Monday, May 12, 2014

The End of One Road is the Beginning of Another

April kept me busy with The A to Z Challenge so I didn't have time to write about the other things that were happening in my life. At the end of March, I wrote this post about my car being backed into and the experience of being kind to the driver. I'm a superstitious gal, so as I wrote that post I wondered if I was jinxing myself. I'd almost written about my fondness for my car on multiple other occasions but I'd always changed my mind for that very reason! So perhaps it was a self fulfilling prophecy that led to the demise of my beloved car, shortly after I wrote that post. Although it all happened quickly, it was more of a quick end to an ongoing issue.

When I took my car to be repaired after being backed into, it prompted me to address some concerns I'd had for a while about the way the car was running. You know the sort, an odd noise that you ignore because it's only occasional or maybe there's a funny smell when the heater is running but you can't tell for sure. I left my car in capable hands with a list for the mechanic to address all the potential issues. When he finally called me the next afternoon, his voice was gentle as he delivered the news that my faithful auto was perhaps at the end of it's road with me. He gave me my options and told me to take as long as I needed to decide. Yes, I'll admit I cried tears of sadness for that car. The mechanic seemed to understand there was more going on here than financial concerns. He kindly told me he's never seen a Ford Focus with this many miles and it was obvious the car had been well cared for. He said many people view these types of cars as "a throw away car" (I gasped!) that they use until it won't go anymore and then get a new one. I was certainly not throwing my car away! But the thought of continuing to drive it until it left me stranded didn't sit well either. It had never left me stranded in all of our 13 years together. I had hoped we'd make it to 200,000 miles but we fell just a little short.

My step-dad does mechanic work so naturally I sought his advice when trying to make my decision. Even at our ages, he still doesn't respond well to my tears so he offered an exasperated "It's just a car!", in an attempt to make me feel better about moving on. His heart was in the right place, but it didn't help. Coming less than a year after the passing of my 8 year old dog, losing this car was a bit of a double whammy. That little blue car had carried the two of us across the country together, to our new life in Montana and on many other adventures. As gross as it sounds, I imagine some of his hair was still in there and it brought me some comfort to know a part of him was still riding around in the car, which he loved to do. There was a cigarette burn on the back seat, caused by a friend who has since passed away. Every time I noticed it, I though of him. That was tough to part with. The day before I was to get rid of the car, I went through it and removed all my belongings, then I sat in it and cried. I'm not ashamed to admit that!

Sure, getting a new car is fun. Who doesn't like an upgrade? I've gotten a 2008 Volkswagon Rabbit. When it came up during my online search of local dealerships, I knew it was meant to be mine. My very first car, when I was 16, was a 1981 Rabbit so I have a bit of a soft spot for them. When I got older, I regretted trading it in during a phase of snobbiness in my later teen years. I feel a sense of having come full circle, driving another Rabbit. This one a zippy little car, much sleeker and fancier than my first one, but it still feels like me.

I've had the new car for about six weeks now and I'm finally starting to remember to look for a black car in parking lots and not the old blue one. I'll admit there's been a huge sense of relief in our household now that I drive a newer vehicle and I'm not worried about pending repair bills. I try not to think about my old car, imagining it sitting in a lot someplace was almost painful at first. As I approach the one year anniversary of Ritz's passing, I am seeing how many ways my life has changed and this is just one of them. It's a reminder that nothing lasts forever and that I'm constantly evolving into a new version of myself. I'll never forget my pooch, or my friend or my adventures in that car and even though they're not right in front of me anymore they're still a part of me.

Last glimpse in the dealership lot
My new buddy

1 comment:

  1. it's going to take me awhile to get in the habit of looking for you in a black car instead of a blue car, as well..