My poor old grannymobile died. I got it from my Grandma after she lost her license because she’s mostly blind. She was ticked when she lost it too, she figured she could still drive. Legally blind. My Grandma is awesome.
That’s my Grandma on my Dad’s side – Grandma Kitson. Anyway, she’d held onto it to give to me when I needed it, and when we moved to the outskirts of the city and did need it, I borrowed it and just didn’t give it back. After a while, my dad made arrangements to make it legal, and the black cherry red Buick Le Sabre was my first car.
The rad spring a leak and was replaced twice. I really liked the car, and I was attached to it – I learned to drive in that car. It belonged to my Grandpa – they bought it new, and when he died of leukemia, at around eighty-five, then it belonged to my grandma. It was the family car, almost as long as I can remember. Except that I do remember the car before it – it was a blue car that was passed on to my aunt when we got the new one in ninety four.
I and my friends called it the Grannymobile, because not only did I get it from my Grandma, but, well, it was Buick Le Sabre, which is in a class with the Crown Victoria when it comes to luxury sedans typically driven by elderly people.
It was big. A boat of a car. A boat of a car I learned to drive in, and parallel park in. I’d be driving around with the husband, looking for a parking spot, and I’d be slowing down by one that looked big enough, but maybe there’s another bigger spot further down and Nathan would say “you can’t get the car in there.” And I’d slam on the brakes and squeeze my baby into the spot. Never had to give in and find another spot.
But the engine started shutting off every time I came to a stop, and it was too old to be worth replacing the engine. Couldn’t justify it.
My Grandma has been in the hospital for the last several weeks. She’s ninety five, and been living on her own until now. My family builds ’em to last, but I guess nothing lasts forever. The parallel between my Grandma and her car reads like the literary novels I can’t stand. She might end up just kicking around in a care home for a good long time, and I hope she’s around a while yet.
I live in another city an hour away and don’t see her that often, but she spent as much time raising me when my parents divorced as either of my parents did. She was the one who, when she saw me crying, would sit with me and tell me it made her sad too to see my parents so busy trying to hurt one another they couldn’t see what they were doing to their children.
She taught me love. I never saw her say anything nasty about anyone, do anything mean. She thinks for herself, and she cares about her family. I’m glad that right now, at least, I might be broke but I’m managing, and she doesn’t need to worry about me. Even so, she’s managed to soften the blow of losing the car by passing on money to help me buy a new one – one far newer and better than I could otherwise hope to get. Like I said, my Grandma is awesome.
to be continued….