Thursday, January 29, 2015
As the sun set over the Olympics one beautiful winter night last week, we entered a wrecking yard and emptied out my old Chevy Suburban one last time.
I'm not much for attachment to material things, but this vehicle had carted our family down the highways, side streets and backroads of our lives for the past 10 years. It was a bittersweet day.
Just two weeks before, Carson and I were in an accident at a busy downtown Seattle intersection. The life of our car ended protecting our lives on that day. And yes, a car is just a car, but I will forever be thankful that she was our safety shield. Ironically, the morning of the accident, I had looked at my calendar and saw we bought her on that exact date... December 30th... 10 years ago.
What a full life this car was part of...
She hauled Clay to preschool...and then soon, Clay to elementary school and Cole to preschool. And then Carson was born and she hauled our new family of 5 home from the hospital. A few short years later, she was making stops at the middle school, elementary school, and preschool all in one day.
Loaded to the roof with Hickles and a dog, she brought us back and forth to Big Sky country, our second home, countless times.
She spent most of 2011 traveling between our driveway, doctors' offices, and Seattle hospitals - sometimes carrying patients, and often times carrying just a wife and mom who talked to that car like a best friend.
Back and forth we went to ski at Crystal Mountain from the time Carson was 4. She made me feel as if I actually knew how to drive in the snow like a pro - eating a bowl of oatmeal in my lap as kids filling the seats behind me talked and laughed the whole way.
She was broken into twice, and even stolen right out of our driveway. No kidding.
How many pastures and fields did she drive through to drop off and pick up the boys from field work? So many.
If only that car could talk. The meaningful conversations that were had inside...the ridiculous arguments...the prayers spoken...the endless laughs of our kids.
It isn't the car so much as it is the portion of our lives spent in it the past 10 years. We should count everything as a gift, and that is how I feel. Those years have been a gift, of which this car was a part.
Roosky, as she was named, is actually the license plate my parents gave me when I turned 16. Brookeroosky was my nickname, so Roosky has been the ongoing name of my vehicles since I began driving. This Suburban was actually Roosky the 7th. And she was my favorite.
"Mom, let's sit in the seats one last time before we go," said Cole, as we finished emptying out the last of our things. He didn't know it, but that's just what I needed. And so we did, talking for just a few moments as I smiled and tried hard to fight back tears over saying goodbye to a part of our life that held so many precious memories.
With the sun setting as we drove away, I thought of how this was a chapter of our lives that had come to an end. Soon enough...the empty spot in the garage where that Suburban parked for years will be filled by another car. And that one, too, will carry us across many wonderful miles as our journey in this life continues.