Courage at Twilight: Such a Faithful Car

The Suburban key would not come out of the ignition.  It was soundly stuck.  And the gear shift handle flopped around incongruously, like an odd-angled broken arm.  The accident in 2018 had totaled Dad’s beloved Suburban, 20 years old, and had just about totaled him.  The force of the collision snapped his scapula clean in half—an excruciating injury with a long and painful recovery.  Once he began to heal, he joked with his grandchildren that he had broken his “spatula.”  Dad could not bear to say good-bye to “my faithful Suburban,” which had crossed the country and pulled trailers and carried the family and the kayaks and the spring-bar tents to extended family reunions.  So, he kept and fixed his car, which is as good as new.  Almost.  With the key now stuck in the ignition, the battery drained and died.  We tried the lawn mower battery charger, to avoid a tow to the dealer.  Eight hours later the large car battery still had zero charge.  Our neighbor, Terry, hooked up his 15-amp charger, which zapped the Suburban battery to 100% in 30 minutes.  Dad’s first Lyft took him home from the dealer while the car was being fixed.  The repairs accomplished, his faithful Suburban once again sits in the garage, ready for grocery shopping, hauling bags of bark chips, and taking a Sunday drive to see the reddening leaves of Fall.

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