Saying good-bye to an old friend

My first new car.  I’d been so excited.  Saved and saved and saved and set my sights on the perfect beauty.  Six cylinders.  Sporty.  Super thin tires.  Bad ass.  I did my due diligence and test-drove other cars, but this was the one.  Dad helped me with the negotiatons and the deal was done.  Mine mine mine! ALL MINE!

It was a pretty exciting time in my life.  March 2004.  Within a two-week period, I had bought this car, gotten my first promotion at work and that guy I’d been dating had asked me to marry him.  I was in my early 20s.  I was flyin’ high.

This car and I had a great decade together.

I drove this car to and from my first real job
…to and from my second job a few years later
…to and from my current job a few years after that
I drove this car to our apartment
…to our condo a few years later
…to our house several years after that
I drove this car to my bridal shower
…to my parents’ house on my wedding day
…to my baby shower.

* * *

About a week and a half after my daughter was born and subsequently diagnosed with Down syndrome, life as I knew it was changed forever.

I didn’t feel like myself
I didn’t look like myself
I didn’t know my new self.

Until I sat down in this car.

I put the key in the engine and backed out of my driveway.  I don’t even remember where I was headed. But for the first time after this whirlwind life-changing event, I felt normal again.  My car.  With all the stuff I’d left in it from the last day I’d been at work.  Like a time capsule from my former life.  This one thing has not changed.

Thanks, old friend.

As we cleaned it out to get ready to trade, we found all sorts of treasures.

    • a cancelled check for the organist at our wedding, dated April 2005
    • the price list for the hairstylist that did my and all my girls’ hair at my wedding in October 2005
    • in my trunk, the portfolio that I took on every interview when looking for my previous job in 2006
    • wedding programs from at least 5 different weddings we’d attended over the years
    • the deposit check that secured Abby a spot in daycare, dated January 2010
    • 7 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of gloves, 2 pairs of sunglasses
    • at least three dogs’ worth of hair (from one dog)
    • receipts from every time someone did work on this car in the glove compartment
    • the business card of the woman who runs my kids current daycare – leftover from when I first met her in 2012
    • various hair clips that Abby had pulled from her hair and thrown on the ground over the past 4 years
    • Formula stains on the back of Jake’s seat when he’d fallen asleep with his bottle nearly every time we came home from grandma’s

Old friend, you treated me well.  Much better than I treated you… So sorry for that time I rear-ended someone on 91 in Windsor and you got so mad you blew your airbags up in my face.  Or that time I backed out of my garage and broke your side mirror right off.  Or the time I cracked the fender on the other side of my garage.  Or the time you were just so tired in a heatwave and we had to take a flatbed ride across several towns when I was 41 weeks pregnant.  Or the time I had to have you towed out of the parking lot at work.  Or… OK, OK I AM A TERRIBLE DRIVER.

I’ll miss you, old friend.

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