I really don’t like trite expressions, such as “when it rains, it pours.”
Especially when they’re true.
As I mentioned last week, things have not exactly been super pleasant in my world lately, and this past week was certainly pretty rough. I’ll spare you a lot of the details, but let’s just say that it was filled with a lot of pain and discomfort and hydrocodone and other medicines. I just want it all to go away.
I spent the majority of the week on my sofa (my company was really great about letting me work from home all week), and I didn’t drive my car much at all. I wasn’t feeling up for going anywhere—walking is a bit painful right now—and apparently you aren’t supposed to get behind the wheel with certain meds in your system. But Sunday was my dad’s birthday, so I drove out to my parents’ house to spend some time with him.
But I had no idea what was in store for me that day.
After I left their house, I drove toward my all-time favorite froyo place. My appetite has been pathetic all week—everything sounds gross and makes me nauseated—but I needed that froyo. On the way, though, my car radio suddenly went out, all of the dashboard lights started flashing and freaking out, and my steering wheel suddenly locked up. Something similar happened a couple of months ago, and it turned out to be the battery. Because I just got that battery, I didn’t think that was it, so I was a bit concerned.
I somehow managed to turn that brick of a wheel a few times and navigated my way to the froyo parking lot (I have my priorities in line), and I pulled through a space and got out but left the car running because I figured it wasn’t going to start back up if I turned it off.
I got my cup of heaven and hustled back to my car and said a quick prayer that I could get it to the Firestone across the street. Thankfully, I did, and the fellas there told me they thought it might be the alternator, though they didn’t actually give it a detailed inspection. They gave me a quote for what it would cost, but I called my car guy because I just got a new alternator about a year ago. The Firestone people said I could leave my car in their lot until I got it all sorted out, so I took an Uber home until I heard back from my car guy. When I finally got to talk to him later, he told me he could take care of it but that he needed my key.
My relaxing time at the pool was cut short, and I scurried upstairs to shower, change, and call for another Uber to take me to get the key to him. That’s when I met Earlene, an interesting woman who has a story for everything. She’s even had her own fair share of kidney issues. She drove me all the way out there and then waited in the car until I came back so that she could take me to my brother’s house so that I could spend some time with him, my sister-in-law, and my adorable niece. (I’m actually really glad I wasn’t the one doing the driving, because I began having tremendous pain and had to take some of the medication that I’ve grown to hate.) Earlene is a very kind woman—if you ever meet her, for the love, please ask her how excited she is about her 40th high school reunion cruise she’s using her Uber money to pay for next summer—and she offered me a lot of encouragement.
You’re on the upside now—I can tell.
When she said those words, I felt a little bit of peace. And I really hope she’s right. I’ve been trying to remain positive with so many tough things I’ve gone through over the last year, but I feel like they tend to pile up all at once. It’s not easy for me to ask people for help sometimes, and I already felt like I had been causing inconvenience to people with all of the help I needed while I was in the hospital, but now not having a car makes things even more difficult. I’m thankful for Uber, but I’m also pretty sick to my stomach at how much money I spent Sunday afternoon. (After my ride with Earlene—also, please ask her about her theories on the JFK assassination, because I guarantee you’ll be intrigued—when I left my brother’s house, he dropped me off at a Kroger near where he lives so that I could get some needed groceries, and I had to take yet another Uber to get home. I was Ubered-out.)
I know I have a lot in life for which I need to be thankful, and I am. At the same time, though, I think it’s OK to admit that life can feel like a never-ending storm at times. There’s a country song that says “every storm runs out of rain,” and I’m going to believe that. I’m also going to believe that Earlene is right about me being on the upside.
I talked to my dad and then my sister at the end of the day, and my conversations with them reminded me how much the issues with my car don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things. Sure, the situation is quite frustrating and will likely be expensive, but what really truly matters are the people in my life. I still got to spend time with my dad on his birthday. I still got to see my mom, whose love is bigger than life itself. I still got to laugh and enjoy precious moments with my brother and his family. I still got to see my sister this weekend and make a bad day better by talking with her. My car might stop being there for me, but my family never will.
And their love is the sunshine to any storm that comes my way.