In July 2015 we purchased our (2011) blue van in order to better transport Tori and her growing equipment needs. It was a gift to us from those who had sent us generous donations to help us care for her post-diagnosis. We are still so grateful to this day for the gift of this van and for the ability to pay for it in cash. It’s something we will never take for granted.
Recently, as the van’s mileage has increased and small issues have had to be addressed, we realized it may be time to trade it in to ensure that we have a reliable vehicle (we’re a single-vehicle family). After a brief search (and a super low inventory in our area from which to choose), we found the perfect replacement – many years newer, far fewer miles, at a price we could afford. But I noticed that I was struggling with the thought of no longer having the blue van. Tori’s van.
I’m very logical in how I approach life so it bothered me that I felt so torn and emotional over this very wise decision we had made as a family. I never noticed my attachment to it until we decided to trade it in, but now I understand: it’s grief.
Grief shows up in the weirdest times and places. This was Tori’s van. It’s the last big thing of hers we still have (we sold the home she lived in, and now the van in which she traveled). This van took us to nearly all of her bucket list adventures. It was in this van that we almost drove all the way to California ten days before she went to Heaven.
Replacing the van feels like one more way that we’re moving on without her.
So I let myself cry, recognizing that it isn’t the van I will miss, but rather my daughter.
Vehicles come and go, but the memories remain. For that, I choose to be grateful, and in that I choose to find joy.
Here’s to new adventures.