Brady always wanted a jeep. He talked about it for years and years and in March of 2011 he finally got his "blue Jeep". For a year Brady and Jake rebuilt the blue jeep to get it "Moab ready". Don't even ask me everything they did because I have no idea, but it was torn apart for a long time and once it was put back together it looked pretty much the same. To me. If you ask Brady it was a whole new machine.
The blue jeep is always the automobile of choice in the summer months, and sometimes the colder months too. We love the blue jeep. And as you can tell I can't just call it the jeep, it's the blue jeep. One of our favorite things about the jeep was taking Quincy on rides. She started out at just a few months old and she LOVED it. She would giggle and rock back and forth in her car seat when we went over bumps. Every morning when I took her to daycare she would ask to ride in daddy's blue jeep. Brady used to pick her up from daycare in it and since it was just around the corner, he would strap her in the front seat next to him. She thought she was so cool.
The weekend of the accident we took the blue jeep to Moab. We were so excited to try out everything Brady had done to it and at first it was a lot of fun. For about the first 5 hours. After that, it was scary. I am a bit of a nervous nelly and was trying to be so brave as we climbed up rocks and down rocks. On the first afternoon, just after lunch, Brady rolled the jeep. It was kind of a freak accident as he was going down into the small Devils' Bath on the Hell's Revenge trail, his front tire folded and he rolled. I was out in the bushes squatting :0) and I heard a terrifying crunching sound, followed by a frantic, Angie! Holy cow my heart dropped as I looked up and didn't see the blue jeep in the lineup. I ran to the hole and saw it upside down, crushed. I knew Brady was dead. I just knew it. I was panicked. I ran down that hill as fast as I could and thank the Lord, Brady climbed out. He was fine. I was so thankful.
A little duct tape, some wires, oil and other things (I don't know anything about cars) and the jeep ran like a champ. Looked ugly, but ran great. We drove the blue jeep the rest of the trip.
And I thought that was the worst part of the weekend.....
As everyone knows, the worst part of the weekend was not totaling the jeep. As our world collapsed, the jeep was quickly forgotten. It wasn't until after the funeral we thought that we better call and make a claim and figure out where the jeep was. We hadn't even seen it since we were on our way home. Little did we know, the jeep was not forgotten by our wonderful friends.
It was a sad day. A day I couldn't stop crying. A day I stayed in bed. I didn't answer my phone. Or the door. My sister in law came over, let herself in and made me leave the house. She insisted after many refusals that I needed to go for a drive. She pretty much forced me. Brady was working on a job and we went and got him too. She took us up to the Coleman's shop and there were all our friends waiting for us, and the blue jeep. The new blue jeep. I can't even explain the emotion. The shock. The gratitude. The tears began to fall again, this time for joy. Brady was beside himself. It did my heart good to see the smile on his face. A smile I hadn't seen for weeks. Over the time we were buried in grief, our amazing friends were rebuilding the blue jeep. They were working early in the morning before work and late into the night after work. We had no clue.
It's pretty incredible what wonderful friendship can do for broken hearts. I can't even begin to express my gratitude to everyone that was involved in rebuilding the jeep. It was a saving grace when we felt like there was nothing to live for, when our whole entire world seemed to have ended. And it wasn't just because we had an awesome jeep, it was the feeling in the shop that night as we walked in and saw all the love and concern in every ones eyes. It was the incredible feeling of gratitude that they cared about us so much that they would do something so thoughtful and so meaningful.
As part of the restoration, everyone who was with us in Moab put a metal "In memory of Q" plaque on the side of their jeep. It's so heartbreaking our little jeeping buddy can longer ride with us, but she will always be a part of the blue jeep. We love it even more. But the best thing about the jeep, is what it now represents. It represents the life of a little girl who stole every ones hearts. It represents sorrow and sacrifice. It represents friendship. It represents love. It represents a weekend to never be forgotten.