A litany of thanksgiving for a Honda Civic:

For your ladybug-like features, providing a true totem of protection, luck, love and fair weather, even as we traversed, together, a series of snowstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes—both literal and metaphorical.

For the gift of renewed relationships: getting to meet as an adult the extended family I lost as a child, to make contact with the dear friends of a departed uncle who, gay and a victim of AIDS, somehow seemed to live on in the encounters that surrounded the business transaction that made you mine. For the multi-sensory memories you made manifest.

For the opportunity to learn to drive your manual transmission, to change your motor oil, to maximize your fuel efficiency, and to recognize the parts under your sometimes-fickle hood.

For the joy of zipping around corners, revving your engine, zooming from zero to sixty in the shortest order, leaving behemoth gas-guzzlers and bad boys in our dust.

For a place, at last, to plaster a “Jesus loves Feminists” bumper sticker, and for so many cars stopped behind us in traffic, whose drivers—assuming yours was (gasp) a lesbian—photographed your hindquarters with witless abandon.

For so many long days parked at the train station at Marcus Hook, as I made my way to my first “real” job, and for many long hours learning every corner and crevice of the Blue Route as we either sat in long trails of traffic or shot like a shock from exit 0 to exit 19.

For road trips to northern Minnesota, Louisville, the Twin Cities and southern Delaware, and for an afternoon spent at a roadside service station in Tomah, Wisconsin, which offered an opportunity to reflect on this homeland for the Crowleys and the Schmigs, and to relish the round, robust accent of my forebears. For the decency never to fail in dangerous dark alleys or in the middle of the highway, but always under street lights and near service stations or in the path of a good Samaritan.

For the great arc of the geography of your life: beginning first in Chicago, then moving on to the suburbs of Philadelphia; then after a sojourn in Delaware, a return to your original stomping grounds in the suburbs of the Windy City before, finally, a homecoming in the City of Brotherly Love.

For the final gift of your parts to fund research and education that would, perhaps, make the deaths of our grandmothers less likely—or, at least, a little more tangible as our grief goes on, “because when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.”

For the hope that in your next life, you will give joy to another tinkering young feminist woman, and the tools to grow and the confidence to dream.

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1 Comment

  1. Its great as your other posts : D, regards for posting . “What makes something special is not just what you have to gain, but what you feel there is to lose.” by Andre Agassi.


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