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The Mango Happiness Project Story #themango Episode: 14

Her wheelchair did not fit easily between the table and the kitchen island. I finished helping her get ready for the day. I had arrived earlier that day and was so excited to show her, The Mango, my car, my orange car. I couldn't believe the chick who hates attention and was a devoted introvert now drives a very orange vehicle.

(The paint is called Gomango.)

Her reaction was short. "It is certainly orange."

It was too late…

She would never ride in my brand-spankin' new car, which had 8 miles on it when bought that I had owned for all of a day.

For months of driving back and forth, the 5 hours total per week and sometimes more, I had owned a Jeep Cherokee. When she went from cane to wheelchair, that son of a bitchin' thing fit, just right, in the back. We would go for breakfast, and my gut and arms were full of bruises as wrestling that chair was not my forte.

The day I arrived with my new car, I drove two and half hours down that same highway, but this time I was in my happy car. I felt peace and just a hint of ease deep inside, something that had been buried in a mess of hopelessness. I had been on autopilot of duty and pushing forward in numbness. Something you just do because you have to, no matter what.

I knew the end was close, and I had spent months doing everything possible to help her in every way possible.

The only time I took time for myself was between visits; I would arrive home and cry, actually bawl and become a total mess of emotions. Then, I would dump barrels of grief, confusion, and utter pain all over my husband and head back down that highway in a few short days.

When we decided to get the car it seemed totally out of the theme of life at that point. We just did it, and it was an unsaid and on-hold happy embrace, reminding us of how strong we are.

When I arrived, I parked my car, where it stayed. I could see it from the dining room window, the same one I fought furniture and that chair so she could see the mango that one time.

It would be 27 days before I would drive the mango back home.

#themango represents the strength you don't know or the power you have hidden. It embraces happiness even when you are struggling.

It reminds you that you can look fucking awesome in orange!

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