In Memory of…

Because I’ve been busy writing all of these ongoing posts about my jaw journey and scheduling them to be published, I haven’t had the opportunity to share any other things going on in my life during that time.

I’m writing this post in memory of my beloved Chrysler PT Cruiser. It was on January 17, 2022 that I was informed that she could not be resuscitated. I don’t believe that I’d ever gone through the steps of grieving for an inanimate object before – or after – but I knew there was a gray cloud of sadness hanging over my head and my heart.

My logical side thinks I’m silly (or crazy, perhaps?) to be carrying the memory of that car so strongly and finding that my mind automatically remembers that date as well as all of the things that happened as a result of that event. And so, over a year later, I think about this favorite vehicle I’ve ever owned while simultaneously chiding myself for still having emotions attached to those thoughts.

As I thought about writing this post, I wandered between trying to ascertain why I had such a strong bond to this car and trying to talk myself into letting go of said “bond”. All this time later, I can still remember the details of when I first saw a photo of this car to looking back at the photo several times over the next several weeks to see if I still felt “in like” with the car, to finally taking myself to the lot and taking a test drive. I was a little nervous about the test drive – always nervous when driving something I’ve not driven before and paying attention mostly to being a good driver rather than how the car was handling. Despite that, I liked the car, liked how it felt with me in the seat, liked the height of it (going from a standard height vehicle) and I especially liked the color (it was called “magnesium” but was a sort of gray/green). I knew I wanted to buy it, but because I had a reliable car at the time, I didn’t feel pressured to buy another vehicle.

Of course, I’d been around the block enough time to know I needed to do some negotiating on price and trade-in value. We finally agreed on numbers that were acceptable to both of us, and the deal was made. I returned the next day with all of the paperwork, including the title to my currently owned car, and drove away with this cutie.

I thought then about the multiple trips my Cruiser and I made to Florida to visit my dad, once a year, usually in winter when it was easier for me to get away from work. Because I’ve always enjoyed driving, I always pushed to do so for the trip rather than fly into Jacksonville Airport (a little over 1 hour north of them) and have them pick me up. I think, subconsciously, that I also wanted to have my car with me so I had an escape. Consciously, I could think of no reason to need one, but something deeper felt better to have my car handy.

Time behind a steering wheel was always a good time for me to let my mind wander, especially on long treks of a highway before changing. I had my favorite 6 CDs in the player, and I was singing or humming along sometimes, and sometimes not even aware music was playing. Perhaps it was those very many hours driving that trip back and forth when my mind was free from responsibility for anything other than to drive safely that made my bond with the Cruiser more special.

Then, too, she really was the perfect size for me (the car I have now feels too big for me!). I didn’t hesitate to take her anywhere, even in unknown territory, because we handled the roads perfectly together. She was easy to handle, comfortable to sit in, and honestly, whenever I unlocked the car and climbed into the driver’s seat, it was like connecting with a friend.

She had a good run – 15 years and less than 86,000 miles on her – and she was taken from me far too soon. Whenever I see another PT Cruiser, especially in a parking lot, a part of me wants to sit and await the driver/owner and then offer to trade with them, even up. Since PT Cruisers stopped being made after 2010 and my Chevy Equinox is a 2011 and comes with many more bells and whistles, that person would come out the winner of that trade. I won’t do it, of course, because though I’m crazy, I’m not stupid. And a small part of me recognizes that I loved MY Cruiser, not just any Cruiser. Still, I’ll never be totally comfortable in my Equinox. It’s a good thing I don’t go anywhere anymore (I might have, at most, 650 miles on her since last inspection when it’s time for inspection again). I’ll never learn all of this car’s bells and whistles because I don’t need them. Maybe some day I’ll get the manual out and try and make sense of some of them.

I will always miss my car. In writing this, I’ve come to discover that I don’t really care if people think I’m weird for having a strong emotional attachment to a car I no longer have. No other vehicle will ever earn that bond, and I’m entitled to my feelings, after all.

12 thoughts on “In Memory of…

  1. That’s sweet. I can understand bonding to “something” that feels perfect for you and enables your freedom. But If I think back on all the cars i’ve had, most of them were hand-me-downs so I didn’t really form a personal bond to them. The first car I bought on my own in my twenties was special of course, and had a lot of good memories attached to it. It was a Dodge Raider, an odd jeep-like thing that was just as awkward and dorky as I was. It had an “inclinometer” in it so you wouldn’t inadvertently tip it over! And then the first new car I bought was also dorky and awkward, it was a Honda Element. Great car, that had no balls whatsoever. 😂

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  2. Not silly at all! I formed an attachment with my Windstar and did actually have a lump in my throat when saying goodbye. For me it held memories of transporting my children here and there and everywhere! They are driving now and young adults, no need to transport them to school, friends houses, Dr appts and yes the Dr appts, etc. Our vehicles go through life’s experiences with us! Makes sense to get sentimental.

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  3. I realized after this posted that I had two specific experiences with this vehicle that I had never had with another before (and will not ever have again). This is the car that made every trip to Florida to visit parents when they were alive (and was a comfortable ride to do so in), and this is the first car that I bought not because I NEEDED to replace a vehicle, but because I was thinking about replacing my car within a year’s time and was just casually looking around when I saw it in an auto sales book and fell in love with it. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who experiences that kind of sentimentalism!

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  4. I do not think it is strange to form an attachment to inanimate objects. I cried when I had to get rid of my first car, “Lily,” she was a 2003 Chevy malibu, and I had a faux stained glass dragon in the window that I still miss. That car held so many memories, and like you, I enjoyed driving it. I will remind you that you do not need the physical Cruiser to remember what it meant to you. However, there is nothing wrong with holding onto those memories or missing how it felt behind the steering wheel. I totally get it!

    Also, I love the eyelashes over the headlights! So cute!!

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  5. You are not weird or strange. The heart loves what it loves. Sometimes that’s another person, sometimes a pet, a plant, a teddy bear, a house, a car. So what? You’re an adult. You know what you felt, who you are, who you were, and everything else. My yellow baby was an UGLY color that no one else on earth wanted, but I loved her and she treated me good for 21 years. Jan 2021-June 2022. I love my new car, but never will I ever love another like that one. Ever. It’s like being struck by lightening- it’s probably going to happen again at some point, but it won’t nearly be as unique as the first time 😂

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  6. It is hard for me to understand this attachment, but I do understand why others do. Of course, if you are only driving 650 miles in a year, you won’t have to suffer behind the wheel too often.

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  7. Those eyelashes got a lot of attention! Workers at the bank drive-thru or fast-food restaurant drive -thru always ended up smiling when I pulled up and they saw them, and I’d seen children point to them when walking past my car in a parking lot with an adult. I thought they were adorable, and putting smiles on people’s faces allowed me to validate the expense!

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  8. I dislike my current vehicle, which I had to buy because I needed wheels to replace my Cruiser. Unless lightening strikes it or, egad, I get in an accident somewhere in the less than 700 miles a year that I drive, it will be the last car I own. Thank you for understanding EXACTLY what those feelings are!


  9. By a cruisin’ car! You can have two. No rules say you can’t. I mean, the cruisin’ car might also be a hot wheels, but who cares? Try to find the good one from the 80’s that changes color in different temperature water. It’s your perfect car AND there’s no insurance, gas, parking conundrums, repair bills, oil changes, inspections or anything else. It’s just a car for you to make you happy. And you can go SUPER extravagant too as you can afford ANY make and model you want without a bank bail-out LOL

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  10. That made me chuckle! It also reminded me that the hubby of my best friend (who collects clocks) gave me a miniature Cruiser that had a clock on the roof. The clock died, but I never got rid of it. I need to pull it out and put in on a shelf where I will see it from time to time! Thank you for bringing that out from my memory!!!

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