Dad Finds Letter In Used Car Her Purchased For Daughter
Cailyn Finkel 8/31/2018
Kevin Duke just bought a used car for his daughter. She was turning 16 in a few weeks and he wanted to ensure she was in a safe, reliable vehicle. So when a customer from the construction job he worked brought up a decent-looking car she saw for sale on the side of the road, he decided to take a peek.
He took it for a test drive, did some research and made a reasonable offer. The seller agreed without protest and the title was in his hands in a matter of hours. But the loving father had no idea what secret message was hidden inside the car...
Kevin told Love What Matters what happened when he was rummaging through the car a few weeks after purchasing it.
"I bought my daughter, Jada, a used car a couple weeks ago. Since she doesn't turn 16 [for a little bit], 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."
This is what the hidden 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 February 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 hair cut..."
"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 this 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 back seat 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 driver's 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 were 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 daughter's favorite song ever or some Lynyrd Skynyrd '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 three 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!"
After doing a little searching, Kevin discovered who penned the letter: a woman named Sabrina Archey. He reached out and learned Sabrina's backstory was as heartbreaking as the letter described. He shared the letter online, with Sabrina's permission, and soon people were commenting about how they wish they could do something - just like he did!
With the help of fellow commenters, Kevin was able to get a donation page up and running. He told CNHI News that it was never making money on his own end, he just wanted to help Sabrina and Sylvia reconnect.
"I didn't want to make any money from it. If I could have afforded to replace the car, then I would have just given it to her."
He never expected the outpouring of love sent their way...
Within a few weeks, their story was picked up as part of the TLC series "This Is Life Live." Now Sabrina gets to have Sylvia back and Jada is the proud owner of a (slightly newer) silver Ford Fusion named "Sylvia 2." With the power of love and the human connection, everything ended out perfectly!