Thursday, June 30, 2011

MJT ~ Tribute to a Love Story

This is a story about a young man, a young woman, and a car.  It's the story of how lives as two kids in Pennsylvania are brought together by love and where their love led them.
In the early 70's, she wasn't known by the initials MJT.  She was Mary Jane, a girl with her first car:
A 1971 Alpha Romeo

Maybe you can imagine the times she had in this car and the memories it holds?  Most people have long since replaced or disposed of these wonderful treasures.  Not Mary Jane.  

It wasn't long before Mary Jane met a special boy.  As destiny called it, he too...had an Alpha Romeo.

Some things are just meant to be. 

Mary Jane married this boy, Loren Sr., they moved to Illinois and had two wonderful sons.  Both cars came with them.  Now you know the story of a love meant to be and a car tagged "MJT".

You also know one of their sons...  Have you figured it to be "Long and Lanky Loren" or LLL yet?
We here know him best as Pig Pen's side kick.  I even refer to him as Pig Pen's "other wife" on occasion.  I told them recently they need marital counseling.  They fight like brothers actually.  Because they really are in a sense!

Sometimes blood doesn't make family.  Occasionally the lines get crossed and you are blessed with friends that become family.  And if you are even luckier still, your family are your friends.  They become one.  That's Our "Long and Lanky Loren".  Family and Friend.
Even though he gets ornery and leaves things behind for me all the time...
...We'll keep him.

And this deserves thanks.  Thank you, MJT and Loren Sr. for many things past, present and yet to come -including LLL.

As the years have gone by, many things have changed for this family.  MJT has continued her career in nursing, the boys have all moved out; and ever so sadly, two years ago this July, Loren Sr. succumbed to Pancreatic Cancer -far too young. 

I am sure he would have traveled many more roads with MJT, maybe even in a restored Alpha. 

It's hard to fully understand why God calls us home, but He does to each of us by name.  Finding comfort is so difficult.  It is a long road and maybe the hardest one we ever travel.  When we lose a loved one, a piece of us goes with and pieces are left behind.  Those pieces are cherished as beloved memories of a husband, father, son and friend.

So in memory of Loren Sr., let's propose that the story not end here.  Let's write another chapter.  Maybe he would want that...

How about making some memories come to life?

MJT recently made the decision to part with the Alpha Romeo.  It was not an easy thing for her to do, as I am sure you can understand. 

Remember how I said the lines between family and friends can cross?

Well my friends, it's being crossed.

Here's how...

MJT would have never sold this car to any Joe Blow.  But Pig Pen is no, um -Blow?  It was still very difficult for her and I don't blame her one bit.  But the Alpha deserves to be restored to all it's glory and as it goes, Pig Pen will be taking care of some household things for her that need doing.

A trade of sorts.  Now don't think for one second this car will never delight MJTs loving hands on the steering wheel again.  It will, someday!

Oddly enough, Pig Pen doesn't even want the Alpha for himself.  Before you get all up in arms, it will remain in the family. 

Lines...remember the lines.

Have I failed to mention that POPS has restored many vehicles as pet projects over the years?

Well, this was his Father's Day from us:
Let me tell you, he was ecstatic!  He's always wanted to have a fun convertible and he truly enjoys and takes pride in restoration! 

And the funny thing about the day we brought it over to him, he was working on his sisters 1980 MG convertible too!
MJT, one day...your car will rival this one yet again!  If anyone can work magic, it's Pops!  He will do you most proud!
As hard as it was to let this treasure of yours go, it will always be "In the Family" and loved!

Don't be surprised if sometime in the next year or so, you hear the familiar sound of a horn toot in your drive way...
Because he's already getting parts in...
The work is already underway...
And you will be at the top of the list when this baby rides the road on her own again...
It's all in the family forever my friend...  and if you needed further assurance Mrs. MJT, consider this:
Maybe we can convince Pops to keep the name and think of it as "Mike and Jan's, Too!"

Like I said, some things are just meant to be.

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.


  1. It will be loved ALWAYS! And when MJT wants to take it for a ride to reminisce, it's here for you! Like I said the day you gave it to is now a "family" car for everyone to enjoy!!!

    What a beautiful post Di!!

  2. dog gone it, I got something in my eye again and you did it Di!
    You can bet that Loren and his mom will have the thrill of driving the car again soon.

  3. Aw, this was a really nice post.

    I also lost my dad to pancreatic cancer three years ago, and I can sympathize with losing loved ones too soon to this awful disease. And I can definitely see the love between your families. It's so true what you said about lines between family and friends crossing!

    Apple Pie Girl, you really are a beautiful person!

  4. I cried, and then reread this and cried again. What a beautiful story, except it's not a story, it's real. I am sure that my husband Loren is also reading this up above under the lights of the stars, and also with a tear in his eye. I know that "Kelly" will be well-taken care of. ( yes, that was her name!) And yes, I can't wait until that day when I can take her for a ride again!
    Thank you again, Diana for a beautiful story.
    Love, MJTga

  5. You've done it again. You are something special.

  6. What a great story! Kuddo's to Pops for his love of restoring the old cars. I've always been fascinated by the guys that do this. Old cars out on the road, car shows. They always grab my eye. He's an artist to be able to do that.

  7. Jan, this is what I love about you guys, your giving spirit. I know MJT will be so thankful for it too!

    POPS, we ALL have faith in you as the leader of this family to do wonderful things! You will work your magic like none other and it will be such a happy day! Hope you got 'that thing' out of your eye and can see straight now... ;o) Love you!

    Thyme, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. It can never be easy and I only hope that as time goes by, the sense of loss is replaced with loving memories and smiles when you think of him. Big hugs for you!

    MJT, now you made me cry! Yes, it is a very real story for you. As much as you ache, we are all right here with you now. I hope you feel the love coming thru and certainly from above as Loren smiles down. Nothing but good things are coming your way! For you and "Kelly"! Thank you for sharing that part of the story! I love it!!! xoxoxo

    Susan, sheepishly I offer my apologies :o} Sometimes these things just punch ya in the gut. Hope you aren't bellied over. Now go lay in the bean field, that will make it all better!

    Tami, it's all eyes on Pops! I can't wait to share his progress with you all. I know the restoration will be simply amazing!

    (No pressure Pops!)

  8. What a a touching and wonderful story! May the car live on for another 30 year. And never be named Christine.

  9. Jane, I admit a sense of relief that she named her Kelly as well! Oh these birds of a feather! Thank you for the smile, I can always count on you!

  10. That is a beautiful story and how wonderful are you and your family to want to keep the story going!! Where are my tissues?!?!

  11. So it's only an inanimate object. But some of them sure do carry a lot of love and sentiment!! :o}

    Happenings like this are what count and keep us going as human beings. Sure wish there was a publication (newspaper or magazine) that published stories like this instead of the ugliness that seems to pervade as worthy news.

    You, m'dear, have a huge, big, sharing, loving heart. Thanks for this post.

  12. BrokenRoad, pretty sure several tissues for some folks. Such a beautiful thing!

    MamaPea, You are very right. It's like that special photograph that just time warps you back. I am guessing MJT will feel like it's a Delorean that brings her back in time too. xoxo

  13. That was a beautiful post about a wonderful family. Thank you.

  14. Sweet sweet story and a family to match. You brought a smile to my face today. I love happy endings!

  15. Thank you for sharing. Oh, what a story. I, too, had something in my eye. Right now, it's pretty close to home here.

  16. What a wonderful tribute. The best part for those of us who belong to Him, is that we'll all meet again where He is.