Comfort in life can appear in the most unlikely of places, and in the most uncanny of spaces.
Lets just say, for instance, from a certain little rather vivacious red and black polka dotted vw beetle convertible, that in her former glory, sported some flirty, and lengthy black eyelashes on her headlights.
Can a car really comfort you? I would have said, in my earlier days, that a vehicle was just a practical means of getting a person, or persons, to his/hers destination, but apparently I was in for a unexpected revelation. Cars have personalities, and a Hospice therapist informed me not to get rid of my vehicle too quickly when someone has passed, because your mode of transportation… holds some sweet memories.
I had been the happy procurer of “ Dot” the dotted “ lady bug” beetle for almost two years. She has held me, and carried me, many places I did not want to go… and many times.. she drove me to the cemetery where my daughter Bianca is buried. I would blow out of there, gravel flinging in every direction, roof down to the open skies, tear stained cheeks, and hair flying… often some country music crooning in the background…. and I would breathe it in…the losing, and finding of your self that is juxtapositioned upon one, during times when it seems like life is ass backwards.
Dot carried “Tillie” the naughty girl beagle, and I, across the country, and up to Canada, and back. She knows my stuff….I have sung off tune, screamed, and ranted, and pounded my fists on the steering wheel. We have communicated … she was a therapy of sorts, and she provided me with joy and comfort, as I was cocooned within her.
But… it was time… Dot was ready to go and be in anothers’ life. I needed to let her go, and let her be there for another, what she had been for me… a Godsend..an unexpected lightening of my heart…and so.. . I did… I prayed for my car’s newest, next owner.
I could not bear to part with her, and yet… I just felt this compunction to put her up for sale. Who could possibly want to buy a 2008 , much loved vw convertible in January in Colorado? Apparently, a lot of gals… still kinda shocked bout that.. Turns out that when God is in the mix, and has a plan.. well.. He gets it done!
A little over a week ago, she met “Tina”, her new owner. Tina was determined to see this little car, even when inclement weather threatened to not let that happen. Tina is in remission from colon cancer, but is still feeling sickly, and was on the look out for just such a joyful bug. She needed her to brighten her spirits, and “Dot” brings HOPE.. she can’t even help herself.
I met up with this interested buyer in the parking lot in Castlerock, Colorado, and almost as soon as I looked into her brown and friendly eyes, I knew the deal was done. As she sat in the driver’s seat, and I sat in the passenger’s side, I explained all about the car. I could tell she had already fallen hard for her.. I mean it was love at first sight!🐞
In the course of our conversation, and as we settled on the price, and I got what I had hoped for, I could sense the excitement emanating from her.
She handed me over the cash, that was carefully stacked, and held with elastic bands, and I counted it.. yes.. I did. I signed over the title, and then just sighed, and smiled tentatively.
Our eyes met, and I asked her if I’d ever sent her a photo of my beagle? She said, “ no,”.. then explained to me after seeing my snapshot of “ Matilda,” my beagle, that she also had a 5 month old girl beagle named… Wait for it.. “ Dotty!” Are you friggin kiddin me? She also divulged that she was keeping the same name for the car…”Dot.”
This was meant to be…. I mean c’mon.. As we exited her tan, humdrum vehicle, and she planted herself in the front seat of “Dot,” she smiled a beaming smile, and tears spilled from her eyes.. I said to her..” God wanted you to have this little car..it was meant for you.”🐞I believe that God brings people and situations into each orhers’ lives to be there.. in the place.. in the pain.. He “ brings beauty out of the ashes,” and connects souls together in such unique ways, that , well… call it a coincidence, but I call it “ connection and a re-glueing of our broken pieces.”
As I walked away, and straight into Starbucks, with a purse full of cash, and feeling like a drug deal had just occurred in the parking lot… I was strangely exhilarated .
This exchange of my car had me “letting go,” of something that I loved once again, into the loving care of another…and now, how to get back home? As often happens in my life, I had not really thought about how I was about to get back to my apartment….but then there was “uber.” A rather interesting chap drove me back into Denver, and shared how he had lost his wife only 7 months ago. He had decided to “downsize,” and move to Castlerock, and was loving life.. He was very upbeat, and enthusiastic about life…such a great, and infused with gratitude, approach that he had.
Much packing and sorting needed to be done, as I was preparing to move back to Canada. I had packed most of my belongings in my storage space, but as I raised the creaky garage door up of my unit, I was overwhelmed, as my past, laden with dust, and some cobwebs were stacked up in front of me.
It felt like “The Berlin Wall,” stoic , and impenetrable….
I wanted to contact “ Storage Wars,” a show on TV, that I was strangely drawn to, where people bid on abandoned storage spaces, in an auction type setting. There were colorful characters, and it was fascinating to observe their thought processes, as they were allowed only a brief, “ no touch” look from the entrance of the space. What are our things worth? To strangers looking to make a buck, it comes down to their cost, and potential profit, but to me, this was still “ my junk,” and worth an awful lot to me.
It may not have inherent dollar value, but to the memory holding aspect of this 10’ by 20’ space… this was priceless… There were memories…These not so beautiful, and seemingly ordinary pieces were, what was left of this past 26 years of my life..
Odd… how things all end up in containers..boxes..
Driving to the airport, a few days later, the back seat of my friend’s car was stacked with suitcases, some freshly resuscitated from “ The Arc” thrift store, I had somehow ended up with 5 , yes count em… 5 loaded to the bursting zippered, suitcases. Truth be told…. I had luggage… baggage…duffel bags..
This was gonna cost me big at the airline counter, since now , some airlines charge for a bottle of water, let alone multiple bags!
Only one thing to do I figured… Pray.. that somehow, some way, I wouldn’t have to pay 1 extra dollar to board that plane with that much excess baggage.
My friends and I discussed this in the car, and they tried to convince me to leave some of my suitcases behind, and bring them back at a later date. I was determined to bring it all… mainly because I had kinda forgotten exactly where I had packed my most important items… like my shoes… and boots..toothbrush… make up…
Hoisting each bag up onto the scale, was an exposing ordeal. I felt like I was getting weighed in buck naked….
The airline woman at the desk was friendly, and as each suitcase was added, she started with the math about how much extra this was gonna cost me.
“ Ok, the first bag is $25, the second is $30, the the subsequent bags are $100 each. That will be an extra $255.00 .” My one bag was a “ carry on,” and therefore included.
I gulped, and began reaching for my credit card. I said, “ well, I needed to pack up these things.” “ I’m moving back to Canada to be able to be near, and to care for, and be with my Mum, named Denise.”
I explained that it was just time to move back to my homeland for a lot of reasons.
Somehow my story came tumbling out of my mouth, and I felt a lump forming in my throat. I was sorta embarrassed about my emotions spilling forth.
She raised her eyes, over her “ readers” as she handed me back my boarding pass, studying me intently, and said,
“My middle name is Denise, and your middle name is Denise too.”
Well that was quite a coincidence!
I was kinda shocked, I mean what are the chances? She smiled a tentative smile, and gestured rather shyly for me to put my credit card away.
I search her eyes questioningly. “ No charge,” she whispered.
Yes….. tears were a brewing… oh yes they were.
I responded with “ You are such an answer to prayer.” And “ God bless you,” several times.
She smiled warmly, and we held eyes a moment longer… and I said thank you so much countless more times….
As I walked, or rather floated away from that counter, I was speechless. The path in front of me was blurred by my tears of gratitude to a God who hears me when I pray ridiculous things, and when I ask a thousand times for miracles that are so beyond my reach.
He is faithful, and answers requests that continually stagger, and blow up my mind… He delivers.. again.. and again..
God shows up in my life, and I feel his presence beside me in ways that I never thought possible…
I texted my friends that had driven me to the airport, and recounted the story of my free luggage. They are walking through some life challenging experiences themselves, to make a gross understatement, and we often share that the telling of our encounters of life with the Almighty, are so life giving, and affirming.
” I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.” Genesis 28:15
He is with us, and He shows up in tangible ways so often, and joins us in our world even as we are often, achingly, walking trudgingly through the deep snow….looking towards the Season of Spring…. and rebirth.