I've hated Jeff's truck. As a family vehicle, it sucked. It was a 'gas-pig', it was difficult to park and I was always saying was it 'could forever think of new and creative ways to screw me over'. It would break down in the middle of an intersection with a toddler and a large dog inside. I'd have to try to push a half-tonne truck to the side of the road. It stunk both inside and outside. I remember being sick of waiting for a solution to whatever issue it was now having, so I took a picture of the offending part, went to the parts store, showed them what I needed and with the help of my grandfather, we got it running again. In one year, I had the thing towed home eight times. Eight times!
Now that he's gone, I regularly sit in it and feel close to him. I feel badly for the truck that I've be filled with such loathesome thoughts towards it in the past...Now I feel close to Jeff when I'm in it. It is as if it's part of him....not just a thing, but an actual piece of him. He called it the 'Blue Mule' and he adored it. In fact, he'd say that when he died he wanted to be buried in it....Or cut into small pieces and used for halibut bait....Or cut in two and have one part sent to the Eastcoast and one part kept on the Westcoast.
Now when I sit in it, I look through the cassette tapes (yeah, cassette tapes), I check out what ephemera resides in the backseat, I smell his coat, and touch the steering wheel. I sob as I think of the trips we've taken in it oblivious to what was to come. The conversations we had in it. Bringing Liv home from the hospital in it. The excitement I'd feel driving it to whichever harbour he was in to see him.
For Valentine's Day one year, he bought me the car. We went out for dinner just the two of us. I was expecting Briar and it was time to have a car that was a tab bit safer. He was excited to have the truck to himself and start calling it 'his truck' again.
Anyhow, now with the closing of Jeff's business, I had to think of what to do with the truck. Sell it? Give it away? Keep it? I recoiled everytime I thought of not seeing it in the driveway. Of not being able to immerse myself in it. So today, it has become the 'family truck' again. I can't dispose of it with the business. I find that I love it now. I love what and who it represents. I know it won't last forever but right now I need it.