My daughter Holly had inherited my Mother's 1994 Saturn when she passed away in late 2003 after a bout with lung cancer. Having driven station wagons most of her life to chauffer us kids, the Saturn was the first car she chosen for herself. She had told me she wanted Holly to have it. It had approximately 9,000 miles on it when she took it over.
Holly has been very hard on everything practically since she born. As a baby Holly gnawed the rails of her crib like a gerbil. As a toddler with a bit of a tomboy edge about her, she reeked havoc in our house breaking toys and even eating wall paper off the wall near her bed at naptime. As a preschooler she terrorized the Barbie dolls by chewing the hands and feet off and not to mention the new-age hair cuts they all received at her hand. She did however have a knack for turning kleenex, napkins and rubberbands into lovely dresses. A talent she took to Fashion Design school many years later and graduated with honors. My Mother and Holly were both Sagittarians. And my Mother insisted that was why they clicked from the time she was a baby and they stuck together, literally.
My Mother glued everything that broke (Badly I might add). The lovely Lefton figurines had half hands glued back on. They looked as if they had survived a horrible disfiguring accident. Holly would gather up the broken pieces of the “wreck of the day” as I called them and bring them to Grandma Mom to fix. Most everything looked like it belonged in the land of the misfit toys when she was done. I was never really a fan of this method, but I have to admit it did work pretty well on the wall paper patches. I recall one day when Holly and my older daughter Beth were playing "ship" on the top bunk bed and Beth told her to dive in the water and she obliged. Holly knocked out a lower tooth diving into the ocean a.k.a. the floor. I was quite upset especially after the dentist said that at her age we would have to wait for the new tooth to grow in. She perked up and stated "Don't worry Mommy, Grandma Mom can glue it".
As one might imagine, Holly was just as hard on her cars. She drove her car, a red 1980 something LeBaron Convertible (ironically a car my Mother had always wanted) all the way back to school with absolutely no oil. The mechanic was amazed that the engine had not blown. But Holly always had a kind of dumb luck when it came to her cars. As a new college graduate with plenty of school loans the car was only allowed gas, not maintenance. Noises were ignored and little crack ups that were not affecting the running of the car were not a concern either. By the time I had the car looked at the mechanic said the car was a potential death trap with as it was and NOT to drive it! I offered to pay for the repairs but Holly refused to put any money of anyone’s into the car. She wanted a new car. However, not being able to afford a new car continued to drive it. Her younger sister Allyson even had talked about taking it over and restoring it. No one wanted to give up on it.
Defying death at every turn, she somehow squeezed three more months out of the car. The little lilac Saturn finally conked out for good yesterday leaving Holly stranded on the road with yet another new issue. She and I had then agreed to let Grandma Mom’s car go. I was relieved that I would no longer have to worry that her front end would literally fall off while she was driving causing her to loose control, but a bit sad that the car had to go. She asked for my advice and I told her to call one of the companies who would come and pay her tow it away. I don’t even know where the idea actually came from. I think my Mother whispered it in my ear.
They gave her $230.00 which she has put aside into a new car fund. I have put aside the idea that by letting her car go, as the last major physical daily reminder of my Mother on this earth that somehow she goes with it. I realized that there will always be subtle reminders of her that weave in and out of our lives keeping her with us and she will always be just a thought away~