Twenty five years later my second Beetle came into my life. It was a long dry spell.
For reasons I cannot remember, my husband had taken me to work and picked me up one day in 2002. I believe that we were down to one functioning vehicle at the time. On our usual route home we pass a VW dealership and I ALWAYS cast a longing look in its direction as I dreamed of owning another Beetle. This time it would be the New Beetle. On this day the car gods were with me, for as I turned my head to look, there sat the car of my dreams.
Knowing how hard it is to find this car, I convinced him to exit the freeway, turn around and go to the dealership. We did not leave that night until around 9:00 when I drove this car home.
Love And Loss
We leased the car for three years. At the end of the lease term I simply could not give it up, so we refinanced the balance and this baby was mine. Somewhere in the fourth year, I neglected a very important tune up and the result was nothing short of tragic. A belt broke, pistons jammed and the engine was destroyed. It would have cost us $3,000 to repair it and no manner of pleading got my husband to agree. I believe I would still own this car had we done this, but that is for another day. He still considers VWs “a piece of junk” because of this episode. I gave up trying to change his mind.
So, here we are fifteen years later. VWs are still “a piece of junk” in his opinion, and I am still in love with this iconic little car. I have been driving a 2004 Toyota Camry for more years than I care to count and a year ago the air conditioning went out on it. I was housebound before COVID-19 because who wants to drive a non air conditioned car in Houston Texas? Exactly!
Again I was faced with a husband who did not want to put money into a car. This time I agreed. We procrastinated. I knew what I wanted, but I also knew I didn’t want to have the “piece of junk” conversation again. I strategically wore him down. I was patient. I made do, running my errands in the early morning. I used his car when it was necessary. Then he got a new job and was going to have to travel. Bingo! My moment had arrived. I had laid the groundwork and now I could reap the harvest.
Having subscribed to every used car app available searching for a newer model Beetle, I waited. They became hard to find after Volkswagen stopped making them again. I knew that I would eventually find one, and I did. Thanks to my brother’s clever brain, my car has a name. I am now the proud driver of June Bug. She is a small brown Beetle that enables me to flit and fly all over town in cuteness and air conditioned comfort.
It took less than a month for my illusion of vehicular bliss to crack. What began as just a small starburst in the corner, quickly spread. It seemed as though each time I glanced over at it, the line grew a bit longer. By the time I arrived home, it had spread to over half of the windshield. Thanks to Houston traffic I had a long time to ponder this new crack in my life.
Isn’t it always the way life works? We are just living our life and ping, here comes a bit of bad news, or even just a little something that throws us off our game. Our vision and line of sight is not quite the same. It becomes skewed by this change. Looking off in the distance is suddenly a little blurry. In the case of the windshield, I just had to move my focus just a bit. Move my eyes up or down to avoid the crack and I could see clearly again.
For many life right now is not merely a cracked windshield but life as it had been is shattered. Everything is jumbled confused and scary. There is no way to look through to a clear future. My heart breaks for each and every person for whom this is true. I have no platitudes, no pat answers that will make everything suddenly crystal clear. That is not how it works. But, if you can lean on God and concentrate on one tiny piece of glass in the shattered mess of life, that faith is all God needs to bring everything else back into focus. Like the mustard seed, all it takes is just one small thing to hold on to; just one piece at a time.
I’m getting a new windshield tomorrow. I pray that your tiny shard of glass becomes a shinning clear vision of what lies next for you.