I have to warn you, this isn't the typical story you expect to find on a forum like this. But I needed to tell it, and I hope someone reads it.
First let me give you some background info.
My dad was my best friend. He was always a computer nut, and a die-hard Apple fanatic. Even in the 90s when Apple had fallen off the radar and many people had switched to PC, my dad never did.
We have never had much money in our lives, either of us. I go without things like turning on the gas in my apartment (I have to cook on an electric camping gear range-thing) and not having car insurance (I just drive really carefully) just to keep the rent paid and the electric going. I have never owned a laptop or a smartphone in my life.
Dad was the healthiest guy I knew for most of his life. He didn't smoke, he didn't drink, he was never even overweight. But for some reason, he was diagnosed with colon cancer about three years ago. He beat it twice, but this past winter it came back a third time.
He watched the Apple press conferences and read up on all of the iPad and iPhone and Macintosh news, even though we couldn't afford anything new. He had an older iBook laptop and a Mac desktop in his study. He refused to ever get a PC.
They finally opened an Apple store somewhat close to us last fall, but we never had the chance to get up there. By winter, Dad was having trouble walking and leaving the house, and on June 23rd, he passed away. I spent a week beside his hospital bed in the living room, holding his hand, numb and in shock.
He was only 57 and I am only 27. He was the best dad anyone could have wanted. He was the only one I ever needed.
I got a little bit of money from his life insurance when he died, 500 dollars to be exact. It's the most money I've had in my hands in a year. I was going to use it to pay my rent, but I changed my mind last week.
It was the middle of the night and as usual, I couldn't sleep, so I was on the internet looking at the news. I saw a random tech article about an iPad and started reading, fascinated, as I had almost forgotten about them in the chaos and dark days of depression I've been trudging through lately.
After reading a little and watching some youtube videos, I decided that the 500 dollars I got would not go to the landlords of this crappy apartment where the hot water and AC frequently stop working randomly and no one at the office cares. I decided those people were not getting my father's money. I was getting an iPad, and that was that.
The next morning I called work to let them know I would be in late, and I drove an hour north to the Apple store that Dad and I had never gotten to visit together. It was pouring rain and people were even pulling over by the side of the road, but I didn't. I couldn't. I turned up Neil Young (Dad's favorite) on my cd player and drove straight into the storm. I had no idea if they even had any iPads in stock, but I knew with my paycheck and this 500, I had just barely enough to buy one, and I knew if I didn't do it today, the money would be gone and I would lose my chance.
Eventually I arrived at the Apple store. I must have looked like a maniac walking in there. My clothes were rumpled, my hair wasn't combed, I was wet from the pouring rain, I had been up most of the night and my pants were dirty from work the day before.
I told the sales guy at the door in the blue t-shirt that I needed a 16 gb iPad, and he said they were sold out, that shipments come in between 11 and 2, but usually much closer to two. This was at about 10:30 in the morning. I was devastated. There was no way I could camp out til 2, I had to be at work, and he didn't even know if they'd GET a shipment today.
I went outside and called every Best Buy in the state, and they were all sold out as well. I was deeply disappointed. I sat in my car for about 20 minutes and watched the rain come down. I reached for my keys to start my car and just give up, but something told me to go back in and ask one more time.
I walked back in to the store, and the same sales guy in the blue shirt walked up to me and said "Sir, they're here! I can't believe it, they usually never come this early!"
I stared at him, amazed. I would have hugged the little guy if I didn't think he'd call security for the iPad wacko in his section. Instead I said... "I'll take one, my good man. I'll take one."
20 minutes later, I walked out of the building holding a brand new iPad 16 gb wi-fi in my hands.
When it asks you to name your iPad, I named it "Legacy", and the first thing I did was to fill it with pictures and video of Dad, not to mention his beloved Beatles and Neil Young that I was raised on. For a guy who's never had a laptop or even a smartphone, it's a pretty big deal. I take it with me everywhere now; a bright and beautiful and vivid reminder of Dad; the hero of my life. He loved his son and he loved Apple Computer and the Beatles. His name was Darrell.
It took a long time, but we finally made it to the Apple store, Dad. I have to go on without you now, but your memory will never fade. This is for both of us.
If you are lucky enough to still have your dad, give him a hug. Or at least give him a call. I'd trade a million iPads to be able to hug mine.
Thank you for reading.