This week, I finally let her go. Turned her over the insurance company that had deemed her totaled even though it was only a fender bender. But she was old and belched smoke, and was scratched and dented and taped up in so many places she wasn’t worth saving. Thats what they said. I knew it was true, even though I resisted it. I had known it for over a year now but I was finally willing to admit it. She had been struggling through the last six months. She always came through but each time her effort made me realize just how unsure each trip was becoming.
In the weeks since she had been declared beyond hope I had shopped and searched for a new old car to replace her. At first overwhelmed I became excited and empowered as I searched for a car good enough to actually replace my lovely old car. I found one at last, a sleek wagon with lots of room for hockey equipment and carpools, fuel efficient and well cared for and so I called my adjuster and told him it was time. And as if to bring that message home, that night her front left tire went flat.
Many people aren’t attached to their cars–even their fancy, pretty, cars that can do all sorts of wonderous things. They trade them in after three years for something even better without a thought. That always struck me as more sane. But sane I am apparently not. For me, the older and more beat up my car became the more I loved her.
My car was simple and by no means anything to talk about but I loved her for what she did for me and what she witnessed. She brought me places safely. She carried me long distances and short distances and kept running, no matter how badly I treated her. I have to admit I kept coming up with excuses to go back out and run my hands along the back seat one more time. Even inanimate objects can love us and she loved us well.
Thanks you old girl for the 13 years you took care of us. Thank you for bringing my baby home safely from the hospital, for rocking him to sleep when he wouldn’t rest. Thank you for all the countless trips to preschool, for providing me shelter when I needed to sob in the driveway and get out my stress and sorrow before coming home to be “together and strong” mom. Thank you for seeming to expand almost magically to carry all our gear camping, for being a home to Max’s smelly hockey bag. Thank you for being a canvass for my bored toddler, for delivering me to work, to the doctor, to my loved ones. Thank you for being there when I needed to rush home, rush to school, rush to Max. You made it possible for me to rush. Thank you for carrying us without consequence through snow storms and ice storms and rain storms and for never dying in the heat–even when you had several non-working sparkplugs.
We will forever be grateful for the small and simple ways you made our lives easy, for the ways you allowed us to solve problems. I will not forget you. Nope. Not ever. I am grateful for the goodness your brought on all four wheels.