Like so many father’s of teenage daughters, Kevin Duke wanted to make sure his baby girl’s first car didn’t have any surprises. Before she ever sat behind the wheel, Kevin put the car through its paces and checked every nook and cranny.
The car included a small storage compartment in addition to the glove box. “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 said on Facebook.
Beneath the mat Kevin found a hidden envelope labeled New Car Owner Important Info Inside.
Inside the envelope was a hand written note from the daughter of the car’s previous owner. The author’s heartbreaking story broke Kevin’s heart. “I won’t lie, I shed a few tears,” he said on Facebook after posting a picture of the note.
The note read,
To the person that gets this car,
I just watned 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 (SIC) and my daughter went out shopping and got their hair cut. This car holds a lot of special memories for me.
My ome 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. hope it runs for 100 more years. I hope the back seat 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 cryon hidden somwhere 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 th e 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 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 Sylvias Mother came on the radio, the name kind of 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 not right for you anymore.
Be blessed, be happy, live and love like we did.
I wish you, and Sylvia, the best!
Kevin sat in Sylvia with tears in his eyes and knew he had to find this young woman, a mother and a daughter who had just lost everything. Kevin posted the letter and his story to Facebook in a desperate attempt to find the author. It wasn’t long before he met the letter’s author, Sabrina Archey.
Kevin created a crowd funding page asking people for donations to help Sabrina buy back Sylvia. The description of their page says “Since Jada still needs a car, this fundraiser will essentially buy Sylvia back from Kevin and Jada, so Sabrina can have Sylvia back, and so Jada will still get to have her first car to make memories in. Any and all donations, small (and large 🙂 will be greatly appreciated. Kevin and Sabrina are in contact and very overwhelmed by all of this and thankful for all the love. 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!” Click here to see their progress, as of the writing of this article they have raised $10,750 of the $12,000.
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