Thursday, February 02, 2012

Glitter on the Highway

I've been thinking about my mom a lot these last couple of weeks. I suppose I think about her every day - but this is different. There have been lots of memory triggers around lately. For example, I will be at the store, and all of a sudden I see something and think, "Gosh, mom loved that!" Or I'll come across something at the house and remember that I bought it while out shopping with my mom. I've even seen duplicates of items she used to have as I scour the thrift stores.

As the veil between worlds is not currently thin, I don't "feel" her. The memories are definitely just memories - not the overwhelming sensory perceptions they are when the veil is thin. Still, I find it odd that she's popping up so much lately.

Normally on my way into work, I listen to talk radio. This morning, though, I channel hopped until I found a song I liked. And right after that song came another. Then, as I neared work, "Love Shack" came on.

I love that song - and started singing out loud. When I sang "I got me a car, it's as big as a whale and it's about to set sail," I remembered my mom.

Now, I don't think my mom knew who the B-52's were, nor do I believe she ever heard the song itself. However, she drove a huge 1968 Mercury Parklane and whenever I heard the song, I always thought of that car.

One day we were going to go somewhere, and my mom said, "Let's take the Merc" (we normally rode in my dad's truck). All of a sudden, I sang - outloud - "I got me a car, it's as big as a whale, and it's about to set sail! I got me a car, it seats about twenty, so come on and take your jukebox money!" My mom started to laugh.

After that, it became kind of a thing. On the rare occasions we would take the Merc somewhere, I'd start singing that part of the song, and my mom would always laugh.

She loved that car, and wouldn't let my dad get rid of it, even though she stopped driving a few years before she died. While I never knew exactly why she got such a kick out of those few lines from "Love Shack," I think she felt some sort of pride about her car when she heard me chop up the lyrics. It deepened the pride she had in her car - that much I could see in her eyes.

My dad still has the car. I know he contemplates selling it, but he has trouble letting go. He told me that mom would be so disappointed in him if he sold it.

For me, the car holds a lot of memories. We took many a vacation in that car, and I learned to drive in it as well. It was the car Bobby took his last ride in before he was put down at the vet's. It was also the car I hopped into when my mom saw me crying at a bus stop after I found out I couldn't become a Marine.

That car picked me up from the airport every time I came home on leave. And it drove me back to the airport so I could go on to my next adventure. We slept in the car when we went to cat shows "down South." We argued in the car. We laughed in the car.

More importantly, I believe it was my mom's first car. She didn't learn how to drive until I was young - in fact, I remember when she took her driving lessons. I think she may have learned how to drive in that car - but that part, I don't remember. I do remember that for most of my years at home, that was that car that took me places.

Now it sits in the garage. I think it probably misses my mom as much as I do.

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