We sold our car on Saturday. Doug listed it on Craigslist on Wednesday, and I prayed with uncharacteristic boldness, “God, please let it sell by Monday. Preferrably by Saturday.” And, lo and behold, it did.
Of course, when the new owner drove my beloved Accord away, I cried. Be careful what you pray for, eh?
My tears surprised everyone, especially me. I wasn’t expecting them. At all. I knew we needed to sell the car. I had been bugging Doug for over a week to get it listed. I had prayed it would sell. And then I go and get all weepy about it.
I tried to laugh as I wiped my eyes and nose on my sleeve. After all, it’s just a car.
But it was a good car. My first car. It was reliable, paid for, and, compared to the sofa-mobile, fun to drive. It also represents my life as it has been, and I really love my life, so watching it pull away from the curb and drive off never to return was sort of symbolic: my life is about to change, and it will never be the same, and I’m grieving the loss of this life I love.
Oh, I know my life with four children will still be good. I know it will be rich and full and all that. But it will be different, and I’ve never adapted to change easily, even good change.
I probably should have had some sort of good-bye ceremony for the Accord. Not that the car would have cared, but it might have helped me.
As I sat there weeping and laughing at myself for weeping, Doug held up the stack of hundred dollar bills the buyer had brought and waved them in front of me. I’d never seen so much cash at one time in my life. It felt like drug money. Or blood money. I cried harder.
But within the hour I’d pulled myself together and driven the sofa-mobile to the credit union and deposited the stack o’ cash into our account. Then I went home and did something really sexy with it: I paid off our credit card, padded our emergency fund, and threw the rest at our car loan on the *&^% minivan.
Maybe I should have kept a hundred bucks and bought a commemorative plaque for the Accord to hang in in the driveway. A small reminder of a life I no longer have.