Monday, September 19, 2016

Leaving a Piece of Heart Behind

Last weekend I tearfully said "good-bye" to the Ford Freestyle I have had for eleven years and 175,000 miles.  Crazy, huh?  My husband had gone earlier in the day to get the details on the VW I have been eyeing for some time and reported back that my Ford valued at $250.  That's fine Kelly's Blue Book, but my heart values that car as so much more.

As we were signing papers for my new car, I could see my blue Freestyle outside the window.  I choked back tears as the memories flooded through my mind.  My kids have been raised in that car. Eleven years means my kids were nine and seven when we purchased this vehicle. Now they each have their own car. As we lifted up the seats there were years of crumbs and evidence of times my teens took the car out with friends. Dog fur showed the numerous times Izzy and I have gone to forest preserves, vet appointments, or her favorite - Starbucks.  She loves those puppuccinos. We have taken family vacations, camped, and loaded our bikes up for family bike rides. My heart was remembering all the times the kids had friends in the car or talked to each other and I was able to just listen as I drove.  I remembered picking up our border collie in this car and the kids and I laughing all the way home.  Both kids learned how to drive with me in this car. My daughter and I have had heated arguments while sitting on the seats of this car but some of our best conversations have been after pulling over in a Starbucks parking lot, crying, talking, and working things out.  Memories of all the homeschool events we attended over the years rushed through my head as well as the first time I dropped my daughter off for a high school event and she told me to stay in the car because she could handle it alone.  I could see her in the driver's seat as she chauffeured five other friends to their spring dance.  She was so beautiful in her formalwear.  I remembered all the hours my son and I drove together, the involved conversations we've had, and the years we shared the car making each other's schedule work.  It's also the car I have used as my "mobile office". Since I teach several of my classes off-site, this car has stored everything I need for class.  I've loaded and unloaded more books than I can count. We have picked up numerous people from the airport and had lots of fun adventures with family in this car.

It's been a long time coming for a new car.  We planned to purchase a new one for me a few years back but instead got the kids a car to share.  Then we planned on it again, but my job became unstable. Honestly, we have let the car go.  When one of my children broke the driver's side mirror off for a second time, we decided the car wasn't worth the expense of replacing it and I had a very interesting "conversational piece" attached mirror for months.  The tires were completely bald to the point I worried about driving on the highway.  Every time I drove it I whispered, "Please let the brakes work a little longer."  It needed new shocks and more. But as we drove away, I felt a little sad for my friend.  It was old. It had lived it's life and provided well for us.  But I also felt sad for myself.  It was like leaving a piece of my heart behind.

1 comment:

  1. I had a car like that in my memories. It was the first family car, a silver Simca, which eventually became my mother’s car when my dad got a company car. There are so many stories about that car — my sister and I grew up in it, it varied in the back and forth to many hospitals, with me lying on the back seat and my sister sitting in her car seat in the front (as was done back then). There are so many good conversations, scary moments, overcoming scary moments. When we finally had to let it go, a tow truck came to pick it up. My mother and I stood on the sidewalk and waved, both of us bawling. The new car was wonderful, but it wasn’t the same. Your Freestyle will always be special.