As a police officer, I don’t make much money, but I meet people on a daily basis that struggle more than I do.
Tonight while on shift I saw the family mentioned in the title pull over into a Walmart parking lot with what looked like a sign. Usually that means they are begging for money which means at some point or another I would get a call about it. So I pulled up to find that the mom was actually holding a road map instead. I asked her if everything was okay before I started heading out, but when I spoke she looked to her 5 year old daughter.
I want to note here that every conversation I had with the mother was translated by her 5 year old daughter (incredibly smart). A majority of the conversation I had with the child.
The mom had 4 kids. 2 boys 2 girls all between the ages of 3-5. Her 5-year-old spoke perfect Spanish and English which threw me off and was awesome at the same time. All of the children were well behaved and dressed in nice clothes and taken care of.
It was funny to the 5-year-old that I tried to throw in what little Spanish I knew. I came to find out that the car overheated and they needed water for the radiator. So I went to a local business to grab a couple of pitchers of water and brought them back. Upon further investigation (sorry for the police lingo) I found out they were out of coolant.
It was at this point where I began a sad conversation with the 5-year-old. I asked the child if her mother had any money to buy coolant and I would go pick up some. She looked to her mom and said no to me.
I then asked if they had a place to stay for the night. Mom said they did, but the family gets kicked out at 7am every morning.
The daughter looked at me and said “my mom only has a dollar to her name.”
This family struck a chord with me. This mom from Honduras takes care of her family with what little she has and her kids are still so happy. I told the girl to tell her mom that I would go buy the coolant.
I walked into the store and I also got an 8 pack of Gatorade for the kids to drink while the car cooled off and some coolant before heading back. After I arrived back I poured the coolant in and asked them to wait a little while before cranking back up the car. I gave them the Gatorade and all the kids ran up and hugged me at once. I couldn’t tell you how happy that made me to give to them.
One of the little girls showed me a dead snake she found (by freaking holding it in her hand up to me). I laughed and her mom freaked out. I gave her some of the hand sanitizer I had in my car.
Soon I asked them to crank up the car and all the kids hugged me again. Then I looked back up at the mom and I could tell she had some tears in her eyes. I looked down at the 5-year-old and asked if they had any food to eat tonight. The little girl asked her mom and told me no (still bubbly and smiling).
While the kids were getting in the car I gave the mom the $20 I had on me. She then broke down and embraced me. I didn’t know what to do except tried to console her and hugged her back.
She was so grateful over just $20 that I wish I had more.
I took one of my police business cards and wrote down a note of encouragement to give to the child to read her mom. The children said good-bye and thank you about 20 more times before I left. While I may never remember their names, I will remember they were from Honduras and that their mom loves them so incredibly much.
Just thought I would share. Thank you for your time to read. You never know how far the little things go for some people.
~ by Glenn Quagmire
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