I sat, curled into a ball, in one of the easy chairs DH and I had bought while we were living in Nebraska. It was a mini-sanctuary for me. I associated it with happier times. It had moved with us from Nebraska to Georgia to Alabama and then to Tennessee. It had been My Place. Now, I was trying to escape from all the problems that were facing me. It wasn’t working. No matter what, my little car was uppermost in my mind. I was stuck. My mother had been without transportation for years and I had an inkling of what she was going through. I had been free to come and go and now I couldn’t go anywhere. Not on my own.
The doc was right. I was sore. He’d written me a prescription for pain medication and I’d gotten it filled before my boss took me home. I didn’t like the way it made me feel so I took as little as possible. At one time, I would have taken the pills and not thought twice. That was then and this was now. A tub full of hot water was much more satisfying, if anything could be with my mind in a turmoil. I prayed and prayed and prayed some more.
The insurance adjuster called me and advised that he would be totaling my car. I’d get a check for the Blue Book value which wasn’t much. Even though I had access to online bulletin boards, there was nothing like the Internet we have today. I couldn’t Google anything. If someone had said Google to me, I wouldn’t have known what they were talking about. Neither would anyone else because it hadn’t come into being yet.
I protested. I got mad and when I get mad, I’m not at a loss for words. I might say too much but I never say too little. In my own defense, I don’t get mad very often. When I do, watch out. I told the man that was unacceptable. He said the car wasn’t worth much. Well, I knew that but it was MY car and I wanted it repaired. It was still mechanically sound—after all, I had started it and moved it off the road. Nothing was leaking. The damage was largely cosmetic. The poor man tried to reason with me but I was beyond reason. I told him I loved that little car. I had gone through a lot to get it and I wasn’t going to give it up. It would boggle my mind to try to find another car and pay for it with the pittance the insurance company would give me.
He must’ve known he wasn’t going to talk me down out of my tree. Finally, he agreed to get it fixed but I’d have to submit an estimate first. Okay. That was fine with me. I could do that. I had connections.
I called the man at the service station at the end of my road. Yes, he knew someone right up here on the mountain who had a body shop. He’d get in touch with him and have him come look at it and write something up. As good as his word, that’s exactly what he did. The estimate was submitted and the adjuster gave the go-ahead. The car was still on the car hauler so it was easy to get it to the body shop. All I had to do was ask and it was done. Dear Lord, You are coming through for me again! Things were falling into place.
Three work days and a weekend went by. In the meantime, one of the girls from my office called and offered to ferry me to and from work until my car was ready. I told her the insurance would pay for her to do that but she would have none of it. She was offering out of the goodness of her heart and she didn’t expect any pay. She and her husband lived several miles down the road and they’d have to go out of their way to get me. That was okay. They didn’t mind.
Early on Monday morning, they picked me up and delivered me to the hospital. We put in our eight hours and then they took me home. If I needed bread or milk, we’d go by the store. Whatever they could do to make life easier for me, they did. That went on for the months and years it took to get my car fixed. Not really, but it seemed like forever.
Then there was the red-letter day I got the call. My car was ready! The frame had been just slightly bent but, other than that, it was good as the day I’d bought it. I got the check from the insurance and the man from the body shop came by and picked it up. I’d get the car the next day.
It was the dead of winter and the following morning I woke to snow blanketing the ground. There was at least 8″ and it was heavy and wet. The filling station man came in his four-wheel drive SUV and took me to the body shop. Ah! what a sight met my eyes! My car was whole again. It was like nothing had ever happened. I was thrilled. I wasn’t saying anything audible but I was saying, “Thank You, Lord! Thank You, Lord!” over and over in my heart.
For the first time in weeks, I had wheels! Now to get home. It wasn’t going to be easy. The parking lot at the body shop was slick with melted and re-frozen snow and the snowplow had piled the snow across the entrance. What was I to do? How could I get out on the highway?