I found her in a little lot near the end of a day driving around with my dad, looking at car after car. Beautiful, cobalt blue, pretty little racing stripes, clean as a whistle, and oh so sexy. She is the exact car I’d been wanting for eight, long years. Finally, with my other car in a totaled mess, now was the time for me to take the plunge and buy my first car payment car. It took four days, but I was finally approved and got to take her home with me on a Monday afternoon. She was perfect.
Friday evening I drove up the mountain to Idaho Springs to celebrate my nephew’s fourth birthday. My friend and I met my brother and his friend in town for a cocktail at a seedy little bar my brother recommended. He cleverly weaseled my keys away from me and announced he would be driving my car to his house, up the canyon…I protested, but realized, he’d do it anyway and I may as well take the path of least resistance. History warned me against fighting him off. If he was going to drive my car, I was going to ride with him…no, I didn’t trust him. Never have….history is telling. My intuition that moment was right. He took off up the winding and icy road toward his house, shifting roughly and hauling ass. I was terrified and asked him to slow it down. He was passing cars and taking the sharpest curves at 70 to 80 miles per hour. He screeched at me to relax, claiming that the car was made to be driven hard like that. As he pulled into his snow packed drive, I cringed. Parked on the other side were my uncle Dennis’ Jeep and my dad’s truck. My brother pulled up hard on the parking brake to spin the car around and as he did it glided smoothly, rear end first, directly into the Jeep. He wrecked my car, of course he did. I was furious! He got out of my car, smiling that sheepish smile and laughing. He said he would take care of it and said he was sorry.
I couldn’t help being angry and sorry is not a simple band-aid.
I went into the house visibly upset and my mom, dad, Dennis, and my brother’s wife all asked what was wrong. I told them, and then Josh came in…he got very angry that I was still angry and asked me to come outside and talk to him. We walked to his entry way and he snapped, screaming at me, and then he physically picked me up and threw me out his door. I was screaming and fighting him off. I was terrified of him; for my safety. I made my way past him and back into the house where everyone else was standing in awe. My brother followed, spewing his venomous anger at me, ranting about things that happened 25 years ago….and not even getting the details correct. He belittled me, humiliated me, physically and verbally abused me, until finally, he said if I didn’t leave he’d call the cops on me. I kept my cool throughout the entire event and invited him to call the cops. Then I went upstairs to apologize to his kids, and his friend’s kids. I apologized to everyone else for the fact that my nephew’s birthday was ruined. I tried to leave. He followed me to my car, prying the door open, and continued to scream at me. At the end of his rant, he evicted me from my home, which I rented from him…typical, and expected.
Within days I discovered that my grandmother was dying of cancer, which was completely unexpected. She was always vibrant, stubborn, strong, and feisty. How could this be happening? I was taken completely off guard. My dad was shattered. The next day we realized that she was much worse off than expected. We left the next morning for a long drive from Denver to McGregor, Iowa. We hit the worst possible weather conditions but we finally made it. We each got a few precious moments with her and made our peace. That night she fell asleep and she never regained consciousness. She died a few days later. I am still in shock by the surrealness of it all.
And now, just a few short weaks later, I am packing up my life to move. Not my choice, and terrible timing. It is amazing how much stuff I have to sort out, thin out, and pack up. I am looking toward the future and I am looking forward to living somewhere new and fresh. I need a clean break and a fresh start. I need a new perspective. I need to let the drama of the past few months slip away. I need to cultivate my secret garden, my own life, my own home, and learn to be myself again. I feel somehow lost, as if I have forgotten who I am and what is important to the true me. I will discover those important things over the next few months, living on my own, with my dog and my cat, in peace and in quite. Solitude.