“Rosie had been through everything and just kept going, racking up an impressive 445,739 kilometres in her 18 years,” writes Jenna Hauck about her 2004 Honda CR-V. (Justin Mallard)

“Rosie had been through everything and just kept going, racking up an impressive 445,739 kilometres in her 18 years,” writes Jenna Hauck about her 2004 Honda CR-V. (Justin Mallard)

OPINION: Saying goodbye to trustworthy old friend in Chilliwack

‘She never let me down,’ writes reporter Jenna Hauck about her 2004 Honda CR-V named Rosie

A few weeks ago I said goodbye to my dear friend, Rosie.

No, she wasn’t a person, nor a pet.

Rosie was my SUV.

She was a black 2004 Honda CR-V and I had her for 18 years. I bought her brand new right here in Chilliwack.

Initially, I honestly didn’t think I’d have her for much longer than the five years I financed her. But once that last payment was made, I just couldn’t trade her in.

Rosie was a workhorse and was named after the iconic Rosie the Riveter.

She took me to cover house fires in the middle of the night, up logging roads, through flood waters and muddy fields.

She only ever got stuck twice – once in too-deep snow at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve where I had to shovel her out, and years earlier in a ditch that I backed into not realizing there was a pretty deep hole there. But, both times I was able to get her unstuck without the help of a tow truck.

Rosie was just as much a reliable personal vehicle as she was a business one.

When not being my sidekick at work, Rosie was my partner with chores around the house. She’s hauled flooring, lumber, trees, trash and weeds.

I recall the time she was broken into and was considered a biohazard about 10 years ago. She had her windshield replaced once only to become cracked again just two weeks later.

The driver’s side sun visor was broken for years and I only got it replaced about a year ago. The sideview mirrors were shaky, so I did a quick fix to stop them from moving.

Rosie’s clock has only half worked for the past 10 or so years – I’d have to push on the LCD screen and kind of slide my finger across it several times to be able to read the time quickly before it faded away again.

There was a small dent in the roof from when I stood on top of her to take photos of my teammates during a roller derby journey to Edmonton. It was one of countless road trips I made with her.

And then there’s the bell.

For about 15 or more years, a bell has been hiding in Rosie and I’m sure it’s either from a cat collar or toy. Every now and then, when I would stop suddenly or accelerate quickly, that little bell would roll and jingle from one part of Rosie to another. I searched for the bell for 15 years and never did find it.

She’s held my children in their car seats, framed prints from my first ever solo photo exhibition, and my wedding dress. I’ve cried in her, laughed in her, and my kids have puked in her.

Rosie had been through everything and just kept going, racking up an impressive 445,739 kilometres in her 18 years.

The reason for her longevity was because of how well I treated her. Like clockwork, I took her in for her regular maintenance every 8,000 kilometres. As she got older, it was every 6,000, then every 5,000.

As time went on, more and more repairs needed to be done on Rosie. She was burning through oil more rapidly, had a new starter put in last year and she had problems with her sway bar bushings (whatever the heck those are).

But time and time again, the keys would be handed back to me and she’d be moving again just fine.

I got my six-year-old into the habit of proudly saying “Good job, Rosie!” every time she was up and running again or had just plowed her way through deep snow.

She never let me down. Not once.

That’s why I was in tears as I bid farewell to her. Rosie wasn’t dead, it was more like she was in palliative care. I didn’t know if she’d last a few weeks or a year or more, but what I did know was it was time to say goodbye.

On April 6, I drove her for the last time to Murray Honda. As always, I backed her in to one of the parking spots and then I got out, thanked her for all the memories, gave her a kiss and said goodbye to her.

I’m not sure who will drive Rosie next, but I’m hoping they will take as great care of her as I did.

And if that person is reading this and they hear a little bell jingling in the black 2004 CR-V they just bought, please tell Rosie she’s a good girl.


 

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Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

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