Just over a year ago I bought my first car.
I was newly separated and dealing with moving forward. My “mom van” was 10 years old and seriously on its way to the junk yard. It had seen its share of juice packs and cheerios…not to mention an entire case of coke blowing up in the back seat on a frosty night!
The plan had been to drive it ’til it died…and I was facing this death alone.
I was heading down the road with my friend when it happened. It made a shimmer…a shake…a funny little sound…then it stopped. It was done. My wonderful, faithful, once new and sporty, dark green, never-let-me-down mini van was done.
I put my head on the steering wheel and lost it…I went from crying to laughing to crying some more…crazy hysterical and ironically finding it dreadfully funny. I was a wreck…somewhat like my van! After this wee fit, I looked over at my suddenly quiet little friend sitting in the passenger seat and the tears were streaming out of her eyes. I gave her a little smile…and we sat there hugging on the side of the road in my old, worn out, tired, dead mommy-van.
I took a deep breath and phoned my friend Randy at O’Regan’s who promptly told me everything would be ok…and not to worry, he’d take over the funeral arrangements. I didn’t tell him I was stuck on the side of the road…I just needed to hear his voice. As luck would have it…the van started enough to slowly crawl us back home (stopping five times to rest the beast) and it still had enough love to get me to the dealership in the morning.
I woke up bright and early…had a shower and put on my makeup…pulled my big girl panties on and headed out for this big adventure. I walked into his office and was immediately overwhelmed. Through the years I’ve purchased a few cars…never alone. I’m sitting in front of a man I’ve known and adored since I was ten years old…and when he asked what kind of vehicle I was looking for, tears immediately sprung to my eyes. I was facing one more scary moment and didn’t have the strength…didn’t know what I was doing…didn’t know where to begin! He came around from his desk, folded me in his “big brother” embrace, and told me I was one of the toughest women he knew.
Then we talked budget.
Once deciding what I could afford, we discussed options. Randy showed me a few cars he had on the lot, told me of a few others he could bring in…then handed me over to April (after giving her a quick run down on my life). I will be forever grateful for April!
April took me shopping. We went to various car lots and looked at comparable cars. She told me what I needed to know about the vehicles and what I should be looking for. There’d been one in particular that I’d been leaning towards on the O’Regan’s lot…so we headed back and took it out for a spin. Suddenly I found myself in a CAR not a van! Both Randy and April thought it was time to close the Mommy Chapter of vehicles and find something that suited me a bit better… for my new single life… as long as it was safe for my teenaged daughter to drive and had a trunk big enough to carry hockey gear (I am still a mom afterall).
Within a few hours I had my Dad on the phone to come look at what I’d found. By days end, I was driving it home…that night…I was on the highway and felt more free than I’d felt in a long time.
There are a lot of things you need to face when you find yourself suddenly alone. But for me, luckily, I had so much support behind me. Each and every time I found myself facing something new…believing I had to do it by myself…I didn’t. There was always a parade of people behind me, beside me, in front of me…surrounding me.
Last Spring I bought my first car on my own…and a barbecue…and I mowed the lawn. I’d never BBQ’d or used a lawn mower in my life…but Randy, April and a crowd of people around me proved to me that anything was possible. This Spring feels a whole lot different.