I never said good-bye to Pat before he died. We said a lot of things to one another, but I refused to say good-bye. It was me and him forever and therefore there was no room for good byes. I would see him again. I will see
him again. But since he has died, I have had to say good bye to a great deal of things from my “former” life.
Right after he died our house had some major issues to it and we had to move out in order for a complete renovation to occur. I was forced to pack up all his belongings, everything we had accumulated together for the past twenty years, and put it into storage. Pictures came down off the wall, his clothes came out of the drawers and my physical memories of him were taken from our home. And we when we moved back in it just didn’t feel right to put his stuff back in the new house. It was a new start for us and I couldn’t see hanging everything back up in the closets when he wasn’t here to use them. It was a difficult thing to do especially so early on after he died. But we did it.
It seems to me that most everything in the physical sense that was Pat’s before he died has been packed away, and said goodbye to. Everything except one. .. His car. For the past year and a half I have had two cars. My car, which my parents have taken over thankfully, and Pat’s car. I could have turned his car in after his death because it was in his name, but mine I had to keep since it was in mine. But I didn’t want to give up his car. I liked his car. It was his. He only drove it a couple of times before he died, but it still had all of his things in it. It was a physical connection to him.
The boys and I have taken some great trips in this car over the past 20 months. We went to Florida, Kentucky, Chicago, Traverse City, Grand Haven (twice), and many other local trips filled with amazing new memories. We haven’t touched Pats stuff in the console…it’s just as he left it so it was like we were taking him along with us. But the lease is up now. The time has come to turn his car into a memory too. It is our final goodbye. The last physical item we have that belonged to Pat, that belonged to my “former” life. It is leaving us today and we are starting a new…again. .
I’m having mixed feelings about this. I am sad about letting another piece of him go. My mind is fully aware that it is only stuff and not him, but my heart feels like I am losing something more than a car. I miss Pat. The car is just something else I have to let go and learn to live without. We will make more memories and travel to great places together in the new car, I know this. The future has so much for us. We already have our first trip planned over the holidays. A new adventure. Another new beginning.
So even though good byes are usually sad and beginnings are usually scary…I know that in the middle, all those memories we will make, is where the good stuff lies. Just because I am letting go of Pat’s car, I know that doesn’t mean we are letting him go. We aren’t losing him anymore than we already have. We are simply making room for something new and hopefully exciting to come our way…the future.