It took nearly six weeks of living in our new home for Lee and I to leave Riley alone in the house. Part of it was because there had been workmen in the house nearly all of that time and we wanted her to have a breather of not being worried someone she didn’t know would just walk in. But mostly it was the PTSD of her having been lost for 18 hours the first day we arrived.
Still. It was our wedding anniversary and after going back and forth about it (literally) all day long, Lee convinced me to leave the house for one hour and grab dinner. Our first dinner out since we moved here the end of September.
I was very nervous. I set up the “RileyCams,” explained to her what was happening, and went to meet Lee at the restaurant down the street from where he works.
I’ll be honest. I checked the RileyCam a dozen times and the meal was “meh” and while it was good to be out, we didn’t really enjoy it. We skipped desert and grabbed our respective cars to head home to our girl.
But hey, it’s a start.
On the way home, I turned on some music and Natalie Cole’s “Pink Cadillac” came on. I love that song. So I’m singing and dancing in my car as I drive along. Then suddenly, a car pulled into my lane and to my utter astonishment, it was a 1961 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. I laughed out loud! The driver of the Caddy hit his accelerator and a waft of antique car exhaust hit me in the face and my eyes practically rolled back into my head.
It’s not something I talk about much, but my father was a race car driver in his youth. I was born with gasoline in my blood. My mom used to tell me that she couldn’t even get me out of the car at the Piggly Wiggly when I was 4 years old without me having run through the parking lot opening the doors to other people’s cars. A memory that I will never forget was the day my dad surprised me by opening the garage door and showing me that he’d bought a 1964 Cadillac. Keep in mind, we were poor as church mice. It was the early 70s and the car had been in an accident and basically totaled out. My dad bought it to repair and drive. That’s how we got cars growing up – totaled by insurance companies and put back together by my dad. I will never forget being about 6 years old and thinking “Oh my heavens, I never dreamed we’d own a Cadillac.”
But I digress.
To me, Natalie Cole’s convergence with a 61 Coupe de Ville mixed with the smell of antique car exhaust was just my angels saying “Radleigh, it’s time to calm down. It’s time for you to enjoy your new life and put your trauma and fears about Riley aside.”
I love everything about this story. I love that the angels choreographed something like that in a moment of happiness in our new tiny town. I mean come on… you can’t make things like that up! And statically, what is the chance that I’d be singing a song about an antique Cadillac and have one pull in front of me in that very moment? Geez Louise, thank you angels!
I love that I got home and Riley was (of course) just fine – though very happy to see us and not a worker-bee walk through the door. I love that my angels love me enough to take big “intervention” steps with me.
And oh. I also love Natalie Cole.
So what about you? Is it time for you to “calm down?” Is there a place in your life where you’ve lived in fear and anxiety for waaaaayyy too long? Is it time to let it go?
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