On Closing Chapters & Selling Cars

We sold our car today and stood together in the driveway waving goodbye with tears in our eyes as it disappeared in the distance.

This is not the first time I've cried over the sale of an old car. 

I recall saying goodbye to 'Jezebelle', the Saab 900 hatchback that took me home from the hospital back in the 80's, and was with us up until my middle school days. When my dad was ready to take it to the dealership, my little brother hugged the passenger seat in tears, refusing to let go.

A huge excerpt of our childhood took place in that car. 

I remember sobbing in the front seat of the first car I bought for myself the day the new owner was coming to pick it up. It was a 2002 Saab 9-3 with a turbo engine and few things had made me feel more alive than hitting the gas pedal and accelerating in that vehicle. I felt more powerful and independent than ever before. My name was on the title.

Even my husband shed a few tears when we traded in his old silver Chevy pick-up a few years ago. It was the first car he had purchased for himself and he started a small snow plowing business with it. That truck symbolized pure freedom for him.

So as I wiped my tears watching our Subaru Outback pull out of the driveway for the last time; 'Bindy' as we affectionately referred to her, I thought about all of the cars that came before and the emotional attachments I had to them. There were so many feelings I had experienced in the physical environment of the cars of my lifetime...break-ups, victories, celebrations, disappointments and profound losses. 

And it got me thinking that it's not necessarily about the car itself, but the chapters of our lives they were attached to.

This particular car was the one I drove when I found out I was pregnant.

It was the car I drove myself to the hospital in when I went in to labor on that cloudy August morning.

It was the car we brought our baby girl home from the hospital in and it was the car that coddled me in the months following as I made the enormous decision to leave my 10-year career to launch my own business. 

The chapters of our lives and parts of the stories we live out, take place in these vehicles. They serve as the literal vessels that take us to and from our stops along the way. They shelter us from the storm and keep us safe as we process and celebrate and torment our way through life. 

I felt a little silly as I started to get choked up telling Bindy's new owner a few of the stories of how this car came to be ours and what we had been through together; but I took pause in realizing that this car is off to become a chapter in another family's story now and for that I am grateful. 

I always tuck a heart-shaped rock in the glove box of our cars, just in case I need one in a pinch. With the last two cars we've sold, I decided to leave them there for their new owners to discover...a special token of love and gratitude that Bindy will carry with her.