Farewell to the Silver Bullet

Sometimes life brings the unexpected – events that are completely out of your control, and you could have never seen coming. Such an event happened to me last Friday. I had just set out from my house to run some errands when another driver turned left out of a townhouse complex driveway and straight into me. Luckily I wasn’t going that fast, and I did have a second to see her coming so I had time to brake and slow down further. As a result I wasn’t hurt, and neither was the other driver – at least not physically. My car wasn’t so lucky.

car accident
My silver Honda after the accident

This was the most serious car accident I have ever been in, by far. I called 911 and the fire department, police and paramedics came. They took pictures and I gave a statement and my kids’ principal came down to see what all the commotion was about because we were right down from the school. The other driver and I made friends and hugged and cried. I know that she didn’t mean to hit me, and there was nothing to be done about it at that point. Eventually they came and loaded my car up on the tow truck and the police officer gave both of us drivers a copy of his report and I walked home.

car on flat bed tow truck
My car on the tow truck

I called the insurance company and reported the accident and then waited to hear what would happen. On Sunday I got a call from an insurance estimator letting me know that my car had been declared a “total loss”. I could come and get the rest of my stuff out of it from the estimate centre. In that moment, I found myself feeling indescribably sad.

broken honda civic
Saying good-bye as I collect my stuff

My car was not a new car. I bought it brand-new, but that was way back in 2000. It was my first act as a fully-employed university graduate. I paid the car, which I nicknamed the Silver Bullet, off in full within two years. It was nothing fancy, but it drove like a dream and was always reliable. And in a decade and a half we’ve been through a lot together, that car and me.

The Silver Bullet took me from my life as a single university graduate to a married woman to a mother of one, and then two. That car has seen me through multiple jobs, lengthy work commutes and a return to school. I was in that car (parked, in a driveway) when I called Jon to let him know that I was in labour with Jacob. I brought my wedding dress home in that car. I took it on road trips and to the grocery store more times than I can begin to count. It was like another living space for me, where I could set everything up exactly as I liked.

My car had been hit and scraped before, but it was always fixable. It always came back to me. And I was planning on driving it for another 15 years. By all accounts, with only 113,000 km (70,200 miles) on the odometer it had a lot of life left in it. This time, though, the damage was too bad. I had to say good-bye.

Dealing with the insurance company and finding another car isn’t easy. Being in an accident is no fun at all. I’m not relishing the experience. But mostly, I’m feeling sad. I realize my car was just a car, but it really had come to mean a lot to me. I don’t want to let it go, but the decision has been made for me. All I can do now is make the best of it, so I’m trying to do that. Trying to look on the upside. I get a new car – that’s something. I’m sure I will come to like that new car, too. But it will never be the same. It will never be my Silver Bullet.

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Comments

  1. Sort of like saying goodbye to a home, yes? I’m glad no one was hurt. Of course.
    Rachael’s last post … GiftsMy Profile

  2. I am sorry for the car but very happy you are okay. 113 thousand clicks…since 2000….that’s it!!! I bought my car new in 2009 and am about to crack the 200 thousand mark.

    Now comes the exciting bit about getting new transportation!

  3. Our car was stolen years ago in US, it was a very old car. When it was found after a month, ICBC didn’t want to bring it back to BC, because it was not worth it. I had to talk to their supervisor to get it back and I am glad I did, it still worked many years after that. That car is almost completely broken now, but it is so hard to say goodbye to the car from the school years with all the memories. Hope you will have a new memorable car.

  4. Aww, so long silver bullet. I know this post is almost two months old, but yours was just about exactly like my own silver bullet (2001..still going strong-ish) so I feel kind of nostalgic in advance. heck I don’t need an excuse to feel nostalgic!
    clara’s last post … SaturdayMy Profile

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  1. […] at the moment. I had a bit of a rough go at the beginning of the year, between being laid off and having my car totaled and jumping through the hoops of applying to university. Before that, my life was out-of-control […]

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