The other morning I woke up to a third car parked in our driveway.
Normally only two cars are parked here, unless someone spends the night, which happens on occasion. One of the kids’ aunts spent the night here on Saturday, and her white car was parked behind my mom-mobile and the commuter vehicle overnight.
But that morning, a brand-new, midnight-blue car was parked behind the others.
It’s a lovely car, will function as the commuter vehicle for the out-of-house working parent (not me). His drive to a college campus an hour away will be smooth and easy now, not peppered with worry about what’s about to go next, like with the other, much older car.
The new car belongs to a family member, another aunt to our kids, who is suffering from terminal cancer.
The car symbolizes the end of her life as she gifted her barely six month young car to her youngest brother, my partner. It was her wish that he take it, and use it.
Initially he declined.
She insisted. No one else needs a car and she saw how old ours are each time she visited us at a rink, a diamond or at home.
She visited a lot. Every six weeks or so, she wanted to connect with us. And if our schedules confused her, we simply sent her directions to the rink.
“Come meet us at the game”, we’d say. “We can go out for a bite to eat, after.”
She always came.
Both of our current cars are over a decade old. We’ve been searching to replace them with something we can afford, but this takes time. He does the car stuff as my knowledge on this topic is limited. I do the gardening for the same reason…he has limited know-how on that.
Thing is, there’s not a lot of time to research used cars. Older kids may be more self-sufficient and independent but if they’re in sports, your schedule really doesn’t get any lighter. Just different…
So now we have a brand new car parked in our driveway, a bitter-sweet memory of a lady who has brought so much energy, attention and love to our two kids, the dynamic duo as she called them.
This is the week we will say goodbye to her. If there is such a thing as a journey onwards, I hope she can watch, and witness, those kids whom she loved as much as if they were her own, getting chauffeured to all their endless sporting activities.
May she rest in peace.