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Saying Good-Bye Again

Billy Blue came into our lives in the spring of 2013. I was 100% against bringing him home! I DID NOT want him here. My husband and oldest son were adamant that we take him in. My opinion was overridden and Billy came rolling in.

How have these 8 years passed so quickly? It all started with dinner. My husband and son went out for dinner with Uncle Bill. He was in the process of moving to California. Palm Desert to be exact. He was a native Californian who had spent the past 5 years in Seattle. He and my aunt had moved here when she was starting to show more pronounced signs of memory loss. They wanted the support of their daughter. And I, their niece, was here to lend support.

They arrived in Seattle in their 8-year-old, blue Mercedes sedan. I always remember seeing them in a Mercedes. They felt they were safe! Of course, when they headed north, the car came with them. It was their tie to familiarity and home.

As their years in Seattle passed, I had many fun journey’s in the old blue Mercedes. My aunt’s mental health had deteriorated and before we knew it she was living in an adult family home. My uncle and the old blue Mercedes visited her daily. My uncle would pop up at my job and want to take me to lunch. The front office staff would come to the nurses station letting me know “Uncle Bill is here”. He was a hit with the gals up front. We’d climb in the old blue mercedes and take off to a new lunch spot with each visit. He’d screech into the parking lot getting me back to work in the nick of time. Those were fun, unexpected outings!

When my aunt died, my uncle would hop in the old blue Mercedes and head to California. He needed the sunshine. He drove that car everywhere. Up and down the California Coast when he wanted to enjoy the sights or straight up Interstate 5 when he needed to make time. That car was his freedom.

The day came when he decided to move back to California. He couldn’t take the rainy Seattle weather and longed for the sunshine of his youth. Instead of packing up the old blue Mercedes, he convinced my husband and son that our family needed the car. They thought it was a great idea. Despite my protests, my uncle picked me up and we changed the title over to my name. As I drove away I let him know the car was now named Billy Blue in honor of him. He got a brand new car and I was stuck driving away in his old blue Mercedes. Sheesh!

Billy Blue was supposed to hang around for a couple of years as my boys had summer jobs and this freed me up from having to drive at least one of them to work. Billy Blue did come in handy! The boys headed off to college and beyond and somehow Billy Blue still hung around our garage. Before I knew it he had wiggled his way into my husband’s heart and Peter was driving old Billy around town.

Two years turned into 8 years. Uncle Bill enjoyed a few years in the sun before he was called home to join his wife. We missed him so much and we saw him every time we hopped in Billy Blue. Whenever I passed one of our favorite lunch spots, I smiled and remembered the time spent with my beloved uncle. Billy Blue helped us remember.

Last week we finally said good-bye to Billy Blue. He had a good run and his poor old chassis finally gave out. It was a sad day as we watched the truck strap Billy Blue up and pull out. Not only were we saying good-bye to this workhorse of a car that brought my family such fun memories, but we were also saying farewell to Uncle Bill. Tears were shed (I’ll admit they were shed by me), and smiles were shared as we reminisced about two good old boys that brought happiness to our lives. I smile when I think of Billy Blue pulling up to the pearly gates and honking for Uncle Bill to hop in and go for a spin!


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