This toy car has lived in my dresser for decades, until last year when it disappeared. I feared that I had decided to give it away when we were purging for the move to the much smaller house.
So I was happy to find it again recently and put it back where it belongs.
But I also wanted to share it with all of you so that its meaning would be greater than just me because someday (a long time from now hopefully) I will die and then it will probably end up in a box destined for a charity reseller like Goodwill.
So, here's the story of the little red car.
Growing up, I had an Uncle named Jim. When he was a baby, they said he had a hole in his heart and that he was mentally retarded. I expect these days they'd have a more specific diagnosis, but I don't know what it would be. They said he probably would only live to the age of three.
Uncle Jim proved them all wrong. He lived in an assisted care facility, holding a job, going on trips to interesting places around the world planned by the facility, and enjoyed friendships with other residents.
Whenever we visited my mom's parents he would drop by to visit with us. He was one of the happiest people I knew, quick to smile, quick to laugh.
He gave me this car one year as a Christmas present. It didn't have any particular shared backstory, it was just a present he picked out for me and one that has just traveled with me ever since.
Uncle Jim died in 2004 at the age of 51.
And now you're part of the story. Thanks for reading.