Today is a bittersweet day – I am surprised that I am crying. It is the day that I will tell you goodbye and the day that I will take home a new vehicle. I’ve entered a new season of life – my teenage children are both in college. I’m sad to see you go but happy for a new change. I didn’t want to let you go without taking a moment to let you know what you mean to me.
Sweet minivan, or “Bessie” as my daughter called you, you were a home away from home for my children and me. You carried us all over town. To doctor’s appointments. To church. To the grocery store. You hauled us and our luggage all over the state and over the east coast. Brian drove, I made note cards or napped with my bunny, and the kids watched movies or did homework in the back seat. We snacked, sipped sweet tea, and ate a whole lot of candy.
You kept us safe and you kept us dry and cool and warm. I am thankful for the angels that surrounded you everywhere we went. I am thankful for the joy that filled your cabin.
Minivan, you helped me to raise my children. While they were safely locked within your strong arms, we talked. The conversations that shaped the lives of my children took place within your metal frame and carpeted floor. While they were safely strapped into their seats, their character was shaped and their hearts were molded. I won’t lie – you and these dear children were witness to many a “sermon” by Mom during a trip across town.
On the way to dance lessons, we talked about the issues of their hearts. On the way to band and drama practice and Christmas play rehearsal, they shared their fears and they cried some tears. We told jokes and made silly puns on the way to playdates. While we drove together to birthday parties and funerals and family reunions, we shared life together. The good and the bad.
You heard us argue. You heard us apologize. You heard us laugh. You heard LOTS of singing. And you saw us cry.
Mostly, minivan, you saw love. It was not always a perfect love, but you saw love. Love expressed when a child spilled a drink and grace said, “It’s okay.” Love expressed when a child had to potty NOW and you took us swiftly to the next McDonalds. Love expressed when a mom sacrificed what she wanted to do in order to do what the children wanted.
In you, dear friend, colleges were selected. Careers were discussed. Job offers were contemplated. There was talk of boyfriends and girlfriends and young love. You were the silent witness to the decisions that have shaped my children’s future. Thank you, dear sweet minivan, for your role in our family.
We pray that you will soon find a new family to spill drinks on your carpet, crumbs on your seats, and put fingerprints on your windows. In the meantime, we will begin making new memories in our new car. I can already hear the faint whisper of future conversations about college graduation, marriage, and perhaps even grandchildren. I know that you will be happy for us. Thanks again for serving us so well.
With much love,
Brian, Lisa, Gregory, and Hannah