Most of us are no strangers to buying a used car. And from time to time we find a stray map or receipt tucked under a seat that makes us wonder about the folks who loved the car first.
When Kevin Duke bought a used car for his daughter he found something that was much more telling that an old piece of trash. He found the history of the car in which he sat.; the tears, the joy and the love.
Here's Kevin's story.
"I bought my daughter, Jada, a used car a couple weeks ago. Since she doesn't turn 16 until March, I'm driving it to see if there are any kinks to work out before I give it to her. Well, yesterday I'm in it tinkering around and I open this storage compartment on top of the dash (which I've opened a half dozen times already). This time I notice a rubber mat in the bottom of it and for whatever reason, I pull it out. To my surprise, I find this envelope with this letter inside. I won't lie, I shed a few tears."
Here's just what that letter said.
"To the person that gets this car,
I just wanted to let you know what a special vehicle you’ve bought. This car belonged to my mom. She passed away Feb. 25, 2015 in a house fire along with my 6 year old daughter and my aunt. The last time my mom drove this car was the day she left us. Her and my daughter went out shopping and got their haircut.
This car holds a lot of special memories for me. My home and everything in it is gone, this car is all that I had left to touch. There was a mix up with paperwork and that’s caused the car to not be paid off by insurance. It’s very upsetting that I have lost my family, my home and now I’m losing the last link I have with my mom and child through no fault of my own.
I’m not mad at you. I hope this car is the best car you’ve ever owned. I hope it runs for 100 more years. I hope the backseat is filled with kids and toys and random things.
MY FAMILY FILLED THIS CAR WITH LOTS OF LOVE AND OTHER STICKY THINGS.
We took road trips, blared 80’s and country music and rolled the windows down. I’ve changed more diapers in the backseat than I can count. There’s probably a sucker stick or a crayon hidden somewhere that belonged to my baby. Maybe an entire chicken nugget. HA!
I don’t know if you’ll see it but there may be a dirty spot on the dash. My daughter and I would pretend to go on adventures while we sat in the driveway and she always put her feet there. The dent on the rear drivers side fender and the dent in the passenger side door are where my daughter learned to ride…and crash…her bike a few months before her death.
I know it’s just a car to you, but to me it’s so much more. Life happened in this car. Love, joy and adventure was had in this car. So now that it’s yours, please remember it isn’t just a car. It’s a memory. This car with all its quirks is the last piece of my family. Be nice to it. Play it a country song, Big Green Tractor was my daughters favorite song ever, or some Lynard Skynard Freebird. That song meant so much to us that I played it at their funerals.
YOU’RE RIDING WITH ANGELS. MY ANGELS.
Talk to them if you like, I’m sure they’d like to see and hear about any new adventures you take in this car. By the way, her name is Sylvia. The very first day mom got this car, we all rode around and Dr. Hook’s Sylvia’s Mother came on the radio. The name kind of just stuck when my daughter said that’s what we should name the car. So please don’t change her name.
If you ever want to sell Sylvia please try to find me. I just paid for 3 funerals, I can’t afford to buy it right now, but hopefully I’ll be in a better financial situation if you decide later that she’s just not right for you anymore. Be blessed, be happy, live and love like we did. I wish you, and Sylvia, the best!
photo credit: You Caring
At first, the author to the letters was anonymous. But Sabrina saw the post, and came forward, identifying herself as the car's previous owner. And the messages of support meant the world to her.
Strangers Step In To Help
When people read Kevin's story they couldn't help but want to get that car back to Sabrina, no matter the cost. Now hundreds of people are working together, donating money, to buy the car back for Sabrina and make sure that Jada still gets a car. Reading the comments on the donation page will bring tears to your eyes.
"Kevin and Sabrina are in contact and very overwhelmed by all of this and thankful for all the love," an update on the YouCaring page reads. "We all chatted tonight and the money will go to Kevin Duke to buy Jada a new car, and they will return Sylvia to Sabrina. God bless us everyone and thanks for your help!"
Something tells me with all this outpouring of love this story is going to have a happy ending in no time!