It’s a tragedy we hear about all too often these days: a decorated war veteran, unable to readjust to civilian life, commits suicide. For janitor Ernestina Nunuz, it was a reality that hit her right in the heart, because of her own son Daniel, at just 33 years of age and a Marine, killed himself when he couldn’t shake off the effects of PTSD.
Not surprisingly, the turn of events devastated Nunuz, a school janitor who walked a mile to work each day in St. Petersburg, Florida, carrying several bags to boot. The grieving mother could barely see clear to why she herself was still alive, when a young man close to her son’s age gave her a gift of such heart, it couldn’t help but revive hers a bit.
Along Ernestina’s long route to her school job, she would pass a tire and used car lot. Unbeknownst to her, the lot’s young owner, a man who had seen his own share of troubled times, took notice of Nunuz’s plight and decided to do what he could to lift her wounded spirits.
Richard Newberry started talking to the bereaved mother one day, and an idea came to him of how he could make her life just a little bit better.
As seen on “Inside Edition,” Newberry surprised Nunuz with keys to a used car and the title, gifting her with wheels so she would no longer have to make the long trek to and from school each day by foot.
“It’s not much, but it’s a car,” he told Ernestina, who looked at him in disbelief. “You don’t believe me?” Newberry said to a stunned Nunuz, who kept shaking her head. “I’m giving you the car.”
Finally, as we see in the “Inside Edition” video, Ernestina unloaded her bags and got into the driver’s seat. We can only assume a beautiful and meaningful friendship came of this touching gift, which no doubt meant just as much to the giver as the receiver.
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