It Was More Than Just a Car

It Was More Than Just a Car


terraza_buick“Mrs. Williams, your car was in pristine shape except for a small dent on the front side.”
“Yes, my husband did that too.”

The accident wasn’t his fault, but I’m angry anyway. And relieved he wasn’t hurt. Probably hard to believe since we’re a month away from finalizing our legal separation. Should have been this month but the judge would only allow us to delay 30 days. Regardless, I don’t wish him any ill will, I just want to get on with my life, but I can’t due to financial circumstances. All our equity is tied in our beautiful house. We’re drowning by upside down mortgage and he was laid off a month ago; the reason for the legal delay.

I haven’t been happy having to share my car this past month. He had a company car, so that went with the job, the regular pay, the phone, the laptop and the commission money which had been dwindling anyway.

So he’d been using my car and leaving me tied to the house once again.

“Mrs. Williams, it’s not likely you’ll be able to get the same car, the Buick Terraza was only made for one year. You’ve got a model that’s fully loaded. You had a lot on this car.”

Yes, I did. I remember how excited I was when we bought it. I wasn’t able to finance it under my name because my company was still fairly new, so I begrudgingly allowed it to put it in my husband’s name. But the car was mine. I paid for it every month for almost 4 years to the day. I had 12 months left on the loan, and being that we were separating, I was looking forward to paying it off and getting that expense off my plate.

Prior to children I had leased cars. Just before our first child was born in 1993, my husband got laid off. It took him 6 months to find a job and in that time I had to turn my lease in to save money. When the second child was born, necessity forced me to pick up an inexpensive used Ford Festiva for $1500. There were no upgrades, not even air conditioning, which was difficult to live without after we moved from Canada to Columbus, Ohio. I had that car for four years.

So when I chose this car, I chose it for the convenience of having a video player in the back to entertain the kids, the 6 CD player in the front, the OnStar security, the heated leather seats and for the SIX cup holders I had access to from the drivers seat. When I drove it, it was the most comfortable car ever. I easily got in and went for 14 hours at a time without any back complaints.

When I got my Buick I got my freedom back. Being at home with little kids without a car and then without a reliable car, had made it difficult to go anywhere except to the grocery store. Since my husband was a traveling salesman and we didn’t live near family, it was normal for me to go weeks without any support or time off from the kids. The difference between him traveling and being home was he cooked dinner when he felt like it and I could go to the bathroom by myself. And I was thankful.

Deciding to end my marriage after 18 years was sad, facing the possibility of losing our house and equity was difficult, but at least I had my car. With that I could go anywhere and do anything.

“I’m afraid, Mrs. Williams, that it’s just not worth repairing.”

Sometimes, you just have to cut your losses and walk away, no matter how much it hurts.



  1. Clare Hodge :

    Wow, Pat, that story says so much about the significance we attach – rightly – to things. I feel very sad now. I’ve loved a few cars in my day.

  2. Hi Pat, now I understand why are you working so hard. I’m sure you have the means to do what has to be done without lethargy and endure the current ‘brutal’ phase.
    What we posess comes and goes, goes and come. Pay attention to whom you can be from now on. Do not let the past or things shrink your energy and soul, nor even for a minute. You are a Woman and a Mom, so that you are strong.

  3. Clare, I am not usually attached to “things” but yesterday I cried more than I have at funerals. This car represented so much to me and I really did love it! So glad you understand and have felt it too.

  4. Bytera, thanks for taking the time and thought to respond. “Brutal” is a perfect description of the current life phase! You’re right, life ebbs and flows and sometimes we get stuck in a whirlpool and it takes time to swim out. Fortunately, I’m a very strong swimmer. It sounds like you may know a little about being strong yourself.

  5. Pat, I mourn with you for the losses and pray for bright new beginnings. I am not sure why so often it doesn’t just sprinkle but pours but I do know the way is made so much easier with faith, and loving support from people who care. Sending you huge hugs and prayers!

  6. wow so why did you have to get rid the car? its amazing how fast people get attached to things

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