I was just 17 when my grandpa passed away. Memories of that day are still fresh in my mind. I remember my mom gathering me and my sisters, her serious expression hinting at the news she was about to break. It was a usual day after school, but something felt different.

My grandpa was an incredible man. At 82 years old, he was always active. He had a deep love for vintage cars and would often take me to car shows, sparking my passion for anything with an engine. He had one special vehicle, a beloved car that he cherished. Every weekend, my mom would drop me off at his place so we could work on it together. Those weekends were magical, filled with laughter, and bonding over a shared love for cars.

Even the accidents that happened, like when I accidentally knocked over the oil can or scratched the red paint on his Chevy Bel Air, were part of the fun. One of the things I loved most about helping my grandpa was that he always filled the ashtray with candy. He never smoked and encouraged me to satisfy my sweet tooth instead.

While I cherished my time with my grandpa, my sisters preferred spending time with our two cousins. That was fine by me. Our weekends together created some of my fondest memories.

When my mom sat us down to break the news of my grandpa’s passing, my heart shattered. He wasn’t just my grandpa; he was my best friend. Devastated, I retreated to my room for the rest of the day. The next morning, I felt a sense of isolation as I walked down to the kitchen in my pajamas. It seemed like everyone was giving me the cold shoulder.

Confused, I approached my mom to find out what was wrong. She explained that my sisters were jealous because my grandpa had left me his beloved Chevy. I couldn’t believe it. His cherished car was now mine. But my mom quickly added that I wouldn’t inherit it. It felt like a punch to the gut.

The following weeks were filled with pleading, but my mother remained firm. The car was already sold, she said. It had been sold to a buyer for $70,000. I watched as it was driven away, disappointment washing over me.

Determined to reclaim my grandpa’s Chevy, I got my driver’s license and started working part-time to save money. I attended college, graduated at the top of my class, and secured a prestigious job as an engineer. At the age of 27, the promise I made myself years ago was about to be fulfilled.

I managed to track down the man who bought the car and made a deal with him. For $80,000, I became the proud owner of my grandpa’s beloved Chevy. It was worth every penny. I hopped into the car, grinning from ear to ear, and drove it back home. In that moment, the world outside ceased to exist. The Chevy was all that mattered.

On my way home, I couldn’t resist opening the ashtray, just like my grandpa used to do. To my surprise, there was an envelope hidden inside. It was addressed to me in my grandpa’s handwriting. With trembling hands, I tore it open.

Inside was a heartfelt letter. My grandpa had poured his love into this car, just as he had poured his love into me. The letter revealed a shocking truth about my family, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was that my grandpa loved me unconditionally. And as a final surprise, there was a gem tucked inside the envelope. My grandpa’s way of saying he never doubted that I would find the candy.

Filled with happiness and gratitude, I parked the car at my home, knowing that I had reclaimed something special. My love for vintage cars, for candy, and, most importantly, for my grandpa would forever be intertwined.