How do we choose what to hold onto from loved ones after they've died? Doris Iarovici asks that question in her essay, which is read by Michelle Rodriguez ("Widows").
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love. The podcast is supported by produced by the island, W B war, Boston. Oh, the from the New York Times and WB where Boston. This is modern, the stories of love, loss and redemption. I'm your host magnet, Chakrabarti the. How do we choose what to hold onto from loved ones after they've died? Tourist Europe, which asks that question in her essay on a serpentine road with the top down? it's red by Michelle Rodriguez, who starred in the fast and furious movies, avatar and lost among others, you can see her along
Weed Viola Davis in the new movie widows, the. The skies opened up. As I watched the tow truck winch, my tail Alfa Romeo onto the flatbed, the thirty year old Convertible again refused to run and dried the rain off my arms. I thought it was probably time to get rid of it. My husband love the spider, which are kids named the happy car. But before he succumbed to melanoma forty eight, he specifically instructed us not to make the car a shrine I held onto it anyway. I rarely drive it. I had intended to use it to teach our kids to drive stick shift, but that never happened
I couldn't bear them grinding those gears. Downpour ended the moment the tow truck left, the. Steam rose from the driveway and refracted the sudden sunshine. It was a sign. I told myself time to let go. I tried to ignore the immediate having us against my breastbone. The alpha had
toad twenty five miles to a specialist shop nears earlier. I upgraded my triple a membership to cover this recurring expense. I called the shop to describe the cars current symptoms. The mechanic who knows both the car and me said you can't just let it set a car like that you need the either drive it or sell. It need think I'd, be an expert in letting
well by now, hmm, I let go of the notion that my family could be happy only if it included my husband, with whom I had shared every thought and feeling and plan for twenty years. I let go of a different happy family configuration when our daughter than our son left for college, though I dreaded the moment when both children would leave I also saw how ready they were for them, letting go of one thing: man making room to grab a hold of an entire universe, and even apart we remain class. We didn't just survive but found ways to thrive.
I let go of many other preconceived notions about how my life would play out when I forced myself to start dating again a few years after my husband's death When I sat through meals with strangers, whose tales of misery and love snuffed my appetite each week in yoga, I obediently left my limbs go heavy on the teacher says begin to practice. The art of letting go Why, then, is it so difficult for me to let go of this car part of the answer. Came a few weeks later went on a cloudless September afternoon. I retrieve the alpha from the shop
I was appalled at the bill and began composing for sale ads in my head, but as I drove the breeze warm my cheeks The swamp sunflowers popped in yellow clusters that I'd fail to notice. From the confines of my sensible Sudan, there was still a hint of Honeysuckle in the air, a down shifted in the car hug, the cloverleaf coming off the highway, the motor hummed, the seat, embraced me both hands both feet. My entire body all engaged no fiddling with the cell phone, a radio just me and the car and the road. I was transported to the fall day in Vermont, when my husband taught me to clutch and shift in a different convertible
on another serpentine road I was studying for medical school exams. We had no money, but we splurge down a bed and breakfast. That was how he was carved ship. Didn't stop him from plunging into things he loved in the early days an unreliable car was our only means of transportation. We have truly added a safer car, but how our daughter beamed when her dad drove her to school in the spider. How the second grade boys mob the convertible in the pickup lane? No, nowhere, no neural bar metal, bumpers and open top a bad idea to send a child off. I was the kind of Mamma put helmets on our kids when they learned ice skate,
but my daughter wrote a poem about the light filtering through the trees she and her dad flew through those moments. In time my daughter and son have grown. people who immerse themselves in the world via all their senses? The alpha is practical, costly and inconvenient. My hair becomes a bird's nest when I drive with the top down when it rains the fabric roof pings the cold drops onto my head. It has left me stranded more than once. I love it. I was raised to set aside my aspirations to be a writer, because the winding path of a creative career seemed lined with risk and destitution.
And my immigrant family had had enough of that better to cut loose the impractical and hold tight to the tangible certainties. My parents advised. My husband raised in similar circumstances with similar expectations, somehow flouted the conventional notion of what was worth holding onto or throwing away. He became a scientist. Instead,
doctor and found not only creative fulfillment, but financial success and less predictable career path. His grad school student loans, partly subsidized flying lessons, and he later flew me to recoup North Carolina in a twin engine, Cherokee Warrior landing on the grass strip beside the shimmering beach extinguishing, the fear flying. I developed a board much safer commercial jets. He took safety seriously. We delayed flying back if the weather turned, he didn't, take foolish risks, but he inspired reasonable risks. He encouraged me to keep riding and working part time as a physician, even if it meant it would take us longer to repay student debt. He left letters for our kids
Urging them to refrain from bitterness or fear because of his fate remain open to the vast beauty around you. He told them engage when your mom made someone new, as I hope she will try to be open to him. I did meet someone new a few years ago and had to let go and a host of unexpected ways. My partner has forty. Two younger than mine and two former wives. His children have lost not apparent, but something potentially more destabilizing their faith in the possibility of deep love some children carry into adulthood. The fervent wish that their divorced parents will somehow reunite
poisoning their ability to find joy in the actual relationships that surround them. Recognizes the difficulties early in our relationship, he questioned why I would gone the baggage of his past life baggage is often wished. He could jettison, not the children. Of course, but the painful dynamics of the adults around them. My husband used to say if it was easy, it would be done driving. My Alfa Romeo reminds me that difficulty per se has never stopped me from pursuing something I think has true worth, Having I'm reminded that I too can shift, cares, face risk, handle inconvenience and survive tragedy.
I re experienced the joy in all my senses, touch smell, taste, hearing and not exclusively vision, as dictated by our increasingly virtual world. I am forced to disengage. I can't return, calls eat lunch and drive to the office all at once. Without anti lock brakes. I scan the road ahead. More mindfully, the car may look zippy, but any soccer, mom and seal their condition. Six cylinder land rover can easily overtake me. It's not the speed, but the journey I tell myself. I continue right, even if my day job means it takes me half a decade to finish a book and my partner and I press onward
doing our work individually and together to address the losses we've had to build something together. That is strong enough to withstand both nostalgia and anger. As I consult solve various people on whether to sell the car, it becomes a litmus test. In laws say simplify, you have so much to manage. My kids are sad, but accepting they're moving around the country now with college internships and jobs, and although they love the car, their little afraid to sit in the driver's seat to be reminded of too much and perhaps to be compared. My partner, I'm missing, says
you love their car and your husband was an extraordinary man. He says I feel so lucky that, where together and so sad that you too can be, he says, keep fixing it I'll drive it with you any time maybe the trick is knowing when to let go and when to hang on the
that's Michelle Rodriguez. Reading, Doris Yarrow, bitches essay on a serpentine road with the top down will catch up with her and learn what
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My friend and I often play falling, be together by together. I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up scowling d, I see that you have completed a few words on your own. I feel a little betrayed. In theory. We may have happened I know you did it again. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my bad. It was the first party together, and I wish that I think I got to see it J, a c K. we hit the jackpot I'm same is risky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, Flash games sued
Doris Yarrow, which keep the alpha Romeo. I did keep it for He then took being just a few months after the peace came out, and then in the midst of moving to boss, done and it broke down. And so I took it into the shop and sort of left it there. I moved the car stayed, I paid to have it repaired, thought that I might bring it up here and then it became increasingly clear that will be very difficult city to have a car like that, and so it took me actually another two and a half years before. I was ready to sell it, but I did actually just sell it a couple of months ago. and the buyer has actually kept in touch with me and is intending to teach his teenage son to drive a stick shift with the car. So that's exciting and I think a good home for the car.
Doris says that when she sold the car there was sadness but also relief. There is certainly part of me that wishes could have kept it forever, and I think that if logistically I could do it and financially it wasn't a constant drain. I would have done that. It's a great car and I think it both connects me to my late husband, but it also contains a piece of me that is harder to express in other ways, so The kind of care, free, cool and also maybe not so easy to drive vehicle is a reflection. I think, of course, I had when I was younger and that I value In myself, and that are harder to find ways to, as I got older, and she says that as time has passed the way she deals with the loss of her husband has changed
and I think in the immediate aftermath of losing whom there was a variant us fear that somehow we would forget him and as the years go by its clear that, of course you forget, I think you forgot the small things, but the big things remain and I think, as I've become more secure and that knowledge it's become easier to let go of the physical objects embodied parts of home. and Doris is still in the relationship she writes about in her piece being in a new relationship after having lost someone that you really care about is difficult and also it's very Reassuring that its possible, but it still possible- and so I think I thought very grateful to this. Cover that I was still capable of feeling love in that way. For someone else and is she done with Corky italian cars? There is part of me that thinks at some point
plus I'm going to get another one, maybe with less rust in the undercarriage. You know. Certainly, if I move to a warmer climate again, I would consider it pretty seriously or I might get a different kind of or political that's doors. Europe, which she's a psychiatrist living in Boston and she's, just finished a novel and is at work on a memoir. more after the break. I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes
than spelling bee, and I see that you have completed a few words on your own. I feel a little betrayed in theory. They may have happened, I know you did it again. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my bad. It was like the best party together, and I wish that I think I got to see it J, a c k, we hit the jackpot I'm same is risky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com, flash games.
Here's Daniel Jones, editor of the modern love column for the New York Times. What I liked about doors is essay is you should go suited horrible, premature death of her husband and she's left place of how do I move on to? I want to move on what do I hold onto and we're sort of filled with bromides about how you handle it. situations and people will say to you. Oh you have to move on and you have to let go oh and you shouldn't invest in inanimate objects and all of that and I find that we have to set a navigate. Those expectations and those feelings of attachment against sort of a one size fits all of how to grieve. The next week, Stanley Tucci
The first time in my life, I had unprotected sex one August ninth three summers ago. I was forty five no pill or condom no diaphragm or Iud, None of the sundry devices deployed to keep me careering childless through a quarter century of romance with women. I had lusted after and sometimes loved. this time. The woman was my wife mommy and we decided to have a Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are lost an MP our station, its produced directed and it is by Jessica, Albert Caitlin, O Keefe and John Parotid region scoring and sound design by Matt read the for the modern love. Podcast was conceived by LISA attempted Iris
Learn our executive producer. Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times, an adviser to the show music for the past courtesy of appear, I magnitude of already the next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.