Angels and Automobiles
I'm writing this post on the eve of the Feast of the Archangels (also called Michaelmas after the archangel Michael). This is a celebration of angels in the Christian tradition. It precedes the Feast of the Guardian Angels that occurs three days afterwards.
The purpose of this blog is to publicly thank the guardian angels who occupied and watched over everyone who drove or rode in the old car we recently donated to charity. A 1999 black Infiniti QX4, it was 10 years old when we bought it and had already been driven 129,000 miles. We bought it for our two children to drive while in high school, so it was passed down from our son to our daughter. Our daughter nicknamed it "The Black Jungle" (BJ for short). She became quite attached to the old clunker and continued to drive it while in college (this resulted in cross country trip #1 in which her dad drove the car for her from Seattle to Auburn University in Alabama via the northern route).
While at Auburn, she drove BJ to Atlanta, Savannah, Florida, New Orleans and all over Auburn and vicinity. Her dad hoped that she'd leave it in Alabama when she moved back to Seattle after graduation, but she asked me to drive it back with her on an all-American mother/daughter road trip along the southern route. This caused her dad some amount of anxiety worrying about us driving through possible tornadoes in West Texas or breaking down in July heat in the Arizona desert.
When she began driving the Black Jungle, I asked our pastor to bless a rosary that is specifically made for cars and hung it on the rear view mirror. I knew that angels already occupied the car because her brother had driven it without incident. I confess that I did not drive a single mile of the 4,000 miles through 10 states from Alabama back to Seattle. I was only along for the ride and to help haul things into hotels at the end of the day rather than have them sit in the car overnight tempting thieves. BJ performed beautifully on his cross country journey but broke down two days after we got back home! It was his first time to be towed. He spent a few days in the shop and emerged ready for more miles. She continued driving him for a year and then decided it was finally time to let him go as she was moving to New York City and would rely on the subway for transportation. When we waved goodbye to BJ, he had 209,624 miles on him.
We donated BJ to Volunteers of America and I confess I got all teary-eyed when the tow truck came to whisk him away. So many memories in that car, so many angels. When my son drove BJ, he got a sign that said "2AM" from Taco Bell and put it in the back window and it remained there the entire time we had the car. The kids had fun answering the many questions as to the meaning of that sign. I kept the sign as a souvenir and my daughter took the rosary to New York with her. I like to believe that some of the angel dust is still clinging to these things.