I get attached. To people. To things. To animals. To brands. I think it stems from my determined gratitude practice. Meaning, I spend so much time and energy appreciating what I have no matter how hard things get I don't want to let go. It's bigger than that, obviously. There is co-dependence wrapped up in all of it too. And, of course, fear of losing what I do have. Etc. etc. etc.
This little blue VW. I loved. Like it was my favorite car I ever owned kind of loved. Zippy. Owned outright. I didn't get it new, but it was new to me. And I just freakin' LOVED that car. I think my attachment was made deeper by the things that were happening in my life at the time I was driving it. My stepfather got an MDS diagnosis (formerly called "pre-leukemia"). It didn't come with a good prognosis. He needed a stem cell transplant and chemo. [Spoiler alert: Happily he's still with us!] My grandfather whom I had been caring for had just died. Our close friends' son (my son's best friend) was fighting an aggressive cancer. And multiple close family were battling significant mental health challenges. My time spent in the car was mostly driving to and from hospitals. When I wasn't driving around to hospitals in New Hampshire, Maine and Boston - I was driving up to the Veteran's Home to see my step-grandmother with dementia. I even witnessed a shooting while sitting in that car. As much as a loved the car its plight seemed to mirror what was happening in my life and in my heart. Things would break and I wasn't emotionally or financially able to fix them right away. When I would have the money or was able emotionally to bring it to get fixed something would inevitably get in the way. The dealership started giving us issues. For example I had purchased the Ultimate Extended Warranty and they claimed I had purchased the basic so they stopped covering things even after bringing proof. Had this been any other time in my life, I may have fought it. I just didn't have the energy. I was expending any ounce I had on maintaining my mental health enough to support the people I loved who were in pain. I could go into all the problems with the car and with the dealership but it's really not the point of this entry. What this is about is recognizing the unaccounted for costs of not being emotionally OK. A little over a year ago the car stopped starting. I was pretty sure it was the start button (it has no ignition) and we confirmed it by troubleshooting the battery. It was in my driveway at the time so it thankfully didn't need to be towed. Or maybe not thankfully because it didn't need to be towed. If I wanted to fix it I would have to have it towed to the dealership. And that became my breaking point. I had a relative in the hospital, I had a trial coming up (witness to that shooting), and I my friend's son died. I didn't have any energy left to argue with a dealership. So it sat.
I kept telling myself when I had the money to spend I'd fix it. The money didn't come. I didn't fix it. I probably could have but it started to become something else entirely. It became a reminder of a lot of pain. It also reminded me of my failures. I'm a grown woman. I shouldn't let any car, much less a lovely little Beetle, sit and rot. Jeff would bring it up and I'd get defensive or ask him not to bring it up. This past year has been a year for healing. My ill loved ones are doing better. We've celebrated the lives that we lost. I remember writing late last year about how I felt like I was crawling out from under a giant boulder. I hadn't quite realized how much I was struggling. Then last month I had the opportunity to buy a new (to me) car. I got a newer Beetle with some upgrades. I love it, as much or MORE than I loved the blue one. But I had to make a choice about what to do with the blue one. I decided to donate it to Habitat for Humanity. I could have fixed it up and sold it. I could have fixed it up and kept it and not gotten the newer one. I just didn't think that was the right thing to do. Every single time I thought of the car I thought it felt like I was reliving a LOT of trauma. I don't need to relive trauma. I don't want to relive trauma. Donating it was the perfect option and made more beautiful by the idea of it helping build new lives for other. My new Beetle is a symbol of the new life I'm building. It's just perfect. I had some guilt around the choice at first. Other people wanted it. Family questioned the decision, including Jeff. I was torn up about it. They came to get it Saturday but weren't able to take it because of the truck they had. Yesterday Jeff moved it and inflated the tires making it easier for them to take next time. I wasn't home. He texted me, "You made the right choice. Don't linger on it."
He hadn't really realized what rough shape it was in. This afternoon while we were at the office they came and took it away. I came home to an empty driveway, lifted of a huge burden. Goodbye. I'll miss you. I promise to reminisce about the good moments. Thank you for being there. Sorry I let you fall apart. I did the best I could.