Phone Call

Margie answered her phone. “Hello?”

“Hello?” said a girl’s voice. “Someone told me your husband worked on old cars?”

“My husband? Where’d you hear that? Who is this?”

Margie’s elderly husband did in fact work on cars. It was a lifelong hobby, and he was pretty good at it. He found cars, bought them for a steal, then resold them. Viva la retirement.

Whenever Margie asked him why he worked on cars, he would always answer, “Why the heck not?” Only he didn’t say “heck.”

“He’s not a professional,” Margie said into the phone. “He doesn’t fix cars for a living, but, well… I don’t know if he’d be interested in helping.”

“Oh, okay, I’m sorry for bothering you, ma’am.”

“What was it you needed, sweetie? Maybe I can at least ask him when he gets home.”

Long silence.

Two strangers. Stuck on the phone.

“Well, ma’am, my car, they say it needs a new transmission. I can’t afford to pay what the mechanic charges. And I really need a car for work.”

“Let me take your number.”

“Ain’t got no number, I’m calling from a payphone.”

“A payphone?”

“It’s a long story.”

“Oh, dear.”

Margie looked at her side table to see photographs of a girl she once knew. A blond child, much like the girl on the phone. A daughter who overdosed.

“It’s none of my business,” said Margie. “But are you in trouble?”

“I’m okay. It’s just, well…” Long pause. “My parents kicked me out.”

“Honey, I don’t mean to pry—and you can tell me to get lost—but may I ask why your parents kicked you out?”

Now there were sniffles on the line. “Well, I’ve been going through a lot of stuff. It’s been…” More sniffs. “Hard, ma’am.”

“Call me Margie.”

“I’m pregnant.”

Margie didn’t want to be nosy, but then, “I want to meet you, sweetheart.”

“This payphone’s about to disconnect, ma’am, it’s telling me to add more change…”

“Sweetie, can you call me right back?”

“Can’t, I’m out of change, and late for work…”

“Well, at least tell me where you work, honey.”

The girl barely got the words out.

Then. CLICK!

Later that night, Margie and her husband showed up at a 24-hour big-box superstore. The kind with sterile lighting and waxed linoleum floors.

Margie located the brunette cashier and you would’ve thought they had known each other all their lives. The girl came from around the desk to hug old Margie.

Margie’s husband held out his hand and said, “And who might this young lady be?”

Margie announced to her husband, “This is Elaine. You’re going to rebuild her transmission.”

The girl took them to the parking lot. Margie’s husband glanced at the dead clunker and shook his head. It was totally shot. It would have cost more to repair than she wanted to spend. And the repair wouldn’t have been worth it.

The girl was crestfallen. So was Margie. Margie and her husband went home. And that was that.

But over the following weeks Margie could not let the matter die. She told all her friends about the girl’s problem. They even had a few formal meetings about it. And after that, it was all hands on deck. Fundraisers were held, anonymous donations were made, prayers were said, things were purchased.

Margie kept in contact with the girl, but told her nothing about the plan they were hatching.

And so it was, on one summer day, Margie invited the girl to lunch at her place. After lunch, she asked the girl to accompany her to her husband’s workshop, where he happened to be waiting outside, dressed in coveralls like every old guy who ever lived. He was wiping his hands with a greasy rag.

“Tell her to close her eyes,” he said.

“Her eyes are closed,” said Margie.

“What’s this all about?” asked the girl.

The shed door ratcheted open slowly to reveal the prettiest Chevy SUV you ever saw. New tires. New brakes pads. Margie popped the trunk. It was filled with boxes of diapers, baby seats, a crib, and every other baby item you can think of.

The girl was stone-faced at first. Margie was afraid they had offended the girl. Gone too far. Pushed too hard. Been too forward. But after a few moments, the girl looked at Miss Margie, her young cheeks were slick and shiny. She asked, “Why’re you doing all this for me?”

Margie gave her a hug and said: “Why the heck not?”


  1. Pubert Earle Bozemann - February 28, 2023 7:11 am

    Pone, at last! Some happy tears. Really great story! Don’t leave you down in the dumps. If it’s true, that’s a heck of a story. It’s a heck of a story if it ain’t true! You go Boy! BTW, me and the little woman ate brunch at the local “Haus” (WH) last weekend. Reading all these stories about it done sprung a cravin! Hit the spot!

    Your friend,


  2. Cheryl Yarborough - February 28, 2023 7:55 am

    I love this story! You out – do yourself every new story brings me to tears and then makes me smile. Thank you. God bless you & your family.

  3. Teresa Marie Radwan - February 28, 2023 9:29 am


  4. Eva - February 28, 2023 10:41 am

    Sean, you always get to the heart of how good people really are. Thank you.

  5. Ed (Bear) - February 28, 2023 10:57 am

    It’s uplifting to read your stories like this one! Thanks Sean!

  6. Dorothy - February 28, 2023 11:28 am

    No matter what you hear or read. There are kind people in the world. Thanks Sean.

  7. Stacia - February 28, 2023 11:54 am

    Everybody needs a Margie!

  8. Nancy Brown - February 28, 2023 12:37 pm

    Amen. More of us need to recognize the opportunity to “be” a Margie.

  9. Linda Hubbard - February 28, 2023 12:41 pm


  10. John Bass - February 28, 2023 1:19 pm

    Excellent, Sean.

  11. David Britnell - February 28, 2023 1:27 pm

    Again, tears flowing.

  12. Regina Vanderneut - February 28, 2023 1:50 pm

    WOW!!!! What a powerful tale of caring and loving kindness!! Would that I were like Miss Margie!! No wonder you posted it 2 times IN A ROW!! If all of us helped others like this I bet more harshness would cease towards our fellow humans!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful tale of love and generosity!

  13. Dennis - February 28, 2023 1:53 pm

    You’ve heard of the By Stander Syndrome. Your stories jar people from observing to doing. Thanks, Sean.

  14. Melissa Brown - February 28, 2023 2:28 pm

    People out there in our world are still good esp. in the South. Thank you for this sweet story about kindness & goodness, Sean.

  15. Anne Arthur - February 28, 2023 2:28 pm

    Love it. I wish that every pregnant girl in distress would find a Margie.

  16. julieannhall - February 28, 2023 2:29 pm


  17. Steve O’Brien - February 28, 2023 2:49 pm

    Sean’s stories always brighten my day. Where else do I see so much good news 😀

  18. ROBERT STORCK - February 28, 2023 2:53 pm


  19. Charlotte Farley - February 28, 2023 3:21 pm

    Thank you Sean, your stories, more often than not, bring a tear to my eye as I have my morning coffee. What a wonderful way to start my day.

  20. Helen De Prima - February 28, 2023 3:54 pm

    Unsung heroes!

  21. Peggy M. Windham - February 28, 2023 3:54 pm

    What an awesome story! Thanks for sharing! Much needed inspiration in this old world right now!🙏💜

  22. Judy Powers - February 28, 2023 3:55 pm


  23. Gayle Wilson - February 28, 2023 4:38 pm

    Another reminder of the goodness in the willed if we just open our eyes.

  24. Patricia Gibson - February 28, 2023 5:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Sean❤️

  25. Linda Moon - February 28, 2023 7:12 pm

    Why? I know why. Compassion, love, mercy generosity…all those words and more. A son in our extended family overdosed several years ago. It took all those words to help us get through it. And I like Margie’s answer to the girl’s question. I like it a lot, but I do Believe (capital B) there’s more to her answer than meets my reading eyes, Sean!

  26. Marlene C Passarelli - February 28, 2023 7:38 pm

    I read a children’s story to my grandson the other day. It was called, “My Heart Will Not Sit Down.” It’s about a little girl in a poor African village who learns from her American schoolteacher of the children going hungry in America during the Great Depression and won’t rest until she helps in the best way she can. The phrase has stuck with me. Margie’s heart would not sit down. My heart does that, too, sometimes, and I know that as the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for such a beautiful story! May we all have hearts that will not sit down.

  27. Richard Owen - February 28, 2023 8:03 pm

    As much as the naysayers want you to believe that it is all about racism this and racism that, there are people in this world that show us how to live.

  28. Barbara - February 28, 2023 9:10 pm

    Boy! Did I need this today! Two days in a row I’ve received bad news. I SO NEEDED a GOOD story! I once volunteered at a “crisis pregnancy center.” There are several in most good sized cities and they help ANYONE just like Mrs Margie did! YES! There are wonderful people in this world ready and waiting to give a helping hand! Just say a prayer, and ask around, or stop by a church! Someone WILL HELP YOU ! 😆❤️

  29. Michael Eddings - February 28, 2023 9:15 pm

    Warm fuzzies!

  30. Gerry Garrett - February 28, 2023 9:56 pm

    Another winner!

  31. MAM - March 1, 2023 12:41 am

    My cheeks were slick and shiny, too, when I finished reading this. Sean, you are amazing at finding heart-warming stories. Keep it up. We love them!

  32. Charles Farrell - March 1, 2023 2:41 am

    Old man and wife history opened the door for that young lady in need. Nice C Farrell

  33. Bill - March 5, 2023 6:50 am

    This is how people are supposed to love each other. We need to do it a lot more often, y’all. Bless them all.

  34. Renee Welton - March 6, 2023 3:57 am

    I’m crying once again💝💝💝


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