Working full time at a church, handyman Willie Elder works on the side laying cement. Besides working on odd jobs here and there, Willie loves restoring old vehicles. He once was on TV showcasing a BBQ grill he made from an old car.
Most recently, he completed a car renovation as an act of gratitude and love. Willie knew when he started working on his 1965 Mustang that he would have to replace most of the parts. It would be more of a complete rebuilding than a restoration job.
This act of gratitude started a while earlier when a young woman named Layne Pachl knocked on their front door. Here stood a girl who wasn’t selling or asking for anything. She simply showed up offering to donate her kidney to Willie’s wife, Sandi who suffered from a genetic condition requiring her to be on dialysis. A kidney donation to Sandi would not only extend her life but also save her life.
This act of true charity touched Willie and he wanted to do something in return to show his gratitude.
The rebuilt Mustang would be his thank you gift to Layne for giving life back to his wife.
For several months Willie arose early in the morning to spend time on the car. Fortunately, it happens to be a car where parts are easy to find. Several offers of donations for Willie’s project were offered, but he declined each one because he wanted the sacrifice to be his on behalf of his gratitude. He did, however, accept a little help from two old car-loving buddies.
Willie would not say how much money he put into rebuilding the Mustang, but he hints that it was in the thousands. Not much really, compared to the sacrifice that Layne made for his wife.
The 21-year-old Layne is like family now to Sandi and Willie. She never asked for any kind of payment for her donation, she just wanted their friendship. The rebuilt car is simply a gift of gratitude for her sacrifice.
It was exactly one year to the day since Layne knocked on their door that Willie and Sandi bestowed their gift for her and she loved it.
Layne was breathless and cried with joy. She plans to use it on the weekends as a fun way to go places. On the dashboard, Sandi left a personal message to Layne which reads: “My Hero for Life! 5/31/2017.”
During the kidney surgery, Willie was concerned about Layne who had just turned 20 at that time. Soon after waking up, his wife Sandi was crying out in pain. Willie gave her a compassionate look and then told her that Layne’s surgery was worse.
Now there is just gratitude as he looks at his wife. Sandi basks in the knowledge that she will now live to see her grandchildren grow up. She gave her tenacious husband the nickname, Stoic ‘Ol Willie.
Yet even Stoic ‘Ol Willie will tear up when he hears Layne’s name, the young woman who saved the life of his wife. He feels like in all of this, he got the better deal and he will always be grateful.
Who doesn’t love an inspiring story like this with such a wonderful ending? Be sure to share this uplifting story with your friends and family.
Read more about this story on uplifting today