Sweet Sorrow

The agent and his colleague was stripping my faithful car!
After sixteen long years, it is difficult to part with my dear old car.  She served out her years faithfully and was my constant companion on many lonely roads.  While she may still have a few more good years in her, in the last few months she was coughing and spluttering – too often – and the visits to the car clinic became more frequent.  I know I must have a more dependable car, especially when I’m often out at events and various locations, sometimes until late hours and I can’t be bothering my mechanic – even though he’s already on my speed-dial!

The last time out the driveway...
In October, I decided to retire my old car.  Besides choosing a new car which, I believe, should have fewer problems, I also wanted to upgrade to a 4-door car.  That’s because mum and dad are driving less now and it is quite a challenge for one of them to climb into the backseat of my 3-door car.  Now at age 80 and 90, it is only a matter of time before both of them would give up driving and I need to be ready to ferry them more conveniently.

So I started the search for a suitable 4-door car and went around test-driving the various recommended car brands and models. 

Innovative and economical way to keep air vents open!
One of the main criteria is height so that the senior citizens can board and alight without too much difficulty.  If the car was low, my dad has much difficulty unfolding himself from the seat to alight.  The other is storage space because eventually, I would need sufficient space to carry a wheelchair in my car boot.  [The experience with our 100-year old grandma has given me the foresight to plan ahead so the reality is I will also need this convenience when the time comes for mum and dad.]

When I made my car choice, the agent told me that he could only say when it can be delivered next month.  So on Nov 1, he said that it should be delivered around Nov 22 or 23.  I know that Nov 22 is a Public Holiday so I anticipated its delivery a bit later.  On Nov 26, the agent turned up with another colleague as he was going to take my car away.  While it was a swift and smooth procedure, I thought it was a rather abrupt ending to my long relationship to my faithful car.

First time in the driveway!
I know it’s good to make a “clean break” rather than to linger and let the wound hurt more but whether it was quick or slow, it is still painful to part with my old car.  While the agent was discussing details of the new car with me, his colleague was removing all my personal items and stripping the car of its identity.  When I realised what he was doing, I could not help being overwhelmed by painful pangs of grief!

She may just be a car – a vehicle for transport – but it’s much more personal to me.  As all the little knick-knacks were handed back to me, the lump in my throat was growing larger and I was going to be embarrassed if I could not hold it down.  I must admit that it was an enormous challenge to continue speaking to the agent with a straight face while I was ready to crumble at any moment but I barely managed it. 

Out for the first spin with senior citizens!
I made a final check to ensure that there was no other personal item left inside and then I spotted the bumper sticker – a precious gift from Uncle Charles – and I asked the agent to remove it for me.  He realised that it is special but hesitated to touch it, saying that it looked (old and) fragile and was afraid to damage it.  I assured him that it cannot be damaged because it was laminated and he could just peel it off gently.  He did so gingerly and handed it back to me.

When I peeked inside and saw the series of clothes pegs I clipped on the air-con air vents, I cannot help but smiled at my innovative and economical way to keep the vents open.  Passengers who saw the pegs in my car were both curious and amused probably because they agreed that the pegs were functional and also part of my name! 

I’m certainly missing my good old car and its crankiness but as a consolation, I have the pleasure of driving a new car.  When she was delivered, mum said that it’s as if my old car has “grown up” because at a glance, she just looks like a bigger version of my previous car.  I guess it’s also because I’m dressing her up and giving her the same identity but without the pegs!


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/24/2012

    Didn't know your learned to drive. Its been so long since we last met.
    Shaiful from Land of the hornbills