Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Regardless of where you are, who you are with or what hardships you are facing, take a moment to find that one thing in life that shines, and send a little prayer of thanks to the Universe.
I'm thinking of my mother's classic BMW touring car. It was a 2002 Tii model and only a handful were imported to the US. She drove that car for well over 20 years. When she and my father divorced, she got it in the settlement and my father was furious.
Eventually, we were rear-ended by a truck and while the damage wasn't that bad, the insurance company totaled it. Cretins.
A physical therapist at the clinic Mom went to was familiar with the car knew just what a gem it was. Mom wrangled with the insurance company to sell it to him rather than scrap it, and Bryan spent a couple years restoring it. Finally, we got to see the Beemer. He'd changed it from the ugly stock orange to gleaming white and had rebuilt it top to bottom. It was his pride and joy. I wish I have a photo of what it looks like now.
Losing that car was brutal. Mom and I had divorced our respective husbands within months of each other and we'd marshaled our forces to raise my baby girls and get back on our feet. Neither of us saw any alimony and in my case, no child support either. The car was once repossessed and we scrambled to bail it out. The engine blew, we paid to repair it. It was our symbol of winning. Surviving. Even though we scrounged change from the couch cushions to buy milk, Mom still had that car.
But life is about change. We lost the Beemer. But when we saw that car restored, Mom knew she'd made the right decision about letting it go. It was a burden we didn't realize we were carrying. Not only financial, but emotional.
Both my girls came home from the hospital in that car. I can still remember the their car seats in the back, and scrubbing dried milk and pulverized cereal out of the leather cushions. We'd take the little ones to Taco Bell and eat cheap tacos while sitting by the Sacramento River. It took us from one end of the state to the other, camping, on road trips and vacations. When I was little, I rode in it while my brother drove, tearing down the highway at over 100mph while I hung on, terrified and exhilarated.
I remember how nasty my father was about that car. (he picked the orange color) He wanted that car and my mother got it.
When the car was gone, the memories stayed, but the burden lifted.
Life is about change. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. We have to be brave enough to accept change when it comes and humble enough to recognize that sometimes something painful is necessary, and even beneficial. I will always miss that car, and I'll always be thankful that so much of my life revolved around it. And I'm very grateful to know that its the pride and joy of someone who appreciates it.
But at the end of the day, its a car. Just a car.
I still have my mother, my sister and my children. I have a grandson and another grand baby on the way. That is what I'm truly thankful for.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and if you're not in the US, take a moment to think on something that gives you joy, and send your thanks out to the Universe. :)