Just a warning, this is much, much longer than 500 words.
Three days ago, I was in a pretty bad wreck in my Mustang. She is pretty much totaled. I, however, walked away without a scratch. In her last moments, she saved my life, so first and foremost, thank you, Ford, for making such a fun, yet safe, vehicle.
However, even though I walked away from the wreck with no injuries, which everyone has been telling me is the most important thing, I have been crying and mourning for two days straight. (By the way, I am a 21 year old male, I haven’t cried in nearly four years, and that was at my grandmother’s funeral.) After doing a bit of reflecting, I have figured out why. A quick background, I come from a broken home. My biological parents split up when I was about 2 years old, and my mom got custody of me, so I never really knew my real dad. For the next 4 or so years, it was just us, my mother and me. Well, my mom found a guy that made her happy, so they were married and we moved in with him. He was a large, towering man, made of muscle and testosterone, he was clearly the “classic hero” type, you know, if this were a storybook he would be the knight in shining armor. He had two children, the oldest a girl; pretty, smart, and athletic, and a boy; handsome, strong, and brave. It took me a while to warm up to these new people, but as I grew around them I came to adore all of them, I wanted so much to be like them, to be accepted by them. (As a child, I picked up quickly that for some reason all of these people had a different last name than I did, so I never felt like I belonged there.)
At age 14, my brother joined the military. (Mind you, in 2004, when the Iraq war was still hitting hard.) He was heading to Iraq, and had to leave his car behind, which he loved. Guess what kind of car he had? You guessed it, a Mustang. Gunbarrel Gray. It was a beautiful car, and he was so happy and proud of owning one. I knew that I had to own a Mustang one day too. I wanted to be brave and strong and confident just like my military-enrolled brother.
Fast forward to age 16, time for a part time job. I mean, gas isn’t free. (At this time I had a 1997 Dodge Ram.) Well, my sister worked at an AT&T store, and I had gone in to pick out a new cell phone. I was talking about all the features of the Motorola Sliver (remember? The first “iPhone”). Well, the manager overheard me talking and commented about how smart and educated I was, and asked if I would like a job. Naturally, I accepted! Finally, I was being recognized as being smart, and had the same job as my sister. I was a step closer to being a part of the family. Well, around the same time my brother came back from Iraq, and sold his Mustang…. because he upgraded! A Cobra!! Now THAT was a man’s car!! He spent ridiculous amounts of money to make that Cobra go faster and faster. It was a beauty, and he loved it, and I loved it.
Well, people grow older, so things start to change. First, my sister got married and left her job to be a stay at home mom. My brother was planning to start a family with his fiance soon, and decided to sell his Cobra to give them a nice start in life. Anyway, back to me, my senior year of high school, my parents surprised me. They told me I could pick out whatever vehicle I wanted (within reason) and they would buy it for me. I had known what I wanted for years. A Mustang. We searched and searched and found a 2005 V6. Satin silver. (I had fallen in LOVE with the new body style. It was soooo much meaner looking than the fox body, in my opinion.) I loved the car. I had the biggest, goofiest grin on my face the whole time we were buying it. Signing stuff, going over stuff, I never heard a word, I knew my new baby was sitting out there, begging to be driven. Finally, it happened. I not only worked at the same place that my sister had, where you needed intelligence, but now I owned a Mustang, just like my brother.
Last fast forward, now I’m in college, 21 years old, living life to the fullest. Three days ago, I lost my beautiful baby to a Jeep going 55 and his brush guard. That car made me feel strong, and confident, and brave, just like my big brother.
So, thank you Ford. Thank you for making me feel strong, and confident, and brave. Thank you for making a car that made me feel connected to my family. Thank you for making a proud line of the most amazing car ever built. Thank you for making the true American Muscle car. Thank you, Ford, for the Mustang.