I cleaned out Jerry’s car. I took out everything but the manuals and oil change receipts in the glove compartment. I filled a large box and three Wal-Mart bags.

The stuff I picked up was personal, his cane and a towel he took to the gym and then used to wipe condensation off the windows. I found the CDs he burned to listen to in the car and while walking. I found change and old Kleenex, a bunch of ink pens and it all was elements of Jerry. He always kept plenty of these things on hand and rarely threw anything away.

I threw a lot away. I saved things like the tire gauge and umbrella. There were surprises as well, a box with my Aunt Donnie’s writing on it that I considered keeping but eventually tossed. I found our lawn chairs, just in time for powwow season. I found my Uncle Rush’s putter. I found ordinary stuff like trash bags and ice scrapers. I found his gym bag and it’s in the pile too. I still haven’t opened it yet.

The car looks empty and impersonal. I’m going to sell it, I plan to take it to Carmax and get an estimate. It’s a good car, well cared for. The only problem is the dash light is burned so you can’t read the odometer or other functions. Also it needs a jump because the battery conked out since it hasn’t been driven since July.

I admit I’ve thought about selling it before but didn’t know how Bear would feel about it. If he’d be offended that I was trying to wipe away his dad’s memory or if it was too soon. But he brought it up one day, saying we needed to do something with it. He suggested giving it to my dad but I didn’t feel it was a good thing.  The car originally belonged to an aunt who didn’t care all that much for him and I knew he would just drive it til it fell apart and throw it away.  I know how she would feel about this and even though she’s gone I can’t see doing it.  Plus there’s the very practical side–we both could use the money and we’ll split it. He was agreeable with this solution. Now I just have to do it.

Update: I discovered the battery was dead. No one has used the car since Jerry. So I called AAA and waited for someone to jump it, the guy used one of those boxes. After about five minutes of charging and running the battery he said give it 15 minutes and it would be all right and run the next day. It didn’t. I let it run and when Bear came outside with me for a short test drive in the parking lot it died. I called AAA again but decided to wait til later today to try it again since it was almost 10 pm. I was tired and doubly bummed out because my Wings lost in a shootout to Ottawa.


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