When I was growing up, my family was always frugal, but I never realized that the family budget often didn't have a single penny to spare. As I've gotten older I've found out more about just how tight finances were. And that was all before my dad became a full-time pastor, which didn't do any favors to his income.
But my parents finally got my brother and I out of the house and my mom got a master's degree and started a career and things were slowly improving. They still didn't have much, but the budget had a little bit more room for saving money.
When my dad was a teenager he had a 1960 something Ford Mustang (I am not a car person, so I have no idea what year). And for years after he sold it, he missed that car. So when the new Mustangs came out a few years ago and looked like that one from his youth, he started dreaming. And my parents started saving and researching and finally, finally he got his beautiful new Mustang.
People, he LOVED that car. He took care of it like someone would take care of a newborn baby. The car brought him so much joy after a childhood growing up in extreme poverty and an adulthood of making ends meet and working so hard to provide for a family. He finally got to spoil himself and we were all so glad. He even made plans to leave the car to my brother in his will- it was going to be in the family for a long time. Several years after he bought it, the car was still in perfect shape- not a scratch, barely a smudge.
Then came Tuesday- my mom came home for lunch and found Dad in the driveway on the phone, no car in sight. Apparently Dad had come home to meet a repairman for something for the house, parked on the street since the repair vehicle was in the driveway, locked the car, went inside and came out 10 minutes later to find the car missing. About 45 minutes later the police got a phone call that someone had a Mustang in their backyard- apparently the car (which was not parked on an incline!) had rolled down the street, through several yards, hitting a deck support and coming to rest in someone's yard.
The car is totaled, and Dad's fun car is gone forever. We're still not sure what happened or how the car got started rolling backwards on the flat surface.
We're feeling so sad for Dad tonight. He's worked so hard for the family and for his church members for so many years. I know no one is hurt and that's great and it's not like someone died, but it's still really sad.
RIP dear Mustang.
Dad and Ethan in the car on our visit in 2008