She Reads Sign on Back of Van in Walmart Parking Lot and Knows She Can't Just Walk Away


Keith Smith of Missouri was on a mission to make it to the Maine coast. The original plan was to visit the famous lighthouses of Maine with his wife, Kay.

Last year, Kay passed away suddenly. This unexpected loss left Smith feeling lost himself.

He told WABI, “Without her, I’ve pretty much been a little lost.” The couple’s past dream to visit the Maine coast gave him a sense of direction, however.

Kay wouldn’t physically be present on the trip in the way that Smith had always imagined. Instead, he would bring her ashes with him to spread on the coast.

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He ended up stranded in a Walmart parking lot in Central Maine, though. He had no money left to make the necessary repairs on his car when two tires went flat along with a dead battery.

Smith made a sign explaining he was trying to spread his wife’s ashes. The sign continued, “Flat tire + out of gas due to unexpected repairs. Be well Maine, you have been beautiful.”

He wrote on both the top and bottom of the sign: “Will Work!!” A woman saw the sign on the back of Smith’s van and knew she couldn’t just walk away.

She posted about the sign on Facebook hoping to find Smith help. Danielle Armour saw the post, shared it, and tagged Devon McEwen of McEwen’s Auto.

McEwen was not going to make Smith work for the repairs. He was going to help the stranger for free.

A Facebook post by McEwen explained, “McEwen’s Auto is giving him 3 tires, charging his battery, filling his gas tank, and giving him some money towards his travels!” Other local businesses also contributed to helping Smith.

Smith would be able to complete his mission to honor his wife. Though he didn’t have the company of his wife in the way he had always hoped on the trip, he had plenty of kind strangers willing to help him along the way.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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