A Gift Named Roswell

It wasn’t easy but Mike’s parents scraped together enough money to give him a gift that would change his life. They bought him a car.

(Mike’s parents)

“The driver’s seat was broken and wouldn’t sit up right. I had to prop it up with a milk carton. My niece said the dome light looked like an alien so I named it Roswell.”

It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done. It was exactly what he needed.

“8 years ago, I was at my absolute bottom. I’d lost my job and because of that I lost my apartment. I ended up living with my brother and his family in an extra bedroom. I felt like a waste of space, like I was going nowhere. I had no car, no motivation to do anything.”

Around the same time, by chance, Mike found a because I said I would Promise Card. He decided to fill it out. It read: “By my 30th birthday, I’m going to start making some significant positive changes in my life”. What his parents or friends didn’t know was that Mike had a secret. If by his 30th birthday he broke this promise, he was going to kill himself. 

There is a quote credited to Cora L. V. Hatch that states: “We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails”.

In this case Roswell was the boat, and with the support of his family, Mike found the strength and determination to make the proper adjustments to the sails of his life. Those adjustments have guided him to a job that he loves and a newly purchased house. Thankfully he never fulfilled the secret promise that would have made it impossible for him to experience the life he lives now.

“A decade ago I had no hope. Today I have a home. The moral of the story, I guess, is don’t ever for a second think you’re hopeless. There is always hope. Always.”  


There was another elephant in the room that loomed heavy during this time period for Mike and his family. His mother had been battling cancer. During the time when Mike was given his car (Roswell), her cancer had gone into remission but later returned.

“When one person in your family gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer”, said Mike. “That time in my life was awful and then losing her was the most difficult. I just decided that I wanted to make her proud.” (Mike and his mom)

Despite tremendous loss, Mike found the strength to navigate through the most painful time of his life. It also took love from his family and a car named Roswell. Now, because of his dedication at his new job, he and his longtime girlfriend were able to buy their first home.

Here are the keys: