A clack and a bang

Oct 31

Yesterday after radiation, I drove directly to our autobody shop near my parent’s house.  As if I didn’t have enough going on with radiation, cardiac issues, and childcare logisitics, my car started making a loud (LOUD!) clacking noise that was very ominous.  I prayed the entire time I was driving it.  The mechanics, Chatty and Boss, told me that the repair would take several days and, anticipating it was inside the engine block, thousands of dollars. Ugh.  Did you catch the plural on the thousands?  The unexpected expenses of 2012 just keep rolling in.

Chatty went to do one more diagnostic; I heard the distinctive clacking and then a big bang, and he returned with a six inch metal disk in his hands.  The disk for the air compressor sheared completely off and failed as he was watching.  If I’d been driving, this could have been catastrophic to me, to my car, or to another vehicle.  Phew.  Thank you God.

They wrote up the estimate for the air compressor and associated labor and parts.  They assured me that this fix would cheaper than their initial “thousands” recommendation.  However, the total came back as $1,726.88.  Um, so not much better.  I got that crappy stressed feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Can I drive it without the air compressor?” I asked, hoping that Brad and I could digest this together before we had to ante up.

“Yes, it is drivable.  But you don’t have any air conditioning.”

Air-conditioning, schmair-conditioning.  It’s October.  “How many miles can I drive without doing more damage?”

Boss answered thoughtfully, “Best case is you could drive it for the rest of it’s life with no A/C.  Worse case is the clamp comes off while you’re driving and your engine fails, but I don’t think that will happen.”

I looked back and forth from Chatty to Boss.  “So, essentially, I can leave here today with no A/C, and no danger to myself or other vehicles, and decide later whether to replace the part?”

Chatty and Boss nodded and I drove home, grateful that I did not have to spend another huge un-budgeted chunk of money on an unpredicted expense.

I’ve had my car for more than ten years.  It has been a part of every life event that has taken place during that time: I picked it out with my dad, it took me to work at a job I loved, it was the car of choice for countless road trips, it brought each of my precious newborn daughters home from the hospital.  I love my car; it has served me well.

Yesterday my car scared me with a loud clacking noise.  The end result is doable: it is safe for my family, and I can live with no A/C (remind me I wrote this in July, okay?)

I’m finding strong parallel with my own situation over the past week: my heart has been projecting loud symptoms that are uncomfortable and scary, kind of like the clacking in the engine.  But, in both cases, the result is relatively benign.  The message is: carry on, warrior.  Keep going.  This is not a catastrophic end.  Chin up.  Adjust, make changes, listen to the experts.  Do today well.

Me and my car are kind of in the same boat.  We’re a little worse for wear, but we’re still going.


  1. Jen, it’s not how many times you fall, it’s how you pick yourself up & My Dear, I Must Say: You have picked yourself up with endurance &
    Grace ~ Continued Prayers & Peace 🙂

  2. Make sure that you know if your defrost will still work for you when you need it. That would be hazardous if you can’t defog your windows except for doing it by hand. Just a thought. Want you to be safe.

  3. You have such an incredible spirit! Your positive outlook is contagious. Thank you so much for allowing us to travel with you on this journey. May God keep blessing you and your family!

  4. Ingrid /

    Yes! Carry on, warrior! (I’ve been reading your blog since Glennon linked you at the start of your cancer journey) … ((hugs)) to you!

  5. Latoya /

    You are a warrior! You and your journey have blessed so many. . .thank you for sharing and Glorifying God in all you do! Love & hugs to you.

  6. You did dodge another bullet in the journey we call life. But I truly believe good things happen to you because you throw so much good out to the universe. It’s just repaying you in kind. Keep that love flowing; Somehow there will be an answer for everything (even the money for car repairs).

  7. To carry on with the positive thinking, you have until tax return time next year to make a decision about the A/C. 🙂
    (Trust me, you will want A/C. But at least you can wait on that major expense.)
    God is good. Keep trusting. ♥

  8. I love that you are a Momastery fan. I knew there was a connection. I’m so happy you are carrying on warrior!

  9. Marsha Vonderwish /

    Reminds me of ‘Remain Calm and Carry On’! 🙂

  10. I just loved this post. I have had MANY car issues this fall and could really relate! Glad that the easy solution went to you! Like my tougher more expensive solutions were worth it because in the world of averages, somebody gets an easy fix and it was YOU! Does my crazy rambling make sense?

  11. Uncle George /

    In addition to not having air conditioning (cold air) your windows will fog up more in the cold weather. The a/c removes the moisture that builds up in the confined passenger compartment from just normal breathing. My a/c is broken too, so I feel your pain. I tried holding my breath while driving to keep the windows from fogging but I noticed I tended to weave more.

    See you Thanksgiving.

  12. Bethany B. /

    Jen, My uncle (Bruce) owns Sycamore Tire. If you ever need a second opinion with car stuff, feel free to take it to him. Just tell him you know me. I always liked taking my car to him when I lived in Cincy, because I knew I wasn’t getting ripped off. It doesn’t sound like your guys are trying to do that with you, but it’s always nice to have a personal connection. We’re all thinking about and praying for you guys!