Last week we sold the Volvo wagon. To my surprise (sort of), it set me on a course toward a dark place that has felt really hard to crawl out of. I should note here that I’ve never taken particularly good care of my cars (much to my dad’s dismay), nor have I ever been remotely sentimental about them. But this one was different.
Matt and I bought the Volvo station wagon a few years ago, right around the time we decided that we’d like to have another baby. It occurred to us that whatever car we purchased should be able to accommodate 2 kids on road trips (for those frequent visits to see the out-of-town family), and that it should have an impeccable safety record. I absolutely wasn’t up for the minivan thing, especially since we didn’t yet have a second child. Hence, we bought a used 2002 Volvo, which I lovingly referred to as the tank. Seriously, that thing was solid. I always felt incredibly safe when driving it.
Initially, I dug the car. At some point, though, the Volvo wagon started to feel like a mean joke, constantly reminding us of the piece of the dream that was missing. I remember thinking several times during all the miscarriages that we shouldn’t have bought the big car so soon, that it had jinxed us. (Not really, of course, but the mind goes down some crazy rabbit holes when dealing with grief and trauma.) After Frannie died, I really started to hate the car. Whether I’d fully realized it or not, that car had come to represent the dream – the dream of our family with two little girls giggling, or even bickering, in the backseat.
You’d think I’d have said my final goodbyes to that dream months ago. And I have, mostly. But it turns out that there are still tiny remnants of it hiding in places I wasn’t aware of. And one of those places was my behemoth of a car. Maybe it’s because October makes me melancholy anyway. Maybe it’s because Ellie has lost 2 teeth in the last week, and I’m freaked out by how fast it’s all going. Maybe it’s because every day I look around me and see people sailing through pregnancies and deliveries, and I feel utterly alienated and alone. Maybe it’s all of these things. Or maybe it’s simply that I’ll never stop missing my Frannie, and my heart needs only the smallest excuse to feel heavy. In any case, when the nice couple and their four children pulled away with my Volvo wagon, I wept. Letting that car go felt like letting the dream go….again.