Thursday, December 21, 2006

...and found

[the continuation]

It was Tuesday and my car had been missing for two days. I was beginning to feel impatient to hear news of its recovery. Even so, I continued to believe that it would be found. Unless it was plunged into the river..., I thought. It’s not easy to get away with that crime. Not here anyway. Can't hide it, can't re-paint it, can't re-sell its parts to used car parts dealers, can't take it across the U.S. border... It can't go anywhere far... These thoughts kept my hopes up.

Finally, coming home from work Tuesday afternoon, I learned that an officer had called our house to say our Honda had been found and brought to Unitow. Gabriel got the short message. I had no opportunity to ask where, when or how.

I was delighted to hear the news. I immediately informed ICBC about it. From here on, it would be in their hands. This meant ICBC would have it towed it to their claim centre for a thorough inspection and clean-up, and then for turnover to the body shop of my choice. I also shared the good news with the people who had prayed for my car’s recovery. But up to this point, I had no idea about the car's condition.

Because of procedure, it would still take days before I could get my car back. I still needed a rental car. Wednesday, I got a red 2006 Chevy Impala LT at Hertz. “Wow, this smells so good!” I exclaimed to myself as I got in the car that had power everything and so many push buttons. It took me about 15 minutes reading the manual before I could leave the parking lot. I was expecting an old Impala, not a spanking almost new one. Thank you, Hertz friend.

The boys were very excited about the car. “Mom, let’s keep this one!” they begged. “Whoa, we drove over a bump and did not feel it!” “Wow, sun-roof!” “Guys, stop pushing buttons. You might open something else!” I drove a nice car for the next few days. I was starting to feel comfortably spoiled.

Thursday, Bud and I marked our anniversary driving from city to city in a suave car that wasn’t in the original plan. Breakfast at White Rock. Lunch in Vancouver. A little shopping in between. What a convenient timing! The only downside was that only I could drive. Rental car policy.

Friday, I finally heard from Boyd Body Repair that ICBC had sent my car over to their shop. The only damage on the car was on the ignition lock, and the battery was dead. “Is the CD player still there?” I asked. Yes, it is.

On Monday, I returned my rental car early in the morning, which really upset the boys. In fact, they were more upset this time than when the Honda was stolen.

I proceeded to Boyd and finally got to see my Honda being repaired. Most of the items I had in the car, including the car registration papers locked in the glove compartment, were still there and gathered in a big plastic bag. I was able to take the car home that afternoon.

It took me a while to get used to driving the Honda again. It felt so light compared to the Impala which reminded me of the van I used to drive. But our car was very clean. As a procedure, ICBC had it vacuumed and decontaminated to make sure there was no undesirable object, like drugs perhaps, left inside it by the car thief. I had been wanting to vacuum the car for the last year. It had to be stolen before this could be done. Funny, I noticed the word Accord on the floor mat on the driver side for the first time! I could not remember seeing that. Good job, cleaner!

I lost a few things on top of the money I had to pay for the ignition assembly. I lost 8 or 9 CDs, mostly praise and worship, in the CD changer. I hope the thief listened to them. Who knows if those CDs might bring some God-consciousness to him. In return, he left 5 CDs, all rap. My boys were not interested. “Just throw them away, Mom.” I lost the two remaining hub caps and some coins too, all $1.50 of them.

My car is back and I’m thankful. It could have been worse. “Thank you, Lord, for recovering my car in good condition. But we will gladly welcome a new one if You will give us,” I added to our prayer before a meal. There were snickers.

Oh, what a ride!

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