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It’s dented and faded, with paint peeling from a bit of neglect. It might not be very pretty, but it was his, and that’s why we wanted it.
My grandfather had a “little red truck” when I was a child. He loved the truck and spent hours upon hours adding special touches to it and making it shine.
I remember riding in the truck on special occasions. My grandfather even decorated the truck and drove it in Princeton’s Christmas parade.
Simply put, it was his pride and joy.
Several years ago, my grandfather sold the truck to another family member. I still don’t know why he sold the truck, but just the thought of that family member selling the truck to a stranger made my heart hurt.
After learning about this, my dad contacted the family member and said we wanted to buy the truck, should this family member ever decide to sell. Well, last year, that family member decided to sell and my dad bought the “little red truck.”
Ever since, however, it’s been at the shop getting all new parts, from an engine to brakes to tires to a new electrical system. I have since found out that the “little red truck” is a Ford F1. We’re still not sure what year it is, since my grandfather used several parts from different years to make his “little red truck” complete.]
When you’re a child, such details don’t matter. I cared about the truck because it meant so much to my grandfather. And, it was red and shiny.
A few months ago, we got word that the “little red truck” was ready to come home. It died on the trip home, however, and had to go back to the shop.
But just after Christmas, my dad and I finally brought the truck home. During the whole trip, my dad was afraid the truck would break down. He was so anxious to get the truck home, he acted like a new father waiting for his first child to be born.
When we pulled into the driveway, my mother was waiting, camera in hand, to mark the moment.
After several photos, my dad and I took a ride in the truck. I know a truck is simply a possession, but being in that truck again made me remember some of the good times I had with my grandfather as a child.
I remember riding with him in that truck, and in another one he had, with my dog Charlie in the back.
I remember the photos of him smiling and waiving in the parade. My grandfather has never been one to show much emotion. Seeing him smile was special.
If you have read my other columns, you know my grandfather had two major strokes and can’t remember large pieces of his life. It hurts my heart that he doesn’t understand that my dad bought his old truck and it now runs again.
When my dad and I returned from our ride in the truck, he took my mom for a drive. When coming home, he got out and said, “Lucy, we’re home.”
Yes, the “little red truck” is finally home. And that’s where it belongs.