Christopher bought a car in December 2011. He used his own money and paid cash, literally. He was so excited. His friends named the car Big Blue. It was a midnight blue Ford Explorer. Big enough to toss all his football gear in the back and roomy in the front for that big frame of his.
Chris was at the age where his friends were also getting their licenses and first cars. For some reason many seemed to be buying a shade of blue. Brian got a truck named Tough Blue and Adam had Little Blue. There were various other blues too. The kids were maturing so fast they didn't require rides like they used to which was bittersweet. It put a new fear in me, not having to do all the driving but it was a new source of independence for Chris and he loved it.
Doing the driving required Chris to re-evaluate his timing. I know he used to like me to drop him off at 6am weight lifting or pick him up after football practice because I was his valet. He got dropped at the door and taxied home in a warm or cool car. That was a luxury he didn’t realize until he began driving himself. Once the responsibility was on him to be at school by six it dawned on him that he needed extra time to warm the car up and then walk from his parking space. No door to door service anymore. I never sensed much annoyance because I know he loved the freedom but I do recall a few sighs and some rushing around because he didn't plan quite right and was running behind. I'd like to think he appreciated all the years of rides he received once he had to do it for himself. There's something to be said for being chauffeured.
I remember a few times when I was his passenger making overly loud and probably annoying sighs and smiling telling him I enjoyed the role reversal so he could drive my butt around town. I'd do a purposeful little wiggle in the passenger seat and settle in happily. I'd get that eye roll but I know he got a kick out of it. It must have felt empowering.
I have always named my cars. I had Barney, Sylvester, Ivy and now Mo. I don't know why I name my car I guess I just don't like calling it "car"... I talk about my vehicle like it's another kid... I say things like "Mo needs an oil change" or "Mo's an embarrassment, he needs a bath".
Cars are a part of the family I guess. They must be because I'm missing Big Blue terribly. I wish he was out front, I hate the empty space.
Chris used to find me building my dream car on my iPad once in a while. He knew I had a saved search on Cars.com and he would tell me he'd buy her for me one day when he was in the NFL. Her name is Ruby. Yes, she's already named and Chris talked to me about her. He could probably list her features. I would search local dealerships for her and mentally negotiate her price! (What a nut I am!!) But I did it often and was wrapping my head around owning her.
Well, interestingly enough, which I believe was by no coincidence... the last day I was with Chris, he and I were standing right beside Ruby in the Shaker parking lot! I mean totally Ruby. She was my dream car right there - and not on a showroom lot which was the closest I had actually been to her any other time. Yes, I also went and test drove her... I wanted to be sure she was the one for me. Anyway, there we were on November 30th around two in the afternoon just after the football banquet. Chris had parked his car next to mine and we were standing there saying goodbye and I had given him money for the Siena/U Albany game that night. He was headed to Bailey's and I was headed Christmas shopping. He hugged me and as we turned he said "Mom! It's Ruby!" Yep, it was Ruby. I don't know who owns her and she wasn't there when we first arrived but showroom new that car was shining like the ruby she is. I smiled at Chris and couldn't believe she was within reach.
I know I'm going to buy her one day now, for sure. Chris would like that plus it will be something else I can check off my bucket list. Why dream it if I don't eventually achieve it?
I wonder if most other people name their cars? Do you? Are they a part of your family like ours feel to me? I miss Big Blue and I'm sorry he's been damaged. How weird is that? I want him back with his SHEN stickers shining proudly on the back and the emergency kit we built and placed in the trunk for Chris. Last year’s Christmas gifts were centered around his new car; Eagle's license plates, air fresheners, a phone charger, a GPS, CD's, etc. I miss big blue and I miss Chris.
I don't really have a moral to this blog, just sharing a thought out loud. I've been seeing many more dark blue older model SUV's lately. More that I think I've ever seen. At first it upset me terribly. I wondered why all of a sudden they were so apparent to me every time I drove somewhere? They seemed to be on every corner. Then it was brought to my attention that I should embrace each and every one of them as a sign Chris is with me and thinking of me. Now I like seeing them. I find myself looking for them. I hope when you see them too you will think of Chris.
Thank you for reading.