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|Family Matters - Page 3|
On a winter morning a few months after that trip, I found myself running late for an appointment, speeding on the Hutchison River Parkway, when, suddenly, I hit a patch of black ice. Blue and I went careening toward oncoming traffic, across three lanes, hitting the concrete divider between us and northbound cars, bouncing off and hitting the divider again, ending up in the far left lane, facing in the wrong direction.
Time stopped. When the world came back into focus, it occurred to me to check to see how badly I was hurt. To my amazement, I was just fine, not even a scratch. All my parts moved, but what about Blue?
When the police arrived, the officer in charge took down information for the accident report. He looked at me and then at Blue; and fixing on me again, in disbelief, he said, "If it had been any other car, we'd be carrying you out of here on a stretcher."
I thanked him and turned on the ignition. Blue started right up. As the officer stopped traffic, Blue turned around and took me to my appointment as though nothing had happened.
But something had. Heart can take you only so far. Blue had sustained damage beyond anyone's ability to repair. The impact against the concrete divider had bent the frame in the rear; and with so much mileage and so much wear, its time had come. Still, as with a dear, terminally ill pet, which has become more a companion and a soulmate than a mere animal, I couldn't make myself put it down right away. After all, I owed Blue something. It had saved my life, in more than one way. Still, my wife, though sympathetic, wanted Blue out of our driveway. One morning, I just got up, and without thinking brought Blue to the mechanic who'd found it for me in the first place. I left it with him, and walked away quietly, without looking back.
Since then, I've leased a new car or two, a Honda Accord, a Subaru—good reliable, economical cars, the kind my father liked. But they haven't come close to replacing Blue. I find myself looking at the automotive world with new eyes these days, seeing spirit in places I'd never have imagined looking before. I even find myself dreaming about coming across a blue 1986 Volvo in horrible condition but with a solid core. And if I do, I know I'll buy it in heartbeat.
William Cipriano, Ed.D., L.C.S.W., is coordinator of The Child/Adolescent Outpatient Mental Health Service at St. Vincent's Hospital, Westchester, teaches prospective school counselors in Lehman College's Graduate Education Department, and has a private practice. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us what you think about this article by e-mail at email@example.com, or at www.psychotherapynetworker.org. Log in and you'll find the comment section on every page of the online Magazine section.