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Elderly Woman Had Been Living in Old Car for Years When Neighbor Finds Out — Story of the Day

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By Monica Otayza
Dec 30, 2021
04:50 P.M.

A concerned neighbor was startled to find out that the elderly woman who lived across from him had been living in her old car despite having a house.

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Ed Miller and his elderly neighbor Anna Wilde would often enter their cars at the same time each morning. They would often exit at the same time as well, at 6 in the evening.

One day, however, Ed had a couple of drinks with his friends and arrived home past midnight. He was surprised to see Mrs. Wilde still inside her car, fast asleep. Did she forget her keys? Ed thought to himself.

At that moment, he made a sudden realization that he had never seen Mrs. Wilde drive the car, as she would always be busy fixing things for a couple of minutes as he drove away. He decided to take a closer look, to see if she was okay.

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Anna was all bundled up in the passenger seat, with a thick blanket covering her body. At the back, she had several bags of groceries. "Why is she living out here?" he asked himself.

Ed was surprised to find out about Mrs. Wilde's living condition. | Photo: Shutterstock

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Mrs. Wilde's house was a gorgeous bungalow, which started to look more and more unattended since Anna's husband Charles died four years ago. Ed decided to go wake up his wife so they could prepare the guest bedroom for their neighbor.

"How could such a sweet old woman be living in her car? What happened?" Ed's wife Stacy asked. He sighed, echoing her question.

"I don't know, honey, but she isn't sleeping in that car ever again. You're with me on this decision, right?" he asked her. She nodded and asked him to go get her.

As Ed walked outside, he shivered. It was cold, and he couldn't imagine how cold Mrs. Wilde was feeling. He knocked on the window gently until she woke up. At first, her eyes widened, until she realized it was a familiar face.

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"Mrs. Wilde, it's cold out here. Please come into our home. My wife made a cup of tea for you, and we prepared a warm bed," Ed smiled.

Mrs. Wilde, still surprised, refused. "Ed, sweetie, don't you worry about me. I am alright over here," she replied.

Ed refused to take no for an answer and told Mrs. Wilde he would stay out in the cold until she came with him. After saying that, Anna opened the door and got out of the car.

Ed invited Mrs. Wilde to his home. | Photo: Pixabay

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Ed helped her out and wrapped a blanket around her. Inside, Stacy was waiting in the kitchen with a hot cup of tea. "Thank you, sweetheart. I used to prepare my husband Charles a cup of tea after he got home from work," she suddenly reminisced.

"Mrs. Wilde, you have a lovely home. Why have you been sleeping in your car?" Stacy asked her.

"I don't feel comfortable at home without Charles..." she started.

"You mean you haven't been sleeping at home since Charles died?" Ed asked, surprised.

"Well, I used to come home. But everything at home reminds me of him. I didn't want to be reminded of what I've lost, so I just decided to sleep in the car. That way, I'm not reminded of his absence in my life," she said, weeping quietly as she sipped the tea Stacy made.

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"How do you take care of yourself that way?" Stacy couldn't help but ask. Anna then explained that she was a part of a gym club for senior citizens where she takes her daily showers.

Mrs. Wilde wept quietly as she told her story. | Photo:Pexels

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"Why don't you just sell the house then, Mrs. Wilde?" Ed asked. The questions wouldn't stop coming, as the husband and wife were curious about many things.

"Oh I would love that, but the house is worn down. I haven't maintained it in years, no one would buy it at a good price," Mrs. Wilde explained.

At that, Ed revealed that he was an architect. He promised to look at the house first thing tomorrow morning, and see what kind of work needs to be done.

"You are too kind. Thank you, sweet boy," she said, giving him a hug.

True to his word, Ed checked out Mrs. Wilde's home the next day. He asked his assistants to come over, and they were surprised to see how bad the house looked.

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The whole house was covered in gray dust, and spider webs hung from the ceilings on every corner. What's worse is the walls were covered with mold.

"We can't be in here without protective equipment," Ed told his assistants, and they changed to a pair of disposable suits and face masks. The mold looked toxic, so Ed decided to take a sample for them to study.

"Don't you think we can just have a cleaning service scrub the walls clean?" his assistant asked him. Ed shook his head.

Ed was surprised to see the state of the house. | Photo: Pixabay

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"This isn't just mold. I feel this is toxic, we shouldn't even be breathing in here without any masks. There should be a warning on the door," Ed said. It turns out, toxic mold seeps through the wall, and it could turn deadly.

"It's a good thing Mrs. Wilde hasn't been going in here. She would have died," Ed said, shocked. His hunch was right, and the lab results showed it was a dangerous type of mold.

The lab suggested that the house must be burned so that the mold would not spread to nearby houses. Dismantling it or tearing it down was simply not enough.

When Ed told Mrs. Wilde the bad news, she was sad. However, she agreed to do whatever needed to be done, and the fire department was called in to set the controlled fire. Anna watched her house burn down, and Ed was right beside her.

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"Mrs. Wilde, you can live with us for as long as you want. Our home is yours," Ed said. Mrs. Wilde gave him a reassuring smile.

"I know, thank you, Ed. But I do want to start again in my own small place," she hinted.

Anna watched her house burn down. | Photo: Unsplash

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At that, Ed decided to call a meeting among neighbors. He let them know what happened to Mrs. Wilde's place, saying she decided to burn it down to keep everyone else safe.

They all agreed that they wanted to do something for Mrs. Wilde, and one of their neighbors, a real estate agent, said she might be able to sell the lot to someone.

With Ed's help, they negotiated a good deal for Mrs. Wilde. A developer took interest in the lot and decided to build several assisted living houses in the large plot of land. Aside from purchasing the land at a good price, the developer promised Mrs. Wilde the best unit which she could live in for life.

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In the end, thanks to Ed's kindness and generosity, Mrs. Wilde not only had a lot more money to her name, but she had a beautiful home right next to her best friends, Ed and Stacy.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Sometimes, it's easy to miss things if we're not looking hard enough. Ed and Anna would always see each other every morning, but Ed did not realize Anna was living in her car.
  • Things happen for a reason. Aside from being at peace while sleeping in her car, it was a blessing that Anna stopped living in her house as it was filled with toxic mold.

Did you enjoy this story? You might like this one about a poor woman who took care of an elderly lady while she was sick.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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