To most people, the car I've owned for the past fifteen years is simply a hunk of junk held together with duck tape and spit. It's seen better days, certainly. But the '98 Nissan Altima that rumbles like an angry lion and squeaks when it starts in the morning also holds the best and worst memories of my life.
I bought it after my brother passed away--using some of his life insurance money at my mother's insistence, because he "didn't want you driving his Goddaughter around in that dangerous thing" (my father's car was also sentimental for me, but wasn't exactly stellar in the winter with a baby.) So we did the thing, and we bought the car. We didn't know it would last so long when we bought it. We thought we'd trade it in after baby number two.
But we brought baby number two home in it, and, well, both car seats fit, and both kids would fall asleep at the exact same angle in the car. I have numerous pictures of them sleeping just so. Baby number three came home in her also, and separated one and two so there would be no fisticuffs in the back seat.
It was in this car that Punkgirl first got to sit in the front seat.
She took us from home to work and back every day, and home to school as well, churning out more miles but plugging along, with not too many complaints for our daily routine.
This was the car that took me to the Cape on a trip with my mom, back before that was too long a ride for her. It was the car that waited for us patiently at the TF Green garage while we were gone for the week, and was a welcome sight when we walked the long trudge through the airport.
This car, Serenity as we called her, took me through Boston traffic to Dana Farber four out of seven days a week to get chemotherapy. She was there to comfort me with a warm fan in the cold winter air and soft seats for my bruised derrière after the giant shot.
After my eldest brother passed away, it was this car that managed the drive back and forth to pick up my nieces in Hull, and later Marshfield, chugging it's way and making it so that I could have those precious ladies in my home.
It was the best car for trips to the beach, holding all of our things and giving us nice soft, cloth seats to sit on in our wet clothes. It was the perfect size for bringing home our Christmas trees and had the perfect horn for our youngest to beep before laughing maniacally and running into the house.
And it was most precious for playing the music. We listened to so much music in that golden sedan. And when I was alone, I would ask my brother to give me a sign, to let me know he was there, and always, always he would.
So now the gold car is going to her very well deserved rest, having held us in her arms for fifteen years, taking us from point A to point B. If it seems silly to mourn the passing of a car, I can only tell you that it has been part of our family, part of our life--has given all she's had to give, like The Giving Tree but better. I give her up not because she's no longer useful to me, but because my family needs have grown--with 3 kids and 2 nieces, it will be nice not to have to shuttle us all from place to place--but I'll always remember how the gold car *did* shuttle us, faithfully, for so long. Farewell, Serenity. And thanks for the memories.