Mom mobile. The death of a minivan: one mom's comical take on saying goodbye to the family vehicle

The Death of a Minivan

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Last week, we said goodbye to a dear friend. A member of the family, really. It was an expected death, I guess you could say. We saw it coming. She was elderly and ailing and we could tell she was really breaking down for about a year prior to her passing. Circle of life, you know?

We called her Babe. Lovingly nicknamed after the big, blue ox in the tale of Paul Bunyan. She was, indeed, a large lady. Both in size and personality. For starters, she was loud and sassy.  Her presence often heard approaching before she actually came into view. She was never in a bad mood and always revved up to go on an adventure with the family. In addition to her spunky persona, she was loyal and kind, forgiving and gracious, calm and patient.

Mom mobile. The death of a minivan: one mom's comical take on saying goodbye to the family vehicle

I remember this one time when Babe and I took the kids to get ice cream, my daughter suddenly got this horrible nose bleed. Frantic, she rushed to Babe for comfort and ended up spilling melted ice cream and smearing nasty blood all over her. But none of that phased Babe. She just chugged along like nothing ever happened, helping me get the kids home to be cleaned up. I miss her. She was clunky and falling apart towards the end but she really was the best, darn minivan a family could’ve ever ask for.

What I am trying to say is, our 2007 Honda Odyssey finally kicked the bucket last week. She really rallied towards the end, though, and went out with a bang. Not literally, I mean.  She didn’t’ spontaneously burst into flames on the interstate or anything dramatic like that. But just days before she finally turned over, she safely and successfully hauled 7 rowdy passengers to Orlando and back for a mini, mid-week vacay to the Magic Kingdom. Her last hurrah.

Mom mobile. The death of a minivan: one mom's comical take on saying goodbye to the family vehicle

We ran her obituary in Sunday’s paper.  I have it here, if you’d like to read it:

Babe the Big, Blue Van was born in Jacksonville, FL in 2007 and lovingly adopted into the Roseborough Family in early 2013. Adored by her owners and well-known among car line communities and Chick-fil-A drive thrus all over the greater Jacksonville area, Babe was the Roseborough’s first, true “Mom Mobile.”

Sadly, Babe turned her last wheel at 11:46pm on May 8, 2018 after a brief yet violent battle with stage 4 alternator-sarcoma complicated by a raging case of timing beltitis and transmission acquired pneumonia.  William Roseborough, head of the Roseborough estate and resident family mechanic, tried everything in his power to bring her back to life. But, after snapping off a bolt somewhere deep in the bowels of her engine sometime close to midnight, Will finally threw up his grease-stained hands, threw in the Terry Towel and pulled the spark plug.

Babe is survived by her owners, Katherine and William Roseborough, and their fleet of minions; Nolan, Sarah and Timothy Roseborough. She is preceded in death by all the other Roseborough cars that came before her: the T-Bird, the Bronco, the volvo station wagon (plucked for a great price from the K Mart parking lot), the F150, the old Lexus, the civic, the other civic, the Ford Explorer, the 4Runner and the Armada.

In lieu of a memorial service and graveside burial, the Roseboroughs plan to have Babe’s auto body cremated and sprinkle her ashes along I-95 in Northeast Florida. And instead of flowers to show your condolences, the family is asking that you please send a small, monetary donation to help them buy a newer, more reliable minivan. They can accept payments via Paypal and Venmo.

Thanks in advance.

Mom mobile. The death of a minivan: one mom's comical take on saying goodbye to the family vehicle

But seriously, I can’t help but feel a sweet love and adoration when remembering all the things Babe and I went through during her 5 years with out family.

There was the good: bringing our last baby home from the hospital; road trips to Orlando, Tampa, South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Nashville; sing-a-longs to all the Disney classics, the Trolls Soundtrack, Hamilton, the Greatest Showman, Kidz Bop, and Annie; mini worship sessions to Christian radio on our way to church or school; impromptu science and history lessons through the world of Podcasts and fun car games like I Spy, 20 Questions and Mad Libs.

There was the bad: temper tantrums trying to wrestle kids into car seats; temper tantrums trying to wrestle kids out of cars eats; that time I dumped an entire Greek Salad from Panera all over the passenger seat; that time I spilled an entire peanut butter and banana smoothie on her floor; all those cups of hot coffee I knocked over; all those times my kids “decorated” her leather seats and windows with stickers and markers; the aforementioned nosebleed and ice cream incident.

And then there was the really, really ugly: Potty training accidents and all the bodily fluids associated with cold and flu season. Yuck.

Towards the end, Babe was a clunker whose seats were falling apart, whose engine never started the first time, who sounded like a weed-whacker puttering down the quiet streets of my neighborhood and who smelled faintly of both urine and ketchup. My family of 5 lovingly abused the heck out of that poor minivan. But what a great car! What fun memories!  She will never be forgotten, that’s for sure. And, until we meet again, I hope she is cruising along at top speed on that smooth, wide-open highway in the sky.

You were a great family vehicle, Babe! Thanks for the ride!

death of a minivan




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