Father fixes daughter's second-hand car, finds moving letter from previous owner

The letter contained within the car. Photo / via Facebook
The letter contained within the car. Photo / via Facebook

When you purchase something second-hand, it's clear it comes with a history.

Whether a ring, an item of clothing, a bookshelf found on Gumtree for an absolute steal, or a car; at one point in time, that item belonged to - and meant something - to another human being.

While you may wonder about the backstory, the truth rarely comes to light.

Unless you are Kevin Duke.

As the father was rummaging around the glovebox of his daughter Jada's 'new' second hand car, he found an envelope tucked inside the glove box, news.com.au reported.

The handwritten letter, written by the vehicle's previous owner, moved Duke to tears. Duke was so touched by what he read he shared the post with the Love What Matters Facebook page.

In the letter, a woman later identified as American Sabrina Archey, began detailing a tragic life story.

"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 mum. She passed away Feb 25, 2015, in a house fire along with my 6 year old daughter and my aunt. The last time my mum drove this car was the day she left us. Her and my daughter went out shopping and got their haircut."

Sabrina then went on to describe just what this car meant to her and how she had to give it up in an insurance mix up.

"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 mum and child through no fault of my own."

But Sabrina was quick to assure the new owner she held no ill-will that they now owned the car. Instead, she asked that they be reminded of the beautiful spirits of her family.

"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 back seat is filled with kids and toys and random things. My family filled this car with lots of love and other sticky things."

Sabrina then detailed some of the favourite memories she shared with the car.

Sabrina pictured with her daughter Jensyn and mother Wilma. Photo / Supplied
Sabrina pictured with her daughter Jensyn and mother Wilma. Photo / Supplied

"We took road trips, blared 80s and country music and rolled the windows down. I've changed more diapers in the back seat 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!"

She implored whoever ended up with the car, named Sylvia after the song "Sylvia's Mother", to treat it with respect.

"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 favourite sound ever or some Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Freebird'. That song meant so much 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 adventure you take in this car."

Sabrina also vowed to buy the car back when she was in a better financial situation.
"Be blessed, be happy, live and love like we did. I wish you, and Sylvia, all the best!" it ends.

Jensyn and Sabrina. Photo / Supplied
Jensyn and Sabrina. Photo / Supplied

After the Facebook post went viral Archey came forward in a comment on the Love What Matters post, and said she was touched by how her story has been received. She also shared her respect for Kevin Duke.

She wrote, "I can't say it enough, how amazing Kevin truly is. He did not have to let me know that he found my letter. He didn't have to share our story here. He was touched very deeply, as most of u have been, and felt like he needed to share my letter for the message that it was meant to convey. Please don't be upset with him for having Sylvia. I know in my bones that if he was able to give me the car that he would in an instant. It's not easy to buy a car. He just got lucky and got this one."

Sabrina finished her message by urging everyone not to take their loved one's for granted.

"Give your babies extra loving, call your mum and go visit your grandparents if u still have them", she wrote.

If you'd like to donate to help Sabrina buy Sylvia and also make sure Jada has a car, you can do so here.

- news.com.au

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