An Ode to Herman Cromwell.Thursday, December 06, 2012
I blame my dad, really. For this strange fascination I have with naming things. Cars, mostly. Although there have been the odd plant and many a fish that have also acquired names too. Growing up, whenever we would get a new-to-us car, my dad would always parade around, trying to decide on what we would call it. And there was a system. Whatever kind of car it was played a role in what its name would be. For example, take the little Datsun truck my Dad had before I was born. It was named Doby Datsun. Or the Mazda we owned a few years ago? That was aptly named Moby the Mazda.
Which is why when I bought my first silver Honda Civic in college, I quickly named it Herbert Cromwell. Don't ask me where that name came from, because I don't really know. All I remember is that it fit the car naming "rules" we seemed to have, and it stuck. I loved that car. Everything about it.
So when I wrecked it 4 years ago, I ended up buying another used Honda Civic. Almost the exact same car. In fact, the second one I bought was also silver - not intentionally - it's just how it happened. And just as the first had been named, I quickly named the second, for it surely could not have the same name, even though it looked almost identical! That car became Herman Churchill - although Max always jokingly called it Heathcliff.
A few weeks ago, we made the decision to go back to being a 1-car family. We knew it was time to sell the van we acquired about a year ago, and that it was time to purchase a newer vehicle. This meant that we would also have to sell the Civic, in order to financially make the whole transaction possible. We knew that buying a newer vehicle meant that we couldn't afford having two vehicles, so as sad as it was to see the Civic go, we knew it was the right and wisest choice.
We sold Herman last week. Which was a big answer to prayer. And also, if I am honest, a little bit sad for me. I have had a silver Honda Civic for over 5 years - and although I understand that a car is just a possession and has no lasting eternal value in my life, that little car has seen me through many seasons. It is weaved into my history of the past few years.
That was the car that drove me back and forth to Fargo for a last semester at NDSU. That was the car that took me on a new adventure at the U of M. That was the car that I drove to my first day of work at the coffee shop where I met Max. That was the car that held a sweet surprise - Matti the Leader Dog - who blessed our life so much in her last, elderly year. That was the car that witnessed two young punk college kids falling in love. That was the car that I drove, with shaking hands and a trembling heart, to Target, where I purchased the pregnancy test that told me Eliana was on her way. That was the car that I sat in many a day during that pregnancy, pouring my heart out to God. That was the car that I drove home after Max left for boot camp, sobbing my eyes out, wondering how I would ever go more than a few days without him. That was the car that safely brought each of my sweet babies home from the hospital. That was the car that got painted on when we were married, and took a glowing Groom and his Bride home. That was the car that brought a young and inexperienced military wife and her two babies across the country, to a new home in NC. That was the car that heard many a prayer and cry from a wife of a deployed Marine. That was the car that embraced strewn toys and cheerios and snot from precious, growing babes. That was the car that picked up our beloved husband and Daddy from his year-long deployment. That was the car that led us on many family adventures, from trips across the state to visits at the local Aquarium or park. That was the car that drove us quickly to the hospital when Ezra hurt his hand. That was the car that took a young family to church or Dunkin Donuts or work or the grocery store. That was the car that we drove when we found out we were becoming a family of 5. That was the car that has seen us through our first few years as a little family, trying to figure out this thing called marriage and parenthood and life.
That was a good little car. And although I won't miss it physically or financially, I will miss it. For the way that it has marked my life. And the way that it saw me through multiple seasons, good and bad, hard and easy, scary and joyful.
Good-bye my dear little Herman Cromwell. I will not forget you and your shiny silver self.