Out of Money

Author Megan Ridley

One night a few months ago I was coming home from the hospital with my 2 year old autistic daughter.

It had been snowing steadily, I was sick with worry, fear, and nearing total exhaustion having spent many hours an hours drive away from home in the ICU where my husband was basically on life support.

My funds had been dwindling steadily and I had forgotten to obtain gas money for the drive home which had been offered to me from my mother in law earlier that day at the hospital. I watched the gas gauge in my trailblazer hover just above the red line and silently willed it to remain there at least until I made it to town.

I don’t know when the gas light came on because I made myself stop checking and instead turned my focus to the treacherous road conditions and forced myself to sing Christmas songs to my daughter who thankfully drifted peacefully off to sleep 5 min before I pulled into the gas station on fumes.

I went inside to pay for a gallon of milk for the baby and $ 10 in gas, silently praying that I had enough to cover it. My card declined. I could feel my face turning red as I opened the coin pouch on my wallet and began digging thru the coins pointlessly searching for quarters full knowing I didn’t have anywhere near enough.

My ears and face were on fire and that’s when the gentleman behind me spoke up and said “ here I got this “. I couldn’t believe it. I asked him “ are you sure?” At least three times. He told me to do the same for somebody someday. I told him I would. That man had no way of knowing how desperately in need I was that evening. I drove the 10 miles home with tears streaming down my cheeks feeling very blessed. I look forward to the day that holds my opportunity to pay it forward.

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