I’m off this week to visit my mom…my mom in Florida. I’m looking forward to the trip…to taking some time off to slow down. I’m looking forward to celebrating my mom’s 87th birthday. She turned 87 last week. I’m so lucky to have my mom…my mom who has nurtured me throughout my 50 years…yes…all 50 years. Now it is time to nurture her.

Her car died last week. Not that she was driving it much. She stopped driving about seven years ago. My sister and I always wanted her to give up that old car…especially when she stopped driving. But, she could not let it go. She always thought that some day she might be able to drive again. It’s my mom’s optimistic attitude that made her keep the car…yes, she really thought she would drive again.

“We can’t take the car away from her,” said my sister. “Not until she is ready.”

The Dynamic Dodge survived several hurricanes, even the big hurricane a few years ago. Yes, as the wind and rain blew out my mother’s glass doors in her living room and damaged her porch shutters…the 1998 Dodge stood sturdy. “Did the hurricane take away the car?” I remember my husband asking, “Is the car gone?” “Nope,” I remember replying, “The Dynamic Dodge is still humming along.”

But, last week the transmission gave way. My mom called to tell me that the Dynamic Dodge had finally died. “I think I’m going to have to give up the car,” my mom said with a positive voice, “I think it is time. J (my mom’s caregiver who drives her around in her car) thinks it is the transmission.” “Yes, mom,” I said, “I think it is time to relinquish the Dynamic Dodge. I know it must be a tough decision.”

My mom, being the resourceful person that she is, found someone who wanted the Dynamic Dodge (likely for it’s parts). He even paid her $150 for it. She was so excited. She told her caregiver J to spray the doors with oil so that they would open and close properly without making noise. This way, when the guy came to pick up the car he would see that the Dynamic Dodge still had working car doors.

“He didn’t even open the doors,” said my mom after she sold the car. “The guy came, gave me the $150 (cash of course said my mom) and didn’t even open the doors. He just put the car up on the truck and drove off.”

Good-bye to the Dynamic Dodge. I called Hertz to rent a car for my visit. It will be a major change as I step on the accelerator and know that my mom and I will be able to do our daily ‘Florida visit’ rituals without the potential of having to arrange a tow for the Dynamic Dodge. Yes, I have so many memories of stalling out in the parking lot…

– at the local Wal-Mart (where we go to look for slippers and can never find the exact ones my mom likes.)
– at the local Kmart (where we go after we go to Wal-Mart and try to find the exact slippers that my mom likes…Kmart never has these slippers either. Frankly, I don’t think they make the slippers anymore.)
– at my mom’s favorite Chinese restaurant(where we always arrive by 6:00 pm to get the early bird special.)
– at Dunkin Donuts (where we enjoy a cup of coffee and a muffin…I get the low-fat blueberry muffin which is not as good as the full-fat banana nut muffin that my mom usually gets.)
– at J.C. Penney’s in the mall where we go to purchase clothes one day and return them the next (my mom cannot try on the clothes in the store anymore…it is too difficult with her walker…but we buy the clothes anyway and I drive back the next day to return them.)
– at the $2.00 movie theatre (where they play old movies that we both have not seen.)

Yes, it will be different without the Dynamic Dodge in both our lives. This time as we sit at TooJays Deli and The Olive Garden (the other hot spots where we dine during my ‘Florida visits’), I’m sure we’ll reminisce about our days with the Dynamic Dodge. It will be fun…and this time, we’ll be able to laugh about it. This time, we won’t have to bring out the AAA card at the end of dinner. “Just the check please,” I’ll say to the waiter, “thank you, we’ll just have the check.”