Sunday, July 08, 2007

Goodnight My Sweet Baby

In the past, when required to discuss the topic of cars, my knowledge and interest has extended only to asking questions such as “Is the boot big enough for my golf clubs?” and “Will it get me to the golf course in one piece?” and “Four is the correct number of wheels, right?”

But ever since I wrote this little newspaper article in February last year, my relationship with Dana has been elevated to an entirely new level of respect, understanding and appreciation. I certainly feel that I’ve been a more attentive partner in the past 18 months or so, taking care of her needs and treating her far more gently and lovingly than I did during the years after we first found each other in the summer of 2000.

About two years ago, Dana required a little minor surgery; nothing too serious, just a body part replacement and she endured the procedure with her usual quiet and uncomplaining grace. Her recovery time was minimal and she was soon back on the road with a zest for life that confounded the so-called experts.

However, in August last year I could tell that something was troubling her. Although she didn’t say anything specific, I was sure I could detect the occasional moan or whimper after a particularly tough drive through Scotland’s torrential summer rain. Throughout this period, the expression on her gorgeous features remained unchanged, but she appeared to withdraw into herself and didn’t seem to want to tell me what was wrong, despite my offers of extra dashboard “rubs”.

Wracked with worry – and much to Dana’s annoyance – I finally called in a specialist and after detailed examinations and endless tests we received the news we’d been dreading.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this but the replacement surgery was only a temporary respite. The illness is back and it’s spreading. She’ll be lucky to see Christmas.”

Understandably, I was inconsolable but it was Dana, brave as always, who dragged me out of my despair and was determined to make the most of the time we had left together. It was she who insisted we take the long drive south, laden with equipment, to undertake The Finn Cousins tour last October. And what precious memories still linger of finishing the last gig of that tour and driving 400 miles together through the night to get to St. Andrews for a tee time early next morning.

Christmas came and went and still she battled on through the winter, determined to get to summer and feel the warm healing rays of sunshine on her flawless skin. But all the time she was growing weaker and the ever-present coughing and spluttering became a constant reminder of the hurt she was feeling inside.

The last two weeks have been tough. I know she’s been keen to keep my spirits up and get out more but she’s really needed her rest and I’ve allowed her to sleep whenever possible. And today, at 5.46pm on the most stunning day so far of the Scottish summer, the sparkling light finally faded from her beautiful clear eyes and she slipped away from me for good.

So goodnight my sweet baby and sleep peacefully now. Thank you for each and every one of your 118,789 glorious miles. I shall never forget you.


At 10/7/07 7:12 pm, Anonymous bama said...

So, here I am...wandering around the "internets" when I should be working.

Long story short: I stumbled across your corner of the blogverse (all the way from Dallas, TX, USA)...and now great tears of mourning are coursing down my cheeks for your sweet little Dana Corolla Scully.


All cars go to heaven.

(P.S. Great writing. I'll be adding you to my favorites...for those many, many days when I "should be working".)

At 10/7/07 9:11 pm, Blogger Lesley said...

I bet you'll have a new, younger model within the week. You men are all the same.

At 11/7/07 12:49 am, Blogger Kell said...

*Sniff* I'm so sorry for your loss. That's a long time together, but you must be strong and move on. Dana would want it that way.

At 11/7/07 10:09 pm, Blogger Neil said...

Thank you all for your hearfelt condolences... I'm managing to keep it togther. Just.

Lesley - so cynical, but yeah, I seemed to have omitted that bit...

At 12/7/07 9:15 pm, Blogger mirk said...

As far as cars are concerned a man after my own heart. A car is just a car after all but you do become attached.

As for the golf I'll keep me gob shut unless it was a GTI Mk1


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