Whelp, I am usually self-committed to posting only on Tuesdays for the next few months at least, but I am feeling a little compelled to write about this rather painful topic right now. See, yesterday I got a call from my husband…”I’m okay, babe, but I wrecked the car. And yes, it’s totaled.”
*Gasp, cough, eyes pop out of their sockets* “What???” It’s all I could muster in the moment.
Let’s just talk about this car for a moment. This 2002 Kia, Optima was a gift of sorts to my husband. It was given to us on our anniversary three years ago from his best friend, who was wanting to give it away and chose our family to bless. Yes, it’s what one would classify as a JALOPY! In jest, we refer to it as our Dave Ramsey (DR) car, our clunker, our diamond-in-the-rough. Why, pray tell, did we call it our diamond-in-the-rough? Well, hubby and I hate having car payments. Oh don’t worry, I seriously don’t have an opinion of whether YOU have a car payment but it’s just not what we want for ourselves. We paid our van off three years ago and haven’t paid one shiny copper penny to the bank in interest since. Since knowing that freedom, we decided that although new cars smell really awesome and look really nice, it’s just not high on our priority list. Yeah, picture the look on people’s face when they find out my husband works in the automotive industry and has an old beater. Umhmmm, the looks are priceless.
I really hesitate on sharing this personal and traumatic experience of our family (and my husband, in particular) but there is a deeper lesson to be learned here. The kids and I pulled in to the parking lot and I ran to give my husband a hug and tell him how much I love him. And as we sat and waited for the police to conduct protocol, a lady from one of the other vehicles involved came over and said that our car had taken the worst beating. I replied, “Well, the thing about having a jalopy is that I really don’t care much about the car. Yeah, it’s no fun being in this situation where we are clearly down one vehicle but let me tell ya that I feel free to focus on the people…the people involved are more important than the materials.”
I’m not saying that I couldn’t have the same attitude if I had a newer, undented, solid paint-covered car but what I will say is that I was reminded of the person I used to be…the one who really cared if my car was scratched and would even get angered if even so much of an accidental cart-nick happened to the door. It reminded me of how far I’ve come even though I still have so far to go. The lady was quiet for a moment and then said, “Well, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a totaled car described that way but yeah, I guess that’s one way to see it.” We laughed a little about it and then separated back to the enemy camps that one would expect to see at the site of a collision.
Last night, as my husband and I were processing this change in our stasis, we decided that we wouldn’t be replacing our beloved beater. I’d been contemplating the idea of living as a one-car family for a while but wondered if it would be possible to do so again. The last time we had only once vehicle was a years ago and one child ago. But in this day and age, would it be feasible to share our van again? Let me tell ya, hubby and I by no means shy away from a challenge. So, we had to make a plan AND WE DID. We will continue to save for a new-to-him vehicle and just practice gratitude in this time of inconvenience.
And that’s the bottom line: We are thankful that there was no loss of life and that this is merely a loss of convenience.
That’s it. There it is in a nutshell.
Is it going to be super tough to negotiate a plan where he and I both feel we have the ability to move freely around town without checking in with each other all.the.time? Yep, it’s going to be tough and you might even mistake one of our negotiation sessions as a massive explosion at a local nuclear plant. But this is what our journey is all about, isn’t it? Working to get to know another’s needs and working hard to balance between everyone’s so that as many as possible are getting met?
Sorry folks, but this is a post where I declare that we will not only survive with one van, but we will THRIVE! As I explained to my daughters this evening, we have to acknowledge the trials as we search to find stasis but we also need to identify areas where we can be refined into better, more compassionate, more productive human beings. We sat down and listed all of the things we were looking forward to in this transition, and at the top of the list is MORE TIME WITH DADDY! And did I mention earlier NEGOTIATING??? Let’s translate that into a positive thing…MORE COMMUNICATING…more getting to know each other’s schedules and workloads, more appreciation for the sacrifice that each of us are making.
And you know what else? Our inner circle has rallied around us, covering us with prayer and checking in…even people who have no idea what’s happened have called, messaged, and texted me to see how we are doing. Some know that I was barely hanging on to my sanity by a thread and others still don’t have a clue. But in the midst of the worries, turmoil, and now reevaluating our lifestyle, hubby and I have been reminded that we are not alone. So, if you’re in a season where you feel like you’ve been kicked in the teeth, or hit in the face with an airbag and windshield, and you feel like you just don’t have any more fight in you…YOU’RE NOT ALONE! I think we all cycle being there from time to time. If you need to, please seek professional help! Reach out to a trusted individual and allow yourself to cry a little, it’s okay to do that!
At first, I was tempted to share a picture of our dear departed 2002 Kia but in the spirit of Marie Kondo, we just thanked it for it’s payment-free service to our family for these past three years and saw it on it’s merry way. I was also tempted to share our goal for moving toward another vehicle but I won’t do that as I feel it would negate the point that~~
Hubby is fine,
We are fine,
Everything will work out,
It’s a mere loss of convenience and not a loss of life.
As always, God bless and stay safe!