My Other Car is a Porsche

10_24_09.jpgYou know those bumper stickers that say things like, “My Other Car is a Porsche?” The implication is that the driver isn’t quite satisfied with their real car and that they have a much nicer one parked at home. I can appreciate this sentiment.

My “other car” is my other life—the one I was supposed to be living right now complete with a doting husband. This car is a real beauty and comes with premium features like Chris’s presence at every holiday, birthday, graduation and wedding. My favorite quality about this car though, is all the miles it has logged simply doing everyday things. Things like raising two small children together as a team, enjoying date nights, taking strolls around the neighborhood, helping with homework, spoiling daddy’s little girl and teaching a boy how to throw the perfect pitch.

This “other car” of mine is parked safely in my mental garage but I take it out for a spin at least once a day. I take it for a drive when I start to panic over the fact that every childrearing responsibility, whether it be a diaper change or a discipline strategy, is ultimately mine and mine alone. Regardless of how much help I have (and I do have a lot), the buck stops with me and that is frankly overwhelming. So, I go driving. And when I do, I replay events that have happened and cast Chris in the role of loving husband and father. Sometimes, this makes me feel better. Other times, I have to park the car back in the garage lest I be tempted to crawl into bed and cry the day away. 

The truth is that my “real car” isn’t nearly as satisfying to drive around as my “other car”. But the surprise I have discovered on my widow journey is that my “real car” does bring me joy. I am able to laugh at some jokes, find the silly things my kids do funny, and enjoy my relationships with family and friends. I will always cherish my “other car” and take it out when needed. But I will also get regular oil changes and tune-ups for my “real car” so that it continues to be one that Chris would have been proud to drive.

**Taryn is traveling Ireland this week (lucky girl) and will be back with us next week. Filling in for her this week is guest author Wendy Diez. Thank you Wendy!**

Wendy Diez lost her husband, Chris, on January 13, 2009, to Glioblastoma Multiforme, a very aggressive type of brain tumor. He was diagnosed when Wendy was 9 months pregnant with their second child. Chris lived only 22 days after diagnosis and died when their daughter, Claire, was 10 days old and their son, Ian, was 17 months old. Wendy and her children live in Chicago where she owns a very nice Toyota Sienna mini-van.

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