Dear Corrinna

chris-corrinnaDear Corrinna,

I’m sorry it happened this way; this isn’t how I pictured our parting.  Part of me thought we’d always be together, or at least that I’d get to pass you on to one of my cousins.

You, Corrinna, you saved me in precisely the ways I needed you to.

You gave me independence, freedom, and retreat.  You gave me a way to run away.  You gave me shelter from storms – literal and metaphorical.  You never judged my tears or laughed at my fears.  You took me to people I love and helped me deal with situations I despised.

We went so many places together, my sweet car.  I got you with 85k miles on your odometer and we’ve tallied it up to 127k.  Lots of that was driving back and forth between Crete and Berea, but we did so much more.  We visited a close friend student teaching in Georgia.  Papa drove you away the day he left me in Berea three days before I went to Turkey.  We took a friend to Maryland for her wedding.  You were our transportation to and from our wedding that beautiful August day.  You made sure I always made it to the hospital in emergencies.  And you carried lots of groceries, school supplies, dorm room decorations, and – let’s be honest – trash.  You were my first house on wheels, Corrinna.

We did a lot more than drive together, though.  There were days on campus when I’d just run to student parking to hang out in you, to be away from everyone else.  We fought parking tickets.  I fought with the head of campus security to even get a parking pass.  We listened to loud music while going down the highway at 10 pm and 5 am.  We avoided traffic.  You were the first to witness my reaction to my worst haircut and my best.  You let me adorn you with keepsakes hanging from the rearview (apparently that’s illegal, so I’ll never get to do that again).  I talked on the phone a lot.  Corrinna, if you could talk, you still wouldn’t share my secrets.meincorrinna

I knew I loved you before I met you.  A friend who knew how desperate I was for a car offered you to me for a steal and I jumped at it, sight unseen.  Then I kept saving up for another couple months.  Your only flaw was that you didn’t like to start in cold weather.  The first cold day always gave you a little shock, but you’d start on the second try.  You hated bitterly cold days and I’d have to start you every day if I wanted you to start when I needed you to.  But that was okay.

Last year, your age started catching up with you.  Routine maintenance gave way to bigger issues, but we paid for new brakes and some other issues.  We kept you going, old girl, until this year, when you became a teenager.  In June, you stalled at a red light on 41 when we were almost to Crete.  And then your engine continued to turn off every time I stopped. We took you to a mechanic and he said you were fine – because you were trying really hard to act fine that morning and the next few days.  Driving you home, though, you broke down in Terre Haute.  Tom came and we tried desperately to fix you – all new spark plugs and I don’t even remember what all else.  And, for some reason, none of it worked.  I cried.  The next day, we awoke with hope that we’d be able to get you home.

But we couldn’t.  We stopped 10 miles south of town and called a tow truck to bring you home.

windowdecorCorrinna, I wanted to fix you.  I wanted to make you work and make you happy again.  But I didn’t.  I’ve had a hard year and losing you in my everyday life has been tough on me.  You became equated with my freedom, my independence, and my mobility.  I’ve been battling my depression and trying to get past things that have happened.  It’s only recently that I’ve been able to make some progress toward that goal.  Unfortunately, next month we’re moving to a complex where we can’t just have a non-running vehicle parked and our registration renewal date is next week.

You are the greatest investment I’ve ever made.  October would have marked our fifth year together and I wish so badly that I’d done a better job of saving you this summer.

But there is yet hope.

I hope you can understand why you’re going where you go.  I realized pretty early on that if you were done, I wanted there to be a better reason.  I wanted to help you find a new life.  You’re being donated to Kars4Kids, a nonprofit that benefits various children’s outreach programs to better education and opportunities.  Just as you’ve made my life better, you’re going to help make others’ lives better.  You’ll also be giving me one last adventure, as Kars4Kids will send us a “vacation voucher” for some hotel nights, along with a tax deduction that’ll help us pay for your sister Fiona the Fit.

Thank you for your reliable service and faithful friendship.  I truly would’t have gotten through those four and a half years without you.  I’m so sad to see you go, but I’ll never forget you and will always love you.

With utmost sincerity and everlasting love,


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