My car broke down.
It’s been acting up quite a bit lately. I took it in and they said it needed new struts. That wasn’t cheap. But it was still making weird noises and behaving strangely. A few weeks ago it didn’t want to start…then it finally did, so I immediately drove down and had a new battery put in. Then a few days later it still didn’t want to start…when it did finally, again, I drove it back down to the shop. It stayed there all day and the guy tried starting it dozens of times, and it was fine. *snort.* Of course the car behaves for someone else. Then a week or so ago it was like Mt. St. Helens…enter, new radiator. But it still wasn’t right. I know my car. Something was wrong.
I had to get it jumped downtown the other day. I let it run to charge the battery I’d just replaced (wondering what the heck was up with that) and it started fine the next day so I went back downtown to run errands, thinking I’d stop into the battery place and have them double-check, maybe I got a dud…made the mistake of stopping at Wal-Mart first. Actually one of the things I wanted to get was jumper cables, because I realized how silly it was to be driving around without some.
Big mistake. Thanks to the nice man who offered to help jump it for me with my brand new cables, but it was fruitless. So now I’m calling roadside assistance from the parking lot.
They sent me a guy who ended up fixing it…but not until hours later, and in the driving rain, in the dark with flashlights. Actually I was kind of surprised at his fortitude, and integrity…he just kept it up until it started and we all gave a big hurrah when that happened, let me tell you, even though we were all soaking wet. So I know I was fortunate to get that guy. He made it all worth it because he found, diagnosed and fixed the weird electrical thing going on under the hood without the need of a tow and another expensive auto shop. Thank goodness. (It wasn’t the battery.)
The day had started out troublesome. The bank called about the house, so it looks like I’m starting that whole stupid loan mod application process…again. Was on the phone to some family about their own issues and health problems and that left me a little worried – I live just so far away. I was also on my way to the bank to try and solve some issues with the estate. Things I’d thought were solved already. So I found myself dissolving into tears trying to explain to my new person why I was upset. Why the usually stoic, take-care-of-business, smile-on-the-face person I’ve tried to be was melting.
Then, the car.
It was just one of those days. They happen to all of us, for many reasons, whether we’re widowed or not. But it does seem like the agony is compounded without the support of our missing spouse. Mike wasn’t any good with cars – it wasn’t that. And yes I have support from other places now, which I’m thankful for. But…when I have days like that, I just really want to be able to call Mike. He was like a comfortable, snuggly, familiar blanket I could crawl into and feel safe. His issues were only my issues…he was home, and hearth, and a happy place, especially on days like that. Maybe I just miss him more when I’m faced with dealing with the multiplying stresses of life without him around. Maybe I’m resentful he’s not around to share the burden anymore. Maybe I just miss his reminders that it’s all good; that things will work out for the best.
I talked to him, sitting there in the car watching those guys under the hood in the rain. I could imagine what he would have said, and he would have been right. The troublesome car problems – at least these current ones – have finally been resolved. And he would have supported my own thought that my problems are first world problems. They are annoying, and maybe expensive and stressful, but at least I’m not starving. At least I have a place to live, and enough support to move if I have to. At least my entire family wasn’t slaughtered in war. I have my own health. I even have two cars. I still have his truck, when the other car is down. His beautiful, rusty, trusty, truck.
And that is a lot more than a lot of other people have.