Tag Archives: car

A Car for my Ex-Husband

So, my birthday is coming up and Facebook has started doing its thing – asking if I want to ask for donations to a non-profit in honor of my birthday.  And I think that’s a wonderful thing. I really do. But I decided I want to do something just a little different.

I know someone who could really use something that would brighten (and help) their life, and I want to see if you would consider helping me make it happen.

I want to get my ex-husband a car.

Now, I know that’s a strange statement. And it might even seem a little superficial. But let me explain.

My ex-husband, the father of my children, has a condition called Becker muscular dystrophy. One day (probably very soon) Kevin will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He is defying the odds at the moment and is still able to walk very short distances, but because of the weakened muscles in his legs and now his upper body, he falls regularly.  And when he falls, he is unable to get up on his own.  This has, understandably, limited his ability to go places on his own.  He can still drive – that’s not a problem yet.  But his biggest problem is getting in and out of the vehicle without assistance.  And since he doesn’t always have that assistance – and, thankfully, it’s not medically necessary just yet – he ends up just staying home a lot to avoid the trouble.

And that makes me sad.

We’ve talked about what could help him and the only thing he’s ever mentioned is wishing that he could own a vehicle that’s the “right height.”

Think about that.  How often do you consider the “height” of your car? If you’re like me, the answer is never. But Kevin has to think about that constantly.  He has to live his life according to whether he can get himself in and out of a vehicle.  And the car he has right now just isn’t cutting it.  It’s a regular size car, low to the ground, and he is getting increasingly unable to go places in it.

Now, if I were independently wealthy, I would love to just buy him a car that would meet his needs. But I’m not.  And, living on minimal disability to get by, neither is he. So I’m asking for your help.  For these last months (optimistically speaking, possibly a year or more?), I would like to see the father of my children able to still go out and do things without worrying about something as simple as whether or not he can get in and out of the car.  He is not to the point where he needs a handicap accessible vehicle – though that time will come.  For now, he just needs one at the right height. One that he can easily slide in and out of that is not too low to the ground.

We’re not asking for a brand-new vehicle. Just something that works. Something that will make just one aspect of his life a bit easier.

Will you help?  Any small amount will do.  If I can do anything to ease just one small burden of the man who loves my kids as much as I do, it would be my honor.  Please join me in helping Kevin maneuver through his last days of mobility.

Thank you for considering my request.

Click HERE to donate.



“Any fool can have bad luck; the art consists in knowing how to exploit it.”
– Frank Wedekind


Ok, so you know those people, right?  The ones who seem to have everything going for them.  Who seem to skate through life with no noteworthy negativity [How do you like that alliteration??].  Everything just seems to go their way without them even having to lift a finger.  *sigh*  Must be nice.  As some of my graceful, elegant family members used to describe it, “They walk around like they have a horseshoe stuck up their butt.”

(Ok, maybe “butt” wasn’t exactly their choice of words…but I digress…)

Well, me?  Yeah, I am NOT one of those people.  Especially when it comes to vehicles.  While those people get to have horseshoes stuck up there, I apparently have an albatross that climbs up mine every time I get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Now, maybe blaming it on luck isn’t exactly fair.  I’m sure some of it may have to do with my own carelessness.  Maybe.  But seriously, a lot of it just really isn’t my fault.  Really.

Let’s look at the past five months, shall we?

Some of my regular followers may remember that I had an accident back in April.  I totaled my car.  (Missed that blog?  Want the gruesome details?  Click here.)

[Ugh…ok, I’m lying.  There aren’t any ‘gruesome’ details.  That was just a shameless plug of an old blog to get you to read it.  I’m a jerk…]


So, I totaled my car.  And that sucked.  Yes, I guess you could say that was my ‘fault’ (at least my new insurance premium screams that loud and clear), but in my defense, a freak, unexpected winter storm hit us out of the blue while I was on the road.  A new layer of snow on a curvy road doesn’t make for the most favorable road conditions.  So, fault or no fault, I guess you could say a little bad luck was at play.  That is, if you believe in that kind of thing.  I call my boyfriend Richard and he comes and picks my car-less self up and takes me home to take care of me.  (Awww.)

So, fast forward a few days.  I finally feel able to drive again.  (Now, nothing was all that wrong physically, mind you, other than my slight concussion – it was more of a mental barrier to wanting to drive again after flipping down a rocky bank…)  That sweet, wonderful boyfriend of mine and his generous mom offer me a spare family vehicle to drive until I get the insurance stuff straightened out and get another car of my own, and I gratefully accept their offer.

So, here we go.  Vehicle #2.

The *first* day I get behind the wheel of this borrowed car to drive to work, I’m about ten miles from home and out of nowhere comes a turkey.  Yes, a turkey.



[**Note.  This is not the actual turkey.  But this is an accurate portrayal of the look that was on the little jerk’s face as he barreled towards me.]

He side swipes me and…rips off the driver’s side mirror.

Are you freakin kidding me??

Yep.  A turkey just tore up my borrowed vehicle.  So, of course I make what I feel like is the hardest call I’ve ever had to make to Richard and, through my tears, ‘fess up.  And what does he do?  Laughs.  A lot.  It’s not funny!!  I borrow a vehicle and break it in the first ten minutes!  How is that funny??  Still.  He laughs.

Oh, he thinks that’s funny, huh?  Let’s fast forward another two weeks.  Really.  Two tiny little weeks later, I’m driving along in the same borrowed car, now complete with a brand new driver’s side mirror, and what happens?  I turn the wheel to the left going around a curve and…ready for this?…it FALLS OFF.  I’m not exaggerating!!  Ok, I’m exaggerating a little bit.  It didn’t completely come off.  But it fell over.  Apparently this is known as a tie rod end breaking.  Call it what you want, but I call it “Oh crap!”  (And again, maybe crap wasn’t the actual word being used, but no point in digressing yet again…)

So, here comes call #3 to Richard.  (If you’re keeping track, call #1 was totaling my own car.  Call #2 was the turkey.  And now call #3 is telling him his wheel fell off.  And this is all within a matter of 2-3 weeks.  *sigh*)  He didn’t laugh as much this time.  But he did have to come get me.  Again.

Well, after some pretty hefty repair work and Richard driving me to work every day in the interim, I manage to drive his car for a few more weeks without anything else falling off.  And eventually I am even finally able to get the insurance mess worked out and get a car of my very own.  Yay!  After the first few days of a random ‘check engine’ light malfunction (don’t EVEN tell me there’s no such thing as bad luck…), the dealership got everything taken care of and all was well.  Smooth sailing with Vehicle #3…

Until today.

Trash pickup day.

Now, most of you know I am a runner.  I just ran 8+ miles yesterday while working my way up to my second half marathon in November.  You read that, right?  I ran EIGHT miles yesterday.  But you know what I apparently can’t do?  Walk my trash down to the end of my driveway.  Ugh.  It’s sooooo far.  (Read that with your internal whiny voice, because that’s exactly how I just said it.)  Nope.  That 100-foot walk to the end of my driveway is apparently too much for this chick.  Instead, I feel the need to drive it down and drop it off as I leave for work.  And, well, it’s a bag.  Of trash.  I don’t want to put that nasty thing in my cute little car.  Gross.  So, what do I do?

I leave my driver’s side door propped open and back down the driveway holding the bag of trash out of the car.  You with me?  You got the mental image?  You see me backing down a slight declined driveway holding a bag of trash out of my door?  Ok, now picture a huge mound of dirt that I forgot was there.  And then picture my drivers side door catching on that mound of dirt.  Picture me not noticing and continuing to back down the driveway…and picture my door bending BACKWARDS and practically breaking completely off.

Seriously??  SERIOUSLY?

Call #4.  “Richard?  Um.  I just broke my door off of my car…”


Goodbye, Goldie Sue.  (It’s a gold Subaru.  Isn’t that name clever?  Yeah, like that matters to this story…)

IMG_20130924_184206 (2)

So, here we are again.  Richard had to come and get me and take me to the same borrowed vehicle from before and once again save the day by giving me something to drive to work until I get mine repaired.

Story should end there, huh?

Oh no.  Not for Melissa.

On the way home today, the passenger side mirror on the borrowed vehicle that had been just a tad loose all along, decided to go ahead and snap all the way off.  Of course it happens while I’m driving it.

Call #5.  “Um, Richard?  You know that mirror that was loose?  It just broke off.  But it’s NOT MY FAULT….”


I’m betting not many of you are going to want to ride with me after reading this blog, huh?  Well, join the club.

Hey, at least I have one living creature that will still come along for the ride…

IMG_20130924_162736 (2)

Bless her heart.

Well, there you have it.  Confessions of a Bad Driver, Volume One.  I’m sure there will be plenty more to come….

Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you do?  You know?  Yes, I have some seriously bad luck when it comes to vehicles.  That albatross has apparently found a nice comfy home.

But you know what?  That bad luck only applies to vehicles.  Because look at the rest of my life.  Look at this story alone.  I have a wonderful, patient man who is always there to help me pick up the crazy pieces of my chaotic life and calmly put them all back together.  I walked away from a totaled car with barely a scratch, I have a cute little dog (ok, it’s the neighbor’s but she doesn’t realize that) who loves to go along on car rides with me, and I have wonderful readers who read this blog and come along on this crazy ride and laugh right along with the silly happenings of my never-a-dull-moment life.


Maybe I’m actually a pretty lucky lady after all.

Well.  That is, if you believe in that kind of thing…


“Not many people have had as much bad luck as I have, but not many people have had as much good luck, either.”
– Tig Notaro

Just Like That…Again

A few weeks ago, I was the first to arrive at an accident.  Click here to read the blog I wrote about it.

And then today, on my way home from work in the ice and snow, this happened to me:


These pictures were taken at the place where the car was towed, not at the scene.  Had they been taken at the scene, the car wouldn’t be sitting right side up.  And it wouldn’t be on level ground.  It would be down over a bank.

But let me back up a little.

If you haven’t read my old blog entry, what I’m about to say probably won’t have as much of an effect.  As for me, the one who was there – the effect is surreal.  I still can’t quite wrap my mind around it.

So, I was on my way home from work today.  I left early so that I could take my son to a doctor’s appointment (which ended up being canceled due to the weather – go figure).  The weather was getting pretty rough, but I’ve driven in this stuff a million times.  When you live an hour one-way from where you work, traveling is not a big deal.  I’ve driven through it all.  I’m not saying I’m careless…I know when to slow down and when to take it easy.  But I’ve never been one to shy away from driving somewhere because of road conditions.  So, off I went.

The roads were horrible.  I hadn’t seen them like this in a while.  It happened so suddenly and unexpectedly.  I hadn’t heard anything forecasted like this and wasn’t really ready for how quickly the road conditions changed.   And – just like that – I lost control.

Everything is really a blur to tell you the truth.  The EMT workers explained to me (like I heard them to do the woman in my previous blog a few weeks ago) that it’s not uncommon for you to lose your memory temporarily after something like this.  All I remember is losing control of the car.  I vaguely remember being upside down more than once (I’m told now that the car probably flipped twice on the way down the bank), and I remember opening my eyes after it was all over.  I remember looking around the car and realizing that everything was everywhere.  Stuff I didn’t even know I had in the car was now laying on the seat beside me, in the floorboard, in my lap, etc.  I began to frantically search for my phone.  I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do when I found it.  I just wasn’t thinking straight.  I tried to open my car door and, of course, it wouldn’t open.  The car was tilted on its side and I was stuck.  When I finally was able to find my phone in the middle of the clutter, my first call was not to 911 like any sane person would have done, but it was to Richard.  (I pause here to reflect on how different that call would have been a month ago.  Just one short month ago when Richard and I weren’t even talking and were trying to live our lives pretending the other didn’t exist.  Would he have still been the one I called?  Strangely, I’m certain he would have been.  But I digress…)  So, I called Richard and tried to frantically tell him what happened.  Before I could even get out one garbled sentence, I heard a voice from outside the car.  I turned around and realized for the first time that there was no back window anymore on my car.  An elderly man was calling to me from the outside asking if I was ok.

I was actually shocked that anyone was there.  When I lost control of the car, I was on a road where there was no traffic.  And after looking around me, I realized that I had gone down over a steep bank and could not be seen from the road.  I asked him how he knew I was there and he said he and his son were passing by and saw my tire tracks in the ice and snow and saw the broken fence.  They pulled over and looked down the bank and saw my car and didn’t hesitate to climb down the bank and come to me.  They helped me out of the car through the only door that would open – the passenger side.  Once I got out of the car, I realized that I wasn’t exactly as ok as I thought I was.  The world was spinning and I got the first sensations of a headache.  The man and his son helped me climb the bank up to the road and get into a truck (their truck?  I’m not even sure).  Eventually people started arriving and the rest is pretty much a blur.  As I began to calm down, I realized my head really really hurt.  At some point a woman got into the truck and began talking to me.  I’m still not sure who she was or why she was there…except that I think I heard her say she lived down the road.  And at one point while she was talking to me, I looked down and realized something that brought a flood of memories back to me.  I was holding her hand.  Holding her hand.  Just like the woman in my last blog held mine.

At this point, I finally started to cry.  In fact, I sobbed.  Through my incoherence and tears, I tried to explain to her how very grateful I was that she, and all of the other people were there.  I finally knew how the woman in the white car felt.  I was now the woman in the white car.  And I was the one in need of the kindness of strangers.

Richard soon arrived and I don’t remember much after that.  He took over with all the details (talking to the police officer, gathering my things, etc.) and I was whisked away in an ambulance due to the nice size knots forming on my noggin.  After a painful ambulance ride, a million questions, and a CT scan, it was deemed that my mother had always been right…I really am hard-headed.  This exceptionally thick skull of mine finally served its purpose and kept everything inside safe.  I was going to be ok.

Now, ready for the good part?

As they were rolling me into the hospital, all I could think about was “Denise.”  The woman in the wreck a few weeks ago. I was pretty sure her name was Denise.  And I remembered her saying she worked at this hospital.  This hospital.  So, I asked for her.  The technician who was working on me at the time said that yes, he did know her, and was she a friend of mine?  I didn’t really know how to answer that or explain why I was asking about her.  So I didn’t.  I just said, “this happened to her.”

And a few minutes later, there she was.

It was surreal.  There I lay on the stretcher, the same way she laid just a few short weeks ago, and now it was her by my side.  She remembered me – of course she remembered me – and again, she held my hand.  We talked and talked.  She told me how she was doing (oh how many times I wondered that) and told me that she thought of me many times and wondered who I was and why I had stopped for her that day.  I told her how much I now realized what she had went through and how grateful I was that our paths had crossed again in this fateful, ironic way.  While the doctors and nurses swirled around us, we just talked.  Just like old friends.  Old friends whose paths had crossed at a time when they needed to.  And were now crossing again – for the same reason.

I’m not even sure how to put into words what I’m trying to say here with this blog.  The girl who is always so full of words is finally somewhat speechless.  There’s a lesson to be learned here and I’m grasping trying to figure out what it is.  Perhaps my head will be a little clearer tomorrow when it doesn’t hurt quite so much.  But for tonight, through the pain, this is all I know to tell you.  Everything – everything – happens for a reason.  What you sow, you will reap.  Reach out and help someone when you can, because next time it might be you that needs the help.

Next time, you might be the woman in the white car.


“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”
– John Lennon