Losing both of your parents during a horrific natural disaster is heartbreaking.
Having to sell your parents’ prized possession after their death to keep food on the table? Unimaginably painful.
This was the reality for Tracie Aurandt, who was born Tracie Selder. She lost her parents suddenly when she was only 13 years old — they perished in a flood that also claimed the lives of 76 others.
Why One Woman Had to Sell Her Parents’ Belongings
Only a few of their parents’ belongings survived the devastating flood. One was their prized possession — a shiny black and green 1931 Model-A Ford pickup truck. In 1977 when the Selders died, the truck was already an amazing vintage vehicle.
Without working parents to support them or put food on the table, the Selder siblings knew that they would have to sell the truck to make ends meet. Even though it represented so many happy memories with their parents, it was what they had to do.
“That truck represented home to me. It was a piece of my life — a piece of all our lives — that I never thought I’d ever see again.”
Tracie’s daughter Marla and her now-husband are both car fanatics, so when they were planning their wedding, they told Marla’s parents that they wanted a vintage car at the wedding.
Tracie was hit with a bolt of inspiration. The vintage truck she sold so many years ago would be 91 years old now, but she had no doubt that the car collector who had purchased it had kept it in mint condition.
She asked her siblings to help her track it down and was stunned when her older brother admitted that he knew exactly who had the car and where it was.
When Tracie tracked down the truck’s owner and asked him if she could borrow the vintage vehicle for her daughter’s special day, the owner was delighted to participate — he even drove it there himself!
How a Pickup Truck Brought Back Fond Memories
As soon as Tracie laid eyes on the truck, she burst into tears. Memories of happier times as a family came rushing back, and the spirit of her long-lost parents filled her heart.
So, after Marla and her husband exchanged their vows, Tracie pulled her daughter aside and told her that she had a surprise. At first, Marla thought her mother had brought her 150-pound Newfoundland retriever. Then, she saw the truck.
She had never met her grandparents, but she had always heard about the black and green truck, and how much it meant to them. She knew how much the Selder siblings had sacrificed when they had had to sell it. Seeing it there, as her ride on her wedding day, made her break down.
“I didn’t get to have the presence of my grandparents in my life growing up, but I certainly did on my wedding day. It was magical.”
Despite everything Tracie and her siblings had to give up after their parents died, they made sure the memory of their parents lived on in them.
As the family continues to grow, they hold their ancestors dear in their heart. Sometimes, they even catch a glimpse of their spirit in the rearview mirror — of a shiny green and black pickup truck.
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