Monday, June 2, 2014

Meditations on a Honda

Dear John,
It's been windy, rainy, and stormy today. I was at the drive-up at work and had a bird's-eye view of it. Jen and Elyssa came by to say goodbye before leaving tomorrow morning for Florida and Danica's graduation. Elyssa won't be back until fall, so she had to see grandma before leaving. I'll miss her.
When they left I looked out the window at your green Honda in the parking lot. I have mixed feelings about that car, and it's always a bit of a shock to see it. I'm glad Jen has it; I know that's what you wanted; it makes me happy. But I can't see it without memories and emotions.
When we first got it, it was our good car, the one we took on trips and vacations. We drove that car to Mackinac, to South Carolina to visit family, to Ohio to see your family, to Holland for weekends. There are so many good memories in that car. Then we got the minivan and you started driving it to work. That meant that your briefcase lived in it and the floor was covered with food crumbs and wrappers. That came from you eating in the car on the way to and from work. Jen found food in that car for a solid year after you died. It's a wonder we didn't have roaches.
I know the sound of that car. When the windows were open, I could always tell you were here before you turned the corner off of Pleasant Street. I still can, and so can Jethro. We know that now the car means that Jen is coming, not you, but we're still happy to hear it. It's emotional for both of us. I'm glad Jen has it, but every time I see it, I can see you in it.
One day Jen will sell it, and that's as it should be - it's hers, free and clear, no strings attached. And I have mixed feelings about that, too. Part of me will be sad that it's gone, and part of me will be glad to not see it again and picture you in it. This widowhood landscape is full of mixed feelings. And that's just as well, since events happen and life goes on, no matter how we feel about it. Mixed feelings mean that any eventuality has pain connected with it. But it also means that any event has good feelings, too. It depends on how you look at it.

Thanks for the car, and for the good memories! Love you so much,

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