"It's gone now, so you will have a space to park your car when you visit."
It was a kick to the stomach. An unexpected, if not inevitable, moment I'd been waiting for and hoping would be miraculously put off indefinitely. Despite being nearly a year on, the permanence of the event had still not fully resonated. I had items to cling to – THINGS – such as old hockey jerseys and tools and the type of objects that dads just seem to collect and keep for no reason whatsoever. Within this amassed wealth of curios, I felt comfort that his spirit was still around. But now it seemed I needed to redirect. We are, after all, not our material goods.
"It made me sad too but we needed to do something about it. The car couldn't just sit there forever. You have nowhere to park when you visit."
It wasn't a hockey jersey or tool, those were still there and would remain in their place, but it was my late father's vehicle and this would be much more noticeably absent when I visited. A gaping void next to the house cruelly reminding me of the unexpected loss. As my mother didn't know how to drive, it ultimately served no purpose other than helping us both stall change. She did the right thing. I will never be prepared to face this newfound reality.
The 2000 Honda Civic SE wasn't just his vehicle, it was my old car as well. My first major purchase, my father talked me into buying it instead of moving in with a boyfriend back-in-the-day (which was good advice as the car definitely had a longer lifespan). He coached me in haggling a fair price. He taught me the importance of regular maintenance. He joined me on road-trips from coast-to-coast. The vehicle was a vessel of our relationship. Despite having another set of wheels, my father bought the Honda from me in 2008 when I upgraded. He never admitted it, but I knew it was a pity purchase once again meant to help me out.
Part of me though believes he couldn't bear to see it go either.