We cleaned our cars at the weekend, not a common occurrence I’m ashamed to admit especially with a newborn keeping our tired arms occupied enough, but after the recent sandy rain we couldn’t put it off any longer.
However, there’s one spot in my car (the family estate) which I’ll never clean… the boot side window. The reason? An old blob of bubblegum.
Gum is not something I buy and I hate gum stuck on things, but this piece is special to us … as it’s Abi’s.
She got to the stage of buying her own sweets at the school shop and had taken to occasionally chewing bubblegum. We noticed that, cheekily, one day she stuck her gum on the inside boot window (grrr); I expect we had a go at her about it at the time, but, as it was out of the way, it got forgotten.
After she died, we came back to our car in the car park and saw the gum, which stood out to us now. I pressed my finger on the outside of the glass, trying to understand how my daughter, who did silly things like this, was now gone; how could she be dead when there’s this blob of gum that she put there not too long ago? It may seem a bit odd, but it’s just another random reminder we have of our Abi.
It may be necessary to get a new car at some point and so I’ll need to take the gum off and put it in Abi’s memory box. But, as gross as it might seem, keeping it on the car window doesn’t remind me of her death, it’s a sign of her life. It reminds me that she had life, she lived here, she was a normal child… I can remember her giggling in the back, singing along to the songs on the radio, or complaining about not having enough room squashed between her siblings… once it’s in a box it seems to take the life from it, making it a more inanimate memory, just another object to add to the many precious things we simply can’t part with.