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Do you name your cars?

family Jan 27, 2017

My husband doesn’t understand why I refuse to let go of this car. We don’t need it. And it just cost me about 2K in repairs & new tires so it would pass inspection!

Part of it may be the influence of my father who named all of our cars when I was growing up. Every car was like a member of the family. I remember “Reggie,” “Mariah,” and “Tubby” to name a few. 😀

I even remember my sister crying & draped over the hood of one of our cars in the parking lot of the dealership as we were trading it in because she couldn’t bear the thought of saying goodbye!

Normally I’m ok with getting rid of cars but not this one. And it doesn’t even have a name!

But it has great meaning. It stands for life. A life almost lost. My oldest daughter’s life.

It wasn’t a car accident as you may think. It was a medical fluke – something that you never expect would happen to a perfectly healthy 20 year old.

She collapsed from pulmonary emboli. That’s not one but TWO blood clots which pretty much filled both of her lungs so she couldn’t breathe.

To say that her living is a miracle is an understatement. She only lived because of a handful of coincidences:

  • Her sister was not supposed to be home but was unexpectedly allowed to leave early on the last day of her summer internship job.
  • We suspect she drifted in and out of consciousness but was conscious long enough to crawl to the stairs, after she collapsed in our basement workout room, & get the attention of her sister who was upstairs.
  • She was taken to a hospital where a pulmonary specialist happened to be in the Emergency Room when she arrived by ambulance and she was diagnosed within minutes of arriving.
  • We were not on a remote island in the Bahamas where we were supposed to be in just 10 days!!! (The doctors told us that she most likely would not have survived, and if we had been able to get her to a hospital, she would have had major heart damage if she survived.)
  • Her sister reacted quickly and called me in my office right before I left for a meeting. I remember as I was heading out of my office, the phone started to ring and I saw it was home by the caller ID so I picked up. I immediately realized the seriousness of the situation and dialed 911. (This was before we carried cell phones everywhere!)

We were sooooo lucky!!! I’ve relived this memory so many times, thinking about how it could have gone so differently.

She collapsed at 5pm on 7/28/03, 31 hours before her 21st birthday. She was scheduled to be out with her friends the following evening. Another stroke of luck as I imagine what would have happened if she collapsed while out partying… Her friends might have just thought she had one too many!

Back to the car…. We had bought her this car for her 21st birthday a few days before her collapse. And to think, we almost had a car and no daughter to give it to. What a horrible thought!!!

Once we realized she was going to be in the hospital for several days, we had to figure out how to give her her present. Fortunately, she was out of ICU before her birthday and was free to leave her room. So we conceived a plan to get her out in front of the hospital.

There was a gazebo and a circular drive around the front of the hospital – a perfect setting for driving up the car. Her dad had gone out to get us sushi so we were sitting in the gazebo waiting for him and he drove up in her new car with a big bow on it (and the sushi)!

Wow!!! That was not just a birthday gift, it was a “Thank God you are alive!” gift. What a moment that was!!! I remember it vividly.

So this car means a lot to me.  I don’t think I can ever let it go. Perhaps deep inside I believe keeping it is a form of appreciation.

My daughter now has 3 children and has moved on to a family van. We swapped cars awhile back. I had a 4-door sedan that seemed to make more sense for her growing family and I didn’t want to see her sell it. So we traded cars.

This car is a symbol of life, and 13 years later, it still has a home with me.

Maybe it’s finally time to come up with a name!!! My dad would love that!!! ❤️

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