I put her on an 18-wheeler headed for California today. I always thought we’d end-up out there together, driving on the beach roads of San Diego, taking in the glorious sunsets and shimmering Pacific. I had envisioned the two of us parking in the skinny lot, barely wide enough for cars, at Windansea, where we could watch the expert surfers catching the last waves of the day on a south swell.
We’ve been through so much together. The worst times of my life were shared with her. Her wheels and sturdy suspension carried Leroy and me back and forth from Hopkins one appointment after another, for years. When he was feeling nauseated, she smoothed out the road. When I had to leave him behind in the hospital, it almost felt as if she was the one guiding me home safely. My tears are on her steering wheel.
The creases in those leather seats represent memories…some before cancer world, when Leroy drove his shinny new Jeep Grand Cherokee and loved every mile that circled her odometer. I was the passenger in those days, just happy to ride shot-gun.
We became inseparable when cancer entered our world. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She was a rock. Not a flat tire, not an oil leak; just the steady hum of her engine when she found her groove on the 95.
She’ll roll on the 405 now, under the watchful eyes of my nephew, who has been told to treat her with a lot of TLC.
The Pacific breezes will cool her engine now….it’s fitting really, considering how much Leroy (and I) loved that part of the country.
She’s earned her time in the sun.