Goodbye Bessie: My Car, My Love.

Dear Bessie,

Sometimes a car is just a car, and sometimes, it’s something more. You are more than a car to us – you are a member of the family. I don’t want to let you go.

You came into our lives when I was pregnant with boy #2. We custom ordered you from the factory – you were everything we ever wanted, with your Island Blue Teal shimmering paint, dual sliding doors, integrated car seats, and front and back air conditioning.  We knew you would take care of our family with your antilock brakes, air bags, and all-wheel-drive – for those snowy New York winters.

We brought baby boy #2 home from the hospital together. And, 2 years later, baby boy #3. And a couple of years after that, kid #4 – a baby girl!

You easily managed 2 kids in carseats, 2 kids in booster seats, and 2 overwhelmed grownups.

We changed diapers, many times, on a pad, on your seats. Or in your back hatch. We ate messy snacks and drippy drinks. (Sorry!)

You took us to the grocery store, and we loaded you up with strollers, and diaper bags, and coolers, and bags and bags of groceries.

We dropped the kids off at school in the morning together, hurrying, and buckling up. Waiting for our turn in the dropoff circle. There were many times I wistfully wished your sliding doors were power doors, as the littlest kids struggled to open and then close the door. Often, I was in pajamas dropping them off, yet I would have to get out, run around to the other side, and shut the door.

But, I still loved you.

You were there for 4 First Days of School, and 4 Moving Up to Middle School ceremonies. You delivered snacks, birthday cupcakes, forgotten backpacks.

You took us to the ER, with broken arms or wrists, and cuts that required stitches. You took us to hundreds – if not thousands – of doctors’ appointments.

You took us to soccer games, baseball games, softball games, track meets. Loaded to the hilt with equipment.

We went to the library together, and each kid would drag a bag of books back, then snuggle in with one, buckle up, and read.

You took us to the pond, the creek, the lake, where we would load you up with buckets of tadpoles, or crayfish, or frogs, or toads.  And kids with muddy and wet shoes and clothes. Oh, the mud…

We went to the fireworks together, every year. Loaded up with lawn chairs, blankets, snacks, and glow sticks. If it was really hot and humid, we’d sit inside, in pajamas, in your air conditioned comfort.

We went to visit grandma and grandpa’s together. And uncles and aunts and cousins.

We went on vacations together. To parks, to the beach, to big cities. There was so much sand in you after a trip to Cape Cod, from all the buckets and pails and kids, I don’t think we ever got it all out.

We went sledding. A million times, sliding the 8 foot long toboggan under the seats, and loading the round sleds and the long sleds in the back.

We were a family of 6, and you were a 7 seater – but you were often filled to capacity, as one of the kid’s friends would come along.

You have a ding on the back, where I tried to kill a bee with a broom, and whacked you instead. (Sorry!) And a small dent from where I backed out of the garage at high speed, late for school, and hit the fence. (Sorry about that, too.)

You carried sleeping kids for miles and miles and miles.

You kept running. Mile after mile, hour after hour, day after day, year after year.

Though snow, sleet and rain, through hot, hot days where the temperature was over 100 degrees.

You were comfy.

You kept us safe.

You were there for us, every time we needed you.

And now? You’re going to be 17 this year. The years have been kind to you, but there is still the toll that time takes.

You need new tie rods, brakes, and tires. Your interior is stained, handles have come undone, glove box latches are broken. The mechanic says $2,500. Oh, and your A/C no longer works.

But, I still love you.

You’ve always been there for us. So, it breaks my heart, that we may be moving on without you.

Someone came to our house to buy a small go cart last week.  While the 5 year old boy raced around our driveway, the dads huddled together near you, talking and nodding. Soon, doors were unlocked, the engine hood was popped open, and you were quietly idling.

They have 3 kids under 5, and are looking for a reliable family van. Something their mechanically-inclined dad could work on. Were you for sale?

Maybe.

An offer was made.

We’ll think about it.

We could use the money.  We really can’t afford 3 cars.

I can’t bear the thought of you going to the junkyard, Bessie. So, you’re going to be going to a new family. One that will eat messy snacks and drippy drinks. And load you up with strollers and diaper bags and groceries. One that, hopefully, will love you as part of their family.

Their kids are so cute, Bessie. I think you’ll be happy there.

But, I’ll always love you. And our kids will always remember you. You were their first.

Thank you, Bessie. I hope you are good to your new family, and that they are good to you.

Goodbye, my car, my love.

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