I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing his and your wonderful story. Very, very much appreciated. May you and your family cherish your memories and create many many new ones in that beautiful new truck!I can still remember my dad’s blue Ford F-150. He had a topper for the bed, as well as cots that attached to the box wall so he could sleep in back when he went hunting or fishing. It had a blue interior and was an automatic. This would have been way back in late 1980’s early 1990’s, way back when I was <10 years old. I recall a lot of the vehicles we had, including a Ford Bronco with a 5.0 in it at one point. We sold that when we got a camper as it didn’t pull it very well.
Fast forward 20+ years to 2021 and my family was living with my parents after effectively becoming homeless from the Derecho in Iowa. That’s a story for another time. As we were finishing the rebuild we were blessed and lucky enough to have an opportunity to purchase what had become a dream property with 18 acres and a newer house. We made an offer and it was accepted. We moved in almost a year after the Derecho hit. Knowing we were going to have property and space, my dad asked if he could park a camper at our place. We agreed that was fine, so he ordered a 22’ Airstream Bambi.
He was turning 72 in 2022 and had retired after 35 years working at the University of Iowa Dental College. He wanted to travel more and go camping again. When he purchased the Airstream, he had a 2021 Subaru Ascent Limited. The Bambi technically was under the weight limits, but the Ascent would be maxed out if the Bambi was fully loaded. On the way back from picking up the camper, my mom laid it out that he was to buy a truck if he wanted to keep the camper, but wasn’t sure if he had listened or was going to.
He did, and was. He and I had multiple conversations around which truck would work best, what engine to get, how he would fit it in his garage, all the kinds of conversations you would expect a father and son to have. Including the obvious question of “what does the largest Airstream weigh?” He decided on a 2022 Ford F-150 King Ranch 4x4 with the 5.0. He placed his order 12/7/2021 and was looking forward to taking it and the camper to Wyoming to go camping with his youngest sister and her family. He was thrilled and had optioned out the truck to the hilt. He decided it was to be his dream truck, and wasn’t ever going to sell it. Maybe upgrade the camper, but he hadn’t actually said that yet. They were to be left “to you boys” (my brother and I) when he passed or could no longer use them.
The months rolled by, and he kept a sharp eye on his order, keeping track of what he still owed on the Ascent, and counting down the days until the trip he had planned. By June in 2022 he realized he wasn’t going to be able to make the trip that year as his truck had been pushed multiple times and was now scheduled for the week of August 15. He went “just to look” at what the dealership had in stock, which is code for “I’m going to buy”, so my mom went with him because she knew he had ordered his dream truck and didn’t want him to buy a truck he didn’t love. They decided there wasn’t anything as nice on the lot and that it was best to just wait.
Towards the end of July I had to make a trip down to Texas for work, and my oldest was staying with them when he got sick and needed to be hospitalized for a day with food poisoning. He recovered just fine, no long term effects, and on August 2nd I chatted with him about his truck and how he was feeling.
On August 4th, he had a follow up appointment to ensure he had completed treatment without any issues and was fully recovered. He talked to the neighbor a bit, he was so excited about his truck, and then drove himself to his doctor appointment. Upon arriving at the doctors office and urgent care location, he walked into the front door, and collapsed. For the next 45 minutes they attempted to resuscitate him, he had gone into cardiac arrest and had PEA (Pulseless Electrical Activity). They were unsuccessful.
He had only gotten to use the camper once, with my oldest and my mom at a local camp ground, and the truck still hadn’t been built. We decided to honor his wishes for the truck and camper as both my brother and I enjoy camping and being outdoors when we can. We both hold very dear memories with our dad when we went camping and were outdoors. On August 16th his truck went down the line, and was immediately parked and put on chip hold.
Thankfully, on 12/1/2022, 359 days after Ford received the order, his truck was completed. We decided to keep using his license plate (it is a personalized plate) as it was, and in our mind still is, his truck. We are also going to have a close friend create a window decal in his memory for the truck. On 1/6/2023, one day shy of 13 months to the day he ordered the truck, we took delivery.
I know he would have joined this forum as he had started really enjoying online forums for his Ascent and was looking forward to the same for his truck. This truck is in his memory and will be cherished. A day doesn’t go by where we don’t think about him and how excited he was for this truck.
I want to make a call out to FoMoCo for honoring the deal/incentives/etc my dad had negotiated. And a special callout to Lynch Ford and our salesman Andrew for taking such good care of us, being honest and upfront, and helping us honor my dad’s wishes. It means more to our family than we can express.
Sorry for the long sob story. Drive safe.