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Saturday, November 23, 2013

The End of an Era

Jonathan E. Camaro is no more. I haven’t driven in over a year and I haven’t driven the Camaro since March 2011. I knew I wanted to get the car out of our garage but I had no idea how to sell a car or get rid of it in any other way. I think maybe I didn’t want to either. But at the beginning of this year I decided it was time to let go.

The 1994 hot red Camaro was my third car and my first brand spanking new car. My 1987 Camaro had gotten to the point where I was essentially making a car payment for repairs almost every month. It was time for a new car. Since I was at the dealer, again, for repairs I went into the showroom and spoke to a salesman. I was just looking. I asked him to tell me about the new Camaros.

They really were new cars too. 1994 was the first year for this model of car. I had seen the new Camaro sitting in the hallway at Cobo Hall in Detroit on the way to Rockers indoor soccer games a few times at the end of 1993 and loved the car. A test drive later and I asked Larry, my salesman, to tell the repair shop to hold my repair order this time.

I asked my dad, barterer extraordinaire, to come in with me, see the pretty car, meet Larry, and make that beautiful car one I could afford. I told Pop the absolute highest car payment I could make each month and that I was willing to pay five years to finish but I wanted that car. There were some safety features that he wanted to be sure were on the car and that included the car alarm. After a little talking he was happy because all of the safety features he wanted would be on the car, Larry was happy because he was making a sale and I was ecstatic because I was getting a new car!

There were a few awesome things about that car. The first was that the loan was in my name and my name alone; no cosigner. I made every payment and the car was 100% mine. It was a fun car to drive. Because the model was so brand spanking new it was a guy magnet too! For the first couple of years that I owned that car I made sure that I was dressed well, full make up and nice hair every time I drove it. Well, you know… I never got a date because of the car but boy I enjoyed lots of fun flirting.

The weekend after I got the new Jonathan I went to visit Grandma and Papa. I went into the house and announced “I took Jonathan in for repairs and you should see what they did to him.” Papa stood up, put down his paper and said “Come on Mom, let’s go see her new car.” Nobody called ahead to spoil my surprise, Papa just knew.

The stuffed cherry in the picture was a gift from Papa that weekend. He called my new car’s color “fast, cherry-ass red” and warned me to watch my speed because the police would be looking for me. (Yes the car was fast but the truth is the two speeding tickets I’ve gotten were when I borrowed my dad’s sport-utility vehicle.)

Now the vignette you see above is all that remains of that first major purchase that was completely in my name; my first real adult contract. I’m not physically capable of driving a car or even cleaning one out and David did all the work. I’m so lucky that he still “gets me.” Cherry and Rudy, the teddy bear I bought while Christmas shopping in 1987 lived in that Camaro and moved to the new Camaro in 1994, were very important to me. He also came home when the car was being towed to go to auction. I donated the value of the car at auction to the MS Society. David did one last check to be sure nothing was left in the car of personal value, especially making sure that he had taken Cherry and Rudy out for me already. He knew it would be important to keep them. This morning he also brought in the hubcap that had fallen off and was left in the garage; one last memento.

I didn’t take a picture as they were towing the car out of the driveway. I don’t want to remember Jonathan that way. I never really liked driving but that car made it bearable because it was a fun car to drive. I’ve read that letting go of things you can’t do because of MS is important in accepting your new reality. I guess I can say that I’ve accepted it now since I had made the decision to donate the car at the beginning of the year and didn’t shed any tears as I watched it leave the driveway. I was prepared to bawl my eyes out but I didn’t cry. It didn’t feel like mine anymore. I just said goodbye to that part of my past. I’m finally ready to move on.

1 comment:

Edna B said...

Oh Nani, I'm so proud of you. It is so hard to let go of something you love. It doesn't matter if I ever drive my car. I just want it parked outside my door in case I do want to drive it. It sort of stands for my freedom. I hope when it comes time to turn in my car keys, I'm as brave as you my friend. Now I'm off to find some mischief to get into. You have a wonderful day. Hugs, Edna B.