Author: Karen Copeland
You know what happens when it’s time to take off a band-aid? You know it’s going to hurt. A lot. So instead of prolonging the pain by slowly peeling the band-aid off, you rip it off quickly. Yes, it hurts. A lot. But it is a quick pain. It happens, it hurts, it’s done. Peeling slowly allows the opportunity for anxiety to build. Feeling each hair come up, one by one. It hurts. Can we stop now? No? Ow! Ow! Ow!
So today I am going to write about attachments and what happens when we have to give up those attachments.
When my husband was home on holidays, we decided it was time for a new vehicle. And that meant we had to let go of one of our current vehicles, and the logical choice for us was to let go of our truck. But this wasn’t just any old truck. This was my dad’s truck. Grandpa’s truck. “Old Red”.
We knew this was going to be hard. We broached the conversation with our children, and as expected, we were met with resistance from our son. Of course this gave us pause. It is so hard for our son to think of letting go of anything that belonged to Grandpa. My husband and I had a number of conversations with each other. The timing was right. Grandpa’s truck needed a.lot. of work. We decided that we couldn’t let anxiety dictate our decision.
On the day of the deal, our children had the opportunity to go out with friends for the day. However, before they left, our son said to us “Grandpa’s truck better be in the driveway when I get home!”.
We knew we needed to “rip off the band-aid” so to speak. There was just not going to be any easy way about this.
But could we be thoughtful about how we did it? Absolutely.
Before we drove Old Red away, I made sure to take a few photos. Inside and out.
We printed two of these off. The full size one, we glued to construction paper and taped it on our son’s wall by his bed. The smaller 5×7 was glued to construction paper and would be given to our son to put in our new truck.
I found my favorite framed photo of my dad and moved it from the basement and placed it on my son’s nightstand.
When we got to the dealership, we were thankful to have their support and understanding with the uniqueness of our situation. We did the deal, but were able to return home with Old Red (leaving the new truck at the dealership to be picked up later).
This was important because we wanted our son to be able to have a chance to say goodbye.
Our kids returned from their outing, happy and excited. We let them revel in this for awhile before we broke the news.
We brought our son into his room and showed him the photo on the wall. He knew immediately what we had done.
Grief. We were prepared for it. We knew we were turning his world upside down.
We could have been angry at his sadness. Impatient with his refusal to accept this change. But we chose love. Acceptance. He was absolutely allowed to be angry, hurt, frustrated and sad. Who are we to say he shouldn’t grieve this?
He requested I take more photos, and I did. He asked to be left alone, so we honoured that.
The time came for his dad to take Old Red back to his new owners, and bring home our new truck.
Dad, being the smart guy that he is, brought a favorite donut back from Tim Horton’s when he returned. Our son was grateful.
(My husband also brought back one of the plates from Grandpa’s truck, and we also kept the keychain. These sit on my sons dresser.)
As he bit into the donut, he asked if the new truck was here. I said yes.
“Can we go look at it?”
Me: “Of course.”
Walking out the door.
“I hate it.”
Me: “Yes. I can get that…hmmm…I just want to take a quick look inside.”
“Can I see?”
Me: “Of course.”
We climbed inside the truck and started exploring.
Me: “Did you know that back window can open? Shoot, I can’t figure out where the control is though!”
We both start looking.
“Is that it?”
Me: “I don’t know, let’s try.” It was. “Ah, thanks K! You figured it out.”
“I guess it’s okay.”
Me: “It will take some getting used to, I know…. hey, Dad and I have to go cancel the insurance on the old truck. Want to come?”
“I guess so.”
We went in to let dad know we were ready to go.
Before we went back out though, I grabbed the smaller photo of Old Red and told my son that we needed to find a place in the new truck for him. We found the perfect spot. Grandpa’s truck will travel with us wherever we go.
We had ripped off the band-aid.