Seventeen years ago, Wesley Ryan decided to part with his beloved 1993 Ford Mustang GT when medical bills began piling up after his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
His children never forgot the sacrifice he made for their family. So a few weeks ago, they decided to give him a surprise by reuniting him with the car affectionately known as "Christine."
Wesley's son, Jake, came across the Mustang GT during a search online, matching the VIN number so he knew it was the exact same one.
He purchased it from the owner in Kyle, Texas, with the help of his sister, Jeni. Two years earlier, the same owner had refused an offer from the siblings. Now, though, according to the San Antonio Express-News, the owner planned to use money from the sale to help pay for her own mother's cancer treatments, similar to Wesley's situation years ago.
Jake took to Facebook to document the moment Wesley, 47, reunited with the muscle car, which he dubbed Christine after the 1983 movie based on a Stephen King book about a murderous 1958 Plymouth Fury.
"Coming home surprising my pops was a feeling and moment I’ll never forget,'' Jake wrote on Facebook. "To see his face and emotion made it all worth it."
The siblings, along with Jeni's boyfriend, Julian Valdez, pooled their money together to buy the car and then pulled off the surprise on Sept. 1 in the parking lot of a local Kohl's near their home in San Antonio.
They were joined by their mother, Laura, who has been cancer-free for 13 years. As Wesley took off a blindfold, he was overjoyed to see the car that he had driven during what Jake called his '90s "heydays."
A video posted by Jake shows Wesley crying, hugging his family and leaning his head on the car as the song "My Old Man" by Zac Brown Band plays in the background.
Jake plans to work with Wesley to fix up Christine and get her back on the road, just like the old days.
"I know how much it broke him in half seeing that car drive away from him,'' Jake wrote on Facebook. "A day I’ll never forget. Well ... She’s back home pops and here to stay this time. Looking forward to building this car with you this time instead of being in a booster seat looking out the window."
"They told me 'Dad, we can never repay you,' but it was never about repaying me,'' Wesley told the San Antonio News-Express. "I tell them, 'Be successful, be productive, pay it forward.'
"What they did for me shows where they are: they are balanced human beings. My wife and I have succeeded, we've raised productive adults. It's the strongest, most powerful feeling that a parent can have."
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