My Red Car and Facing Loss

I have a 98 Ford Escort and I called her Christine. I have had her since 2001. I drove her home from my wedding with my new husband, I rode in her from the Drs. office when we found out we were expecting our first child, I cried in her when we first heard Nathaniel’s heart beat, I went into labour in her, I rode to the hospital when it was time for Nathaniel to be born and it was the car that we took Nathaniel home in. These are just some of the highlights of the times spent in Christine. She was the place I decompressed from my day between work and home, listening to the music on maximum volume and she was the place when pain was so bad I would lock myself in and scream…deep primal screams of pain and agony clinging to the steering wheel while I cried and cursed the goddess. When I needed somewhere to go into a dark place she was the sanctuary I required, the safe place where I wouldn’t scare my kids while I screamed and yelled and demanded to know why this had happened to me. To say I have an attachement to my car would be an understatement. We’ve gone over black ice together, taken my kids sideways in bad weather together, been home to my pain, been a place where I have felt some of the strongest joys of my life, kept me dry in the rain, took my kids to the ER when I had to have them there, we’ve idled in construction, shivered in -40…I could go on. She’s not just a car she is as essential to my life as my home, as comforting as the warm blanket I snuggle under at night, as familiar as the smile on my husband’s face or the hugs from my children’s arm.

This past Tuesday I had an accident. I hit someone who was coming out of a parking lot while I was coming home from the Liberal offices for the Concordia Bi-Election. The damage looked pretty bad but mostly cosmetic. New bumper, new headlight, new headlight cover, bent front passenger corner panel and a bent hood. Today the car went to see the estimator from MPI and what should have been a straight up go to MPI, go to the Police to file the required report, and go home to call Ford for an appt with the Body Shop turned into You need to talk to an adjustor because odds are good we will write off this car. The adjustor will know in the next two days if Christine will be a write off but right now the odds don’t look good. I know for some a new car is exciting but for me saying goodbye to my Christine will be hard. the car could be bought back and fixed but we are talking enough damage to eclipse the value of the car plus having to be able to pass the required safety inspections before she would be allowed back on the road. In the end it could cost so much more to put her back on the road and be far more hassle than surrendering her over to MPI. I cried when they said she could be a write off and in an example of how well Kevin knows me he txt’d me he was sorry when I told him.

Inside I am aching. If they say she has to go I will miss her more than most in my life will understand but you bond with something when you give it a part of yourself you can’t give others. She took my pain and I never had to feel guilty that she would need therapy afterward. There will be never be another Christine.

Part of me thinks I am very selfish though. Recently I have attended two different memorial services and have watched them say goodbye to people they have deeply loved and cared for. My dad’s friend lost his mom just over a month ago under stressful conditions and my parents just lost a friend last week that they were very close to. A car is nothing compared to a life but I feel this loss so deeply because it is mine. Yesterday at the memorial service I ached for everyone and their pain. I felt it like I could reach out and touch it and it touched me. I felt their pain but after the talk was done I could also feel their joy as they shared the memories of Lance and the man he was. Everyone had a warm story of his humour and patience and I could see that these memories warmed them and eased their pain. Karen is someone whom I care for and respect and she talked about the memorial quilts she will be making from Lance’s clothes I could see her joy and making something special from something tangibly Lance’s gave her comfort.

I don’t think Kevin is going to let me mount Christine’s bumper over the couch. In fact I am pretty sure the eyeroll would be heard around the world. Might be worth doing just for the giggle value. A dear friend did suggest that I get something from Christine to keep…I wonder if they would let me keep a Ford logo?

There will never be another Christine. Kevin suggested my next vehicle could be a Kronk instead. The kids liked it but Christine earned her name. I wonder what a vehicle would have to do to earn the name Kronk.

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About Shirley Robert

Wife, Mom, Politician, Project Manager, Arthritic, Blue Bomber Season Ticket holder, Mary Kay Rep, and Advocate. I'm a whole lot of different and proud of it! View all posts by Shirley Robert

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