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Vans, kids and memories abound

Minivans. Not my first choice of vehicle, because they’re so big. And truth be told, I’ve inherited a bit of rebellion from my mother with respect to classic views of motherhood.

In our family, Peter was the one with the minivan. And it suited him perfectly. To get all Human Designy for a moment, he’s a 4-6 Vessel of Love – he cherishes being “that guy” who drives all the kids to the game, all the co-workers to lunch, all the friends to the concert. That’s him.

His 12 year old Honda Odyssey with 190,000+ miles on it bit the dust last week. We weren’t sure how long it would last, but with its most recent hiccup, we knew the writing was on the wall and it was time.

I told my brother that Peter was sad and he replied, “It’s just a car.” To which I responded, “It’s a mile marker. Especially with our newly empty nest.”

That van went on many, many, many trips to our children’s soccer games, anime conventions, adventures to college in Vermont, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and holidays and vacations around the east coast. The memories we have with that car go far and wide.

Of course some of those memories aren’t so happy. Driving my parents around with their respective “equipment”, emptying my father’s house, my mother’s condo and most recently her apartment.

When we had 3 dogs (large ones), Peter enjoyed driving them around. We had two alpha dogs, so musical chairs between the front and back was the dance. They’ve since moved to new homes leaving our sweet black lab, Cali.

When we had to put Cali down last October, she couldn’t move well and we wanted to keep her comfortable. She loved that van so the vet offered to come out to the car to administer her passing. Our son, Peter and I were all there with her in a space she considered to be part of her home.


As we cleaned out the van, we found the usual stuff, plus pistachio shells (thank you Orlena!), hay from when we had sheep, pine needles from December’s Christmas tree, a lot of used batteries (think: kid’s video games), acorns Peter has had since last fall waiting for the “right” place to plant – they’re in our front yard now. I’m surprised, actually, that there weren’t any soccer balls.

Our family continues to usher in a new era. On the day the van died, I pulled the Kali card – Hindu Creator/Destroyer Goddess. The angels are moving us forward and while some of these memories tug at the heart strings, there’s freshness in the air.

New beginnings. Yes. It’s almost time to go pick up the new car. 🙂


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