This weekend my mom got her first car at the young age of 57. It was a gift to her from my dad. A testament of his love.
My parents are not flashy people. They’re far from it, actually. They live in a humble little house in a humble little city. They don’t go out to dinner, and they’ve been wearing the same clothes for ages. My dad drives a trusty (and maybe a bit rusty) old SUV to work each day while my mom stays home and tends to the house.
Did I mention that they’re still madly in love? As in, my dad has written a love note to my mom each day of their 36-year marriage. As in, my mom still holds on to every single word he says.
Back to the car, though.
While we were growing up, my dad got it in his mind that he had to buy each of his children --- my sister, brother and me --- a new car for high school graduation. We needed something nice and reliable as we embarked on the next leg of our journey: college. It was just like my dad to insist on this. He always wanted us to have the nicest of things and made sure that we did. Did I mention that he worked two jobs my entire childhood so that he could afford to do this?
To make sure they were able to afford to buy us new cars, my dad drove the same van for nearly 15 years. When the van fell apart, he bought an old SUV. My mom was able to drive it when she needed it, but it was my dad's car, and she was OK with that. She would occasionally borrow our cars when we were home, which wasn’t often. Still, she was OK with all of it.
This isn’t a story about cars. No, it’s far more than that. It’s the story of a woman, who was selfless enough to go without so that her children wouldn’t have to. It’s the story of a man that is always looking for a way to show his wife that he loves her. It’s the story of selflessness. It’s the story of patience. It's the story of good people getting what they deserve.
This is why, when my mom called on Sunday to tell me she finally had a car of her own, I cried.
(For some reason, this was perhaps one of the most emotional things I've ever written. I realize it's unlike anything else I've ever shared, but it was a story I had to tell.)