! I really hope you find Andrew tonight - I'll be praying that you do! :)
You're amazing, girl!

Ashley said...

I seriously just got chills. Your husband did something not alot of people would even think about doing. Acts of kindness go a long way and TL probrably made such an impact on Andrew's heart. What a great thing to do, not just in light of the holidays, but anyday during the year. I hope you are able to find Andrew...keep us updated! You are a lucky lucky girl to have such a great husband like that! :)

Brittany said...

**TEARS**
What a sweetheart your husband is! My heart fills with joy when reading this, especially since you are going out to look for him again. Bless your hearts!

Jax said...

*blinking really quickly to avoid tears as I type this* I read this post twice, taking in every word... so absolutely warming and heartbreaking all at the same time... My heart aches for Andrew. You and TL are such outstanding people and I wish more people were like you guys...I'm giving TL many kudos from across the country for his act of kindness where many would have turned away from someone in Andrew's situation... I hope you're able to deliver those sheets and snacks to Andrew and I will say a prayer that he has a warm place to sleep tonight...

It's so sad how hard it is for people without a home to find a job. I never thought about that before I took a tour of our Salvation Army last year.. Without a home address or a home number to be reached, it's just so hard.. Gosh... I am saying many prayers for Andrew....and for you and TL with your amazing, kind hearts...

Lori said...

Oh Tracy ~ this breaks my heart and I have tears in my eyes. It was fate that TL was there at that time. I hope you can find him again. xo

Claire Kiefer said...

What an incredibly heartbreaking (and sweet) story. I will keep my eye out for him as well. :)

Tiffany said...

Aw, TL was definitely at the right place at the right time! Such a sweet selfless gesture! Keep us updated!

Kassie said...

Wow, this is really incredible. I hope you find him. The way you touched this boy's life is just amazing; how wonderful you two are! Ever since I could drive my mom has always taught me to keep boxes of crackers or something in the trunk to give them out. You just never know. So beautiful.

French lover said...

This made me cry. I am so thankful your kind husband was there for Andrew. Bless your hearts !

Tamela said...

What a beautiful story. God Bless TL, Andrew and you. The world needs more beautiful people like you guys.

Chiara said...

This story makes me so sad.... and really reminds us of our duty to help others...
xoxo

Jessica said...

That is such an incredible story. Congratulations to your hubby for taking the time to talk to him, for taking the time to feed him, and for doing something. You must be so proud. And bravo to both of you for continuing to look for him, I wish you luck.

Emily said...

amazing. I will keep him in my prayers. what an inspiring story to remind us to all to do what we can to help those in need.

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

Sweet girl - its generosity like this story that makes the world a better place! Xoxo

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

This is such an amazing story, and a great reminder for us all during the holidays. Thanks so much for sharing!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

This is such an amazing story, and a great reminder for us all during the holidays. Thanks so much for sharing!

Farmgirl Paints said...

That's what Jesus would do! Love this story. Warms my heart.

Anonymous said...

If you guys see him again, let him know that Lowe's in RC is hiring and he can apply at a computer terminal in any store!

AnnaT314 said...

Wow, thank you for reassuring me that there are still good people with good hearts in this world. Bless you!