On Monday night, I bought a car!
And on a day that typically should be fun, exciting and fulfilling, I melted with sorrow the moment the private sellers and my mother-in-law left the parking lot – leaving me alone with my cool new car.
This meant that the first great moment in my sleek, black Nissan Rogue was me garnishing it with tears. Ugh!
I couldn’t help but think how Josh should be there with me, meeting the other great couple, married less than six months who were excited to sell the car. We should be laughing together, cruising down Hwy. 112 together and celebrating the fact that we finally, after 13 years, bought another new/used car. But none of that happened on purchase day.
Instead, my mother-in-law came with me to get the car while Josh stayed at home resting in the hospital bed. Then, we went to get ice cream and needed Josh supplies. It was still good but not the same.
Along with the emotions, it fells so strange to even buy a car. Yes, it was a good deal. And yes, our old Ravi is not running great and has 290,000 miles - and an upgrade is long overdue. And, we had planned on getting one this summer before our lives took an unexpected turn.
For the past three days, I've told myself, "it’s okay to get a new car. We can still move forward a little." But at the end of the day, I really just wanted Josh with me sharing in the adventure of it all. He still is part of it, of course, but in a different way. He smiled each time I told him my car shopping and test drive stories, and made big eyes when I told him it was officially in the garage (last night) – that was a really, joyous moment.
Of course, we definitely don’t need three cars, so that means we’ll be selling old Ravi for not much. In my mind, no value can be placed on this car full of memories, but I am sure mechanics will not agree. Our Toyota has been our adventure vehicle since 2006. We’ve drove this car hard - adding approximately 260,000 miles to the odometer as we traveled from coast to coast, down all kinds of roads, just the two of us and with various friends. We’ve been stressed while driving the 5-speed across snowy mountain roads, in Dallas traffic, and on the hills of San Francisco (to name a few). We've laughed and cried in this car. Upgrading means saying goodbye to a car that feels like it is part of us.
For like two years, Josh has said we need to get rid of the car and get something newer, something "more reliable." I can actually still hear his “it’s time to get rid of the car speech,” so apart of me is happy he gets to see us finally move forward – even before hitting 300,000 miles (my original goal).
So yea! We got a car! How do I celebrate this? How strange.
I’ll celebrate because God provided an opportunity I didn’t expect and because it’s still okay to enjoy things like a new car even when life is messy. (This is my own pep talk).
Of course, fixing my eyes just on the new shiny car isn't enough to fill my soul, it's fun for sure but fixing my eyes on Jesus offers a more sustainable feature.
Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God--
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
He’s my God.
- Psalm 42:11 (The Message)
* Point of clarification: With this news, I do want to acknowledge that many people have donated to help with medical costs and none of these funds were used for the car purchase. You may not care either way but I don’t want anyone to think we are getting crazy here - well, we are crazy but you know what I mean.
A Ravi Highlight Reel
In April of 2019, we learned that Josh had a large brain tumor, a glioblastoma, in the middle of his brain. At the age of 41, this was quite the surprise. Josh sadly passed away after a short battle on September 30, 2019.
View his obituary
These past months, we've navigated the complexities of treatment, and hospice care and learned that there wasn't really treatment and that in Josh's case, the tumor was inoperable.
We're sharing our hearts and experience as we navigate this unexpected turn and God's goodness in the middle of it. We hope to encourage others by sharing our story.
Thank you for following along with our journey even in grief.
Feel free to message us.
If you'd like to donate to medical expenses, here's a link or you can email us questions
More about Josh & Jenn
Jenn Brown is the author of this site, a loving wife and communications guru.
Josh Brown most recently served on staff at Fellowship Bible Church in NWA as a Springdale Community Pastor. We've served in ministry in Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Nevada.
Cancer has been big part of our story. Josh has battled cancer three times already with the first to being non-Hodgkins lymphoma at ages 15 and 25 and the third thyroid cancer last year and a GBM, brain tumor this year.
Jenn's mom, Carol passed away from breast cancer 21 years ago and her father also went through treatments for Chronic Leukemia (CLL) in 2017 and is doing well now.
Friends & Family
We have been so encouraged by friends and family. Thank you for the practical ways you are caring for us! We love you all! This is just few photo highlights of some meaningful moments.