Since they moved, Cadence has turned five and started kindergarten. Sawyer is a year old now; I’m told he walked on Thanksgiving. My son-in-law Rob has been promoted to chief. Elaine has settled her family in a new home, earned a SCUBA certification, called her mother faithfully.
Our plan was that Elaine would have the use of one of our cars while she’s on the mainland. So we have an intricate plan in place, wherein Judi and I drive to the airport to collect our kin, then as we pass through Orange County, my husband meets us for dinner. Then I hand off the car and ride home with my husband. Elaine drives off in our second car. Then we spend a month being a one-car family.
On Saturday, Rich and I took this SUV for a drive. We were headed for Corona, about 35 miles away, to pay our respects at the memorial service for my cousin Dale. Now, I must say this: while my heart rejoices that my cousin knew our Lord and is resting, even as I write this, in the loving arms of Jesus, my heart hurts for the wife and children left behind, for my cousin’s brothers, for his parents. For me. Forty-nine is way too young.
Anyway, as we were driving, the car started billowing smoke and a horrible smell wrapped itself around us. Rich stopped the car and a cursory inspection, which Rich performed carefully, being dressed in his mourning clothes, revealed that an oil line had let go.
I called my father, who was traveling to the same destination from a different direction, while Rich summoned a tow truck. A short while later, a tow truck was dragging our broken car away and we were tucked into Dad’s red Honda, continuing on our way to this important family event. We arrived only a few minutes late, despite the unexpected complications in our travel.
It didn’t hit me until later: if we hadn’t driven to the memorial service, the car might have failed while I was en route to the airport to claim my girl. Worse, it could have left her stranded beside the road, waiting for help while two small boys sat in the back seat, confused, or rambunctious, or scared.
But that’s not what happened. Nope. The car failed on our watch, providing us with a chance to send it to the shop. Later today, when I hand the keys over to my daughter, I can rest easy, knowing the vehicle has been inspected, repaired, made true for her use.
I can’t wait to drive to the airport this afternoon.
God managed to drag something good out of a funeral for a man called home way, way too soon.