Mom surprised by new car from military sister and brother

Published on April 24, 2014

Marie Spurrell arrived at Hickman Motors expecting repairs and drove out in her first ever new car, her daughter in full military uniform sat beside her.

Renay Groves, who is stationed in Kingston, hadn’t told her mom that she was coming home.

In the dealership showroom, Groves was waiting in the front of a 2014 silver Cheverolat Trax, decked out with Happy Mother’s day balloons.

“I didn’t really know what was going on,” Spurrell said of climbing into the car and her daughter’s embrace. “But I was so happy and so excited. This was better than winning a million dollars.”

Spurrell, who is 67-years-old, has never owned a new car.

Eight weeks ago her “clunker” broke down forcing her to walk everywhere or ask people for rides.

For Groves, giving her mother car wasn’t just about getting her back on the road and in a safe vehicle — it was about giving her mom a good experience of the Canadian Forces uniform.  

“She’s had a lot of heartache with our service, a combined service of 34 years between my brother and I, and my sister has 18.” said Groves. “She has sat in the living room many times in fear that we weren’t coming home, or we weren’t going to survive when we got back.”

In 2009, Spurrell had to watch as her daughter helped carry the coffin of a friend, journalist Michelle Lang, to an airplane in the Kandhar airport.

“I came back. And today my mission in life is to take my mother out of that living room, from watching the news of her daughter carrying a casket to an aircraft in Kandahar, to a happy moment to be associated with this uniform.”

“Because this uniform," Groves said hugging her mom with tears in her eyes, “has given me so much, it has given your grandchildren so much.”

The purchase was helped by Hickman Motors, which has a $750 discount for people in the military.