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My birthday gift

I had a Honda when I came home after my divorce. Due to life, I needed to go through bankruptcy and close my company. My car got repoed shortly before my 29th birthday.

I begged my dad to let me have his old jeep wrangler and I convinced him I could learn stick shift. So we gave it shot and he spent an afternoon trying to teach me. I in fact could not learn and broke his jeep. So he drove me the hour back home and told me it would be easier to buy me a car. With no pride left to my name, I gladly accepted the 2009 Kia Spectra.

I went three summers without an air conditioner in it. A belt broke and I blew a gasket. A mouse lived in it.

It became a game that I would give my dad a hard time about the money it cost me to keep it alive. When I finally earned enough money to buy a different car, he couldn't find the title to trade it in. So I just kept driving it. I replaced the air conditioner, got it detailed, had Thomas repaint the bumper. Then I got laid off and was grateful for it. It gave me the ability to work for myself without needing a full time job.

The Friday I went to pick up my dad from the hospital, he was watching a show where they repaired a Kia Spectra. I gave him crap because the costs on the show were much lower than what my Kia repairs were.

Twenty minutes later, I saw my dad pass away tragically and unexpectedly from a pulmonary embolism. Moments after pulling up my Kia to walk him from the lobby into my car, I was holding his hand in his last moments. I hated that I gave him a hard time and regretted everything I said.

Days later my car belt broke 5 minutes outside his house in the middle of nowhere. By God's grace, I was able to get it repaired within a couple of hours so I could drive home. My back seat was filled with his belongings for the funeral. While I was getting it repaired, I talked to someone at the library that used to have drinks with him at the bar.

It wasn't long after that my engine light went on because my timing belt was slipping. My mechanic told me I was on borrowed time. I searched my dad's house everywhere and finally found the title to trade it in.

Normally my dad was the one that could tell me what was wrong with my vehicle. He was the one who bought my first car and my most recent.

I spent my birthday test driving vehicles and praying that I'd find the right car. I cried a lot, researched a lot, test drove a lot. I had a ptsd episode dealing with salesmen.

But I finally found the one and knew it instantly. I'm sure he'd be happy I'm a lot safer now driving. I know my mom is - she's so proud and happy. A huge stressor has lifted.

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