As listeners of this week’s podcast will know, a day after returning from my girls-only weekend, I destroyed my sense of calm and tranquility when I ran my Chevrolet Equinox into the side of a utility truck. The truck was fine. The driver was fine.
Sally and I are not so fine.
A week and a half later, Sally is still “at the hospital” where they are repairing the damage done during the accident, and I’m driving around in a rental car, thinking about all the things I miss.
I really miss “my” car. I miss the feel of her gas pedal, the seat adjusted just for me, my favorites programmed into the radio, and knowing where all the buttons and switches are. I miss having her waiting, started and warm, in the parking lot to take me home. I miss my seat heaters, back up camera, bluetooth, and asking Sally to “call home” or “call Erin Kane mobile.”
I miss the confidence I had before the crash. I’m driving too slowly, taking too long at intersections and cringing every time a vehicle turns in front of me. For a couple of days I tried to just make right turns – because I ran into the utility truck while turning left into traffic. Someone told me I would be the “best driver” for the next several months – I actually think my driving is the worst it has ever been. I’m driving like I’m 16 again, and it’s not pretty.
On my first long drive since the accident, traveling the rural roads of Massachusetts, I found myself missing something else – OnStar. Before my accident, I hadn’t given the service much consideration. I had asked for directions. Found a local Starbucks. And considered “what else” I could ask the OnStar person.
But then I had my accident, and before I had fully processed what had happened, a woman from OnStar was asking if I was okay. As I gazed out the front windshield at the damage I had wrought, and considered how I was going to tell my husband, the OnStar woman was connecting with emergency services, telling them not just what happened but where I was.
Then she asked me if I needed her to call someone. And did I need her to stay on the line with me.
Later, a friend mentioned how lucky I was to have had the accident near the center of town, because what would have happened if I had been somewhere remote. My answer? No problem, OnStar would know.
Which brings me back to my first drive without Sally. In my rental car with nothing but pavement and trees as far as the eye could see, I wondered what would happen if I had an accident. Who would know?
What I’ve learned this week is that my car is more a part of me than I knew. And I’m really looking forward to when she comes home.
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