Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fresh Start

First, I want to send another hello and thank you to everyone who has been here from Crème! Your warm responses and comments have meant the world to me. I am so thankful to be welcomed into this community!


I am great in a crisis. When it all hits the fan, I stay calm and reasonable; I am Miss Silver Lining and Everything Will Be Okay. So, when my car died Sunday afternoon, I immediately began problem solving.

When jumping it didn’t work, I went online for three things: a mechanic, a towing company, and a new-used car. Monday morning we learned that $600 would get the car running again, an additional $1000 would properly fix it, and a warning that both the timing belt and transmission were slipping. With 10 years in the rearview on my little red car, the decision was clear: get it running so we can make it to the dealership.

My car held so many memories, good and bad. My mother purchased it one month before my first wedding. My sister and I took our first of many road trips in that car, earning it the nickname The Road Momma. It is the car my ex-husband purchased for us from my mother six months before we separated, that I packed when I left him, that he broke into during mediation, and that I drove to NC when I remarried.

Little K came home on Friday from spending Christmas with her father. On New Year’s Eve morning, after belated stockings and presents, Little K asked to speak to me in private. Once we were in my room, she sat me down and began to lecture me on the importance of keeping promises and how much Daddy loved Mommy.

I allowed her to talk herself out, praying the whole time for wisdom and understanding. When she was done, I told her that she was right: people should keep their promises. I told her that grown-ups have to make hard decisions sometimes and one of those decisions is whether or not to get, or stay, married. And that one grown-up cannot force another grown-up to do something they don’t want to do: that a grown-up has to make that decision on their own.

She thought about those statements for a moment, asked if she could have some chocolate milk, and we went about our day.

I wish I knew how to make this easier for Little K. She and her father have daily contact. She and R have a highly interactive relationship. I let her talk about the divorce whenever she brings it up, emphasizing that grown-ups can decide not to love other grown-ups but parents never stop loving their children. Is there more I can be doing? I don’t know…

R asked me Monday morning if there had been any indication that the car was failing. I began to respond that it was fine on Saturday and just dead on Sunday, when I stopped myself. The car hadn’t been fine. Two months ago, it started idling funny. A month ago, it developed two oil leaks. Two weeks ago, the driver’s side window motor gave up. Sunday it wouldn’t start. Monday, we found out that the transmission and timing belt were both severely compromised. A few little things were going wrong, but it took a big event – not starting, period – to find out just how damaged the vehicle was.

It was a relief to make it to the dealership and leave with a new-used car. It is the color and body style I fell for two years ago and have been planning to purchase in another two years. Is it exactly what I wanted? Yes. Did it come together the way we planned? No. Was it still the right decision for our family? Yes.

Was that a metaphor? Huh. How did that happen?

So, Sunday brought us a new year and Monday brought us a new vehicle. Tuesday brought relief to be back in the old routine. Please, dear 2012, no more sickness and no more surprises.

Here’s to a year of new beginnings and continued healing!

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