Love affair...over

A 2009 Murano sits at a Nissan dealership in the south Denver suburb of Englewood, Colo. Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)
A 2009 Murano sits at a Nissan dealership in the south Denver suburb of Englewood, Colo. Associated Press photos (Associated Press photos / The Spokesman-Review)

Some relationships end due to drifting while others come to a crashing halt. Ours ended due to both…

I had to stop abruptly and sighed. Then I glanced into my rearview mirror and saw the F-150 truck coming at me. . I had a death grip on the steering wheel and squeezed my eyes closed. Never good to witness one’s own destruction.  The driver behind me “drifted” in his concentration and then really crashed into me..well, into my car with me in it 

On impact, my seatbelt held me in place, while my glasses came off and landed in the crevasse between the windshield and the dashboard. My cell phone came out of my purse pocket and landed on the floor, calling the most recent number (sorry, Kathryn). Oh, and the F-150 pushed my car into the car ahead of me. Nice.

A little whiplash and a lot of trembling later, my hero husband showed up and took over the details of information to the investigating cop and other drivers. My car was drivable – to the body shop. And while I was basically okay, my car was not.

And I LOVE my car. It was a post-cancer, splurge purchase. “Make it a really nice car, in case I die from this cancer, your next wife will enjoy a fancy car,” I said eight years ago. My husband did not laugh.

Our cars take us places and provide independence, needed solitude and security. In a culture that has not accepted public transportation, a car is almost a necessity. And my car was a symbol of renewed good health and hope for my future.

When the insurance company said the car would be deemed “totaled,” I cried. I cried because I not only lost the car, but all that it brought me – security on the road and a gift of kindness from my husband for the future. When I went to clean out my belongings at the body shop, I felt like we were at the bedside of a dying friend, soon to be organ donor.  I said, “Thank you for protecting me and giving me great joy.” Silly? Perhaps.

We make plans; we live with a thin veneer of security as we move through our lives and yet, in a moment of drifting all of it can come to a crashing halt. This experience has been a profound reminder of life’s fragility, of how an instant of inattention can transform our lives. So, once again: say it now, do it now, pay attention, enjoy each moment. Love one another ...So quickly we can come to a crashing halt.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.





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