Kevin Duke, like many other fathers, picked out a car he thought would be a great fit for his daughter who was turning sixteen in just a few weeks.
Kevin wanted to ensure the car his daughter was riding in was safe, so he personally went through the car and determined if it was in good working shape. Kevin opened up every compartment and crevice in the car and drove it around for a while to make sure it was good enough for his daughter.
Having already opened the glovebox many times before, Kevin was surprised to find a mysterious envelope upon further inspection of the compartment. Having already opened the glovebox six times during his inspections, Kevin was surprised he missed this envelope the first couple times.
“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,” Kevin explained.
The letter was addressed to the next owner of the car with the words “New Car Owner Important Info Inside” written on the front of the envelope, so Kevin excitedly opened it up to see what was inside. Kevin would have never imagined finding what he did that day in his daughter’s new car.
The letter detailed how the previous owner of the car was the writer’s mom, and the car was always a special thing this daughter held close to her heart as a memory of her mother. The writer has lost her mother, her aunt, and her own six-year-old daughter recently in a fire, and the high costs of the funerals caused her to have to sell her mom’s beloved car. The daughter urged the reader to cherish the car and hoped it would bring the new family memories to come.
Here’s what the 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 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 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 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 daughter’s favorite song ever, or some Lynyrd Skynyrd Freedbird. 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 in 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!
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After finding this letter, Kevin was incredibly emotional and felt inclined to try whatever he could to reunite this car with this daughter. The writer of the letter eventually came forward after the letter was posted to social media, and Kevin and his daughter Jada decided to try and raise enough money for Jada to get a new car so the writer could have this car back and use it as a memory of her mother.
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