Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is making a habit of showing his gratitude to the family members in his life who have helped him get where he is today by buying them awesome new cars then sharing their stories on Instagram.
Last year Johnson, the star of Disney’s latest hit film, Moana, made headlines for giving his Uncle Tonga, a former wrestler, a Ford F-150 truck to thank him for lending him a pair of wrestling shorts 20 years ago when he couldn’t afford his own.
This time, it’s Johnson’s father who is on the receiving end of Dwayne’s generosity. Last week, Johnson posted a picture of himself and his dad, Rocky Johnson. They’re standing in front of the brand new Ford Explorer Dwayne surprised his dad with for Christmas.
But it’s not just the gift itself that makes this post so special, it’s Johnson’s story in the caption explaining his father’s struggles.
When Rocky was 13, his father (Dwayne’s grandpa) passed away, making Rocky the proverbial head of the household. That Christmas, Rocky’s mom had her new boyfriend over for dinner.
The new boyfriend “got drunk” and debaucherous, Johnson says. “My dad went outside, got a shovel, drew a line in the snow and said if you cross that line I’ll kill you.”
The boyfriend crossed the line. And Rocky rocked his world, knocking him unconscious with a block of ice.
You’d think the story would end with Rocky as the hero. Instead, cops were called and told Rocky’s mom that the boyfriend was going to kill 13-year-old Rocky the next time he saw him. The cops gave her a choice: Stay with the drunk boyfriend and force Rocky out of the house, or break up with the boyfriend and keep Rocky in her life.
She kicked Rocky out of the house—as a teenager.
“He needed the bare minimum then, just like he does now,” Johnson says. “Every Christmas, I always think about that story and my dad having every odd stacked against him at 13, but he fought thru it and still made something of himself. Makes me appreciate his struggle and hard work.”
You can read his entire post here: