One day a bright red ’65 Mustang convertible shows up in your driveway. A gift. For you. How could this be? Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth you gratefully accept the gift. And you take the very best care of your beauty. Every Saturday morning like clockwork you drag out the bucket and chamois, polish the chrome, vacuum the interior. Once a month you wax her. If her tires look even a tad bit low you pump ’em up. Oil changes are routine and washer fluid is replenished often. You take care of her. You love her. She may be an inanimate object, but you love her nonetheless. As long as you take care of her she takes care of you. You can count on her starting every time you turn the key. She never leaves you stranded.

Time passes. Saturdays come and go and the bucket and chamois remain in the garage. Occasionally when you want to show off your baby you run her through the car wash – something you swore you’d never do. Small scratches appear on her once lustrous coat but you look the other way. Tires sag, fast food wrappers adorn her floor mats, and oil levels become dangerously low until one day when you turn the key she just won’t turn over. She’s tired. But you keep pushing her. Crank, crank, crank until she gives her all for you. She takes you where you want go.

But when it comes time to go home, all the praying in the world won’t bring a spark. She can’t do it anymore. She would if she could but she just can’t manage one more start. She’s done. She can’t do it anymore. You tow her home, losing interest as years go by until one day you compose the ad.

The phone rings; the new owner shows up, excited, eager and nervous. This guy has always wanted a red ’65 Mustang convertible, and he can’t believe his good fortune. What a gift she is. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. He tows her home, and hand scrubs every inch, lovingly beginning her total restoration. On a whim he inserts his new key, and although he knows the chances are slim, he holds his breath and hopes. She feels the love in her very core and roars to life with another chance to be “the gift.”

~ In my little fable, who are you, Catholic mom – the first owner, the current owner or are you the gift? And what are you going to do about it?

Copyright 2011 Maureen Locher