We sold L’s car over the weekend. We didn’t have to sell it although he’s too frail at this stage to safely drive it. Still, it’s something I could have managed later…after. But I see that he needs to do these things himself and so we put the word out there. Last Sunday a couple showed up to check out the car for their daughter. They seemed interested but we had already had two other parent-types interested and the kid had vetoed the deal for various reasons–I suspect one of them was the fact that this is not exactly a “hip” car–it’s a Grandma car. So I took a break from caregiving and went to a play and when I came out I called L to let him know I was on my way home. He told me the couple had returned–with the daughter–and the deal was being made.
So when I turned onto our driveway and opened the garage door, I knew the car wouldn’t be there and yet I felt such an emptiness. I went inside and carefully gauged L’s mood related to the sale of his car. He seemed fine with it. He admitted feeling “a little sad”–we had made a lot of memories together driving that car–trips and work and such. I burst into tears–huge silent tears that plopped off my face and onto L’s shirt as he held me.
A couple of days later–Valentine’s Day–I left a card I had made for L on the table so he would find it at b’fast. He opened it and laughed at the message then asked me to get an envelope from his desk. L is not a shopper–never has been. And while now and then I have received the store bought hearts and flowers card, most of the time I have gotten something far more precious–a sheet of paper torn from one of the yellow legal pads he keeps on his desk with a message written in red ink and sometimes–if I am very lucky–a drawing to illustrate the message. On this day I was very lucky…the message was longer than usual and the drawing was there as well. And as I read that Valentine, it hit me that this–like so many things in our lives these days–will likely be our last Valentine’s Day together…and I burst into tears.