Last week, we were driving home from our anniversary dinner. I was driving because J doesn’t like to drive when he’s had some alcohol. Part of the drive home involved a long left-turning lane, at an intersection, with a stop sign at the end. J reminded me of the stop sign so I pressed on the brake. And then we were jolted forward.
The car behind us had hit us. Perhaps he wasn’t expecting me to stop, maybe I did stop too suddenly. He was following too close behind and maybe he was looking for oncoming traffic like I was, instead of looking at the car in front of him.
I’ve never been in a car accident so I had no idea what to do. I'm so glad J was with me. The man in the car behind me got out and apologised, and asked me to pull over on the road we were intending to turn onto. We exchanged details about insurance and license and then went our separate ways.
After taking the car to the insurance-approved smash repairer it turns out that our car wasn’t worth the money it would cost to fix it. Or to put it another way, the cost to fix it was more than the car was insured for. So that means it has been written off, not deemed worth driving anymore.
Our car was a Peugeot. J bought it as his first car when he started full-time work. Since it was French he wanted to name it with a French name and "Claude" was chosen. We prayed over the car, that it would be used for ministry and its seats shared with friends. It got us between state capital cities a number of times. I learnt how to drive a manual in that car. We’ve used it to help a stranded stranger and to car-pool colleagues.
We handed Claude in on Wednesday. It was only fitting that we also had a bit of a wake. J wanted to buy a croissant or baguette in memoriam, but we couldn’t find any in the bakery we walked into. So we settled for a crème brûlée and a macaroon. We ate them at home in Claude’s now empty car space.
But despite the sadness over losing our car, there are a number of things we are thankful for. Firstly, we’re glad that this happened during the holidays while the college car-pool isn’t operating. We’re thankful that it was only a small crash (we were stationary and it was only a small bump) and we weren’t injured. We’re also thankful for the friends who have let us borrow their car while they are away on holidays. Another friend has offered us his dad’s old car to use until the registration runs out. We'll be looking to buy a new car but we’re thankful that we don’t have to rush about it.
Farewell Claude. We have many happy memories with you.